August 2007

Converting Challenges into Opportunities

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Thankfully, with the advent and progress of e-Health, healthcare is slowly but steadily becoming more patient-centric. One of the ways of making the health system more patient-centric is to make it user-driven. This will facilitate the application of e-Learning in healthcare in a more creative way, and eventually help to better address a specific singular problem of a given patient  to an optimal extent, through mutual collaboration of knowledge and information dissemination among patients and health professionals.

An important movement that is showing signs of germination in the global healthcare scenario is the surfeit of embedded hand-hand mobile medical diagnostic equipments, which can help make quality health accessible to the multitudes, who have little or no access to medical support systems. This incoming technological revolution also holds immense possibility of making the healthcare system more patient-centric in the near future, to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots in terms of accessibility to health services. We have discussed both these issues in detail in our Cover Story and Cover Feature.

India and other developing countries from Asia as well as Africa should learn from Canada's e-Health initiatives, spearheaded by Canada Health Infoway. This independent, not for profit corporation is playing a catalytic role in the progress of e-Health across Canada. We have covered an overview of Canada Health Infoway's achievements and aspirations in an incisive article by one of its top-brass. We have to acknowledge that in India some private hospital chains have attained international standards of healthcare in the recent past. This calls for some added information and study, and to extrapolate on this, we are starting a new section titled 'Power Hospital' from this issue onwards.

It is common knowledge that Indian health sector is plagued with a number of problems, and  it seems e-Health can serve as an effective solution to address the health problems of India, provided, its enormous potential is used with prudence. In this context, the relevance of organising of eHealth India 2007, as an integral part of eIndia 2007, can't simply be overemphasized. The high-powered conference, which will attract a galaxy of internationally reputed medical professionals, academics and corporates, is sure to be a thought-provoking exercise on information and knowledge dissemination about the challenges and opportunities involved in navigating the e-Health highway. Let's all hope for a healthier India…

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