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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Healthcare gets data analytics booster

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Mukesh Arora was in a bind: his throat was so sore from infection that he couldn’t utter a word, let alone swallow food. His regular ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist had gone abroad for a medical conference and he didn’t know of any other in his neighbourhood. He surfed the web for help and discovered, to his momentary relief, that he could fix an appointment online with a specialist at one of the hospitals not far from where he lived.

Hospitals, especially in India, have for long cut a sorry figure in terms of their digital savvy and use of information technology (IT) to be on par with their counterparts in sectors such as banking and telecom.

According to Tirupathi Karthik, CEO of Napier Healthcare, a Singapore-based provider of software solutions to the healthcare industry, “As compared to a global average of 2–2.5% of income spent on IT by healthcare providers, or even 6-15% being invested in IT in other sectors within India, anecdotal data from multiple sources indicate that healthcare providers in India rarely spend more than 0.5% of their annual revenue on information technology.”

But things have been changing for some time, albeit at a pace slower than many would want.

Leading the change are large hospital chains such as Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, Max Healthcare Institute Ltd and Fortis Healthcare Ltd.

Prodded on by the need to take control of their sprawling operations—which span dozens of hospitals in multiple cities—on the one hand, and the rising expectations of tech-empowered consumers on the other, these modern hospitals are setting the template for healthcare in India.

High time they did so. “If you looked at the hospitals in India around 10 years back, they were very basic in terms of tech infrastructure. Besides, independent doctors got what they pretty much wanted. This led to lack of control with the management and poor visibility into the entire treatment and costs hospitals had to bear,” says Varun Gera, founder and chief executive of HealthAssure Pvt. Ltd, a primary healthcare aggregator that has partnered with almost 2,300 clinics, including diagnostic labs and hospital OPDs (out-patient departments).

He says that somewhere along the line hospitals had to work as hospitals and it could no longer be the case of “doctors having their own way of doing things”.

While part of this doctors-management clash had to do with egos, a more significant role was played by IT—the lack of it in the early days and increasing enablement as time went on. It is the clinical protocols, organisation-wide processes and use of IT tools through which hospitals, particularly those with a corporate road map to grow fast, could gain better control, get visibility into how treatment is given, and embrace more standardization for better healthcare outcomes across their chain of facilities.

Once processes and IT tools began to be adopted, hospitals moved on from using basic networking and hospital information systems (HIS) to looking at electronic medical records (EMRs) and other advanced deployments for improving efficiency as well as patient care.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., Indian healthcare providers are set to spend $1.2 billion on IT products and services in 2016, including telecom services.

Among the key areas in which hospitals are increasingly focusing their IT efforts are online doctor appointments, data capture of patients visiting the hospitals and applying analytics tools to get insights into their operations.

One of the large hospital chains investing big time in IT is Apollo. “One of the things we have done is enabled online appointment for doctors. Earlier, less than 10% of our patients came by appointment. Now at Apollo almost 50% of patients are coming by appointment,” says Sangita Reddy, joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals.

That is a huge change in terms of avoiding the chaos resulting from a lot of patients just landing up at its hospitals all over India. It also allows Apollo to focus on the more important task of clinical care rather than manage hordes of patients shuffling from one department to the other on its premises.

More significant change is afoot through the use of data analytics for both clinical and non-clinical insights. “We are collecting about 55% of all our patients’ clinical data electronically, which is enabling us to create a digital warehouse. This digital warehouse, in turn, is enabling us to do data mining and use this data in different ways,” says Reddy.

These efforts are helping Apollo in workflow prediction, staffing, communication, etc., and helping the organization turn into a data-driven enterprise.

One of the key areas in which analytics is being applied at Apollo, according to Reddy, is the use of predictive analytics for clinical purposes. “We have pioneered the concept of personalized health check-ups in India: instead of a common check-up, it is customized based on analytics of data of almost 1 million patients that have visited our hospitals over the years,” she says.

The “decision tree” for providing healthcare is being evolved based on scenario building through matching a particular medicine with a particular disease or condition that previous patients had encountered. The result is quicker treatment with improved outcomes.

“The analytics tool enhances the effectiveness of the medication that doctors choose,” says Reddy.

On the question of the acceptance of such tools by the medical fraternity, she says, “We use these predictive analytics tools in a recommendatory manner, so it’s not forced on the doctors…and we have found a very high degree of acceptance.” Currently being used in its large hospitals, Apollo will soon extend its use to other hospitals as well.

There is a lot of scope for improvement in the way hospitals in India operate and use IT to manage operations and deliver healthcare in a seamless manner taking into account the intricacies involved in settling health insurance claims. According to Gera, “The whole focus now is on getting the data out and efficiency of operations. The way hospitals operate currently is much fractured, as there are multiple complexities involved in their operations.”

And while technology cannot do everything for hospitals, the right tools and processes can make a big difference to the quality and speed of healthcare delivery in India.

Among the tools for improving or aiding clinical outcomes, International Business Machines Corp.’s Watson cognitive computing solutions for healthcare are being considered by many hospitals in India. One of the first to implement it is Manipal Hospital Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. According to IBM, Watson for Oncology is now in use by oncologists at six locations in the Manipal Hospitals network to “provide information and insights to physicians to help them identify personalised, evidence-based cancer care options across India”.

If the past decade signified the modernisation of hospitals in terms of physical infrastructure, medical equipment and the like, the next one is likely to be defined by integration of multiple IT tools, advanced analytics solutions, health monitoring devices and Internet of Things—under which medical devices, computer systems, smartphones and diagnostic equipment will share data with each other in real time for individualised, improved healthcare.

Global Hospitals Pays Tribute to Stroke Survivors on World Stroke Day with the Release of ‘Stroke is Treatable’

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Hyderabad, India

Global Hospitals, a multi super specialty tertiary care hospital with facilities spread across Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, today released ‘Stroke is Treatable’ to pay tribute to Stroke survivors on World Stroke Day. ‘Stroke is Treatable’ is part of the larger world movement to create awareness on how stroke is often mistaken for heart attacks. Patients only have a limited time frame to fully recover from a stroke and the video aims to shed light on the lack of an echo system in India to identify Strokes and the appropriate procedures required to treat it.

‘Stroke is Treatable’ also highlights the popular acronym F.A.S.T which is used around the world in order to create awareness on the symptoms to identify if a person is having a Stroke. If the person’s face is drooping to one side, is unable to raise their arms or experiencing slurred speech then it is time to act fast and rush them to the closest facility that offers treatment for Strokes. The WHO estimates suggest, that by 2050, 80% stroke cases in the world would occur in low and middle income countries such as India and China.

Commenting on recovering from a Stroke, Dr Ravindranath, Chairman and Founder, Global Hospitals said, ‘Recognising early signs of stroke and reaching the hospital which has a dedicated stroke team, technology and cross functional expertise helps save your loved one’s life. Stroke is completely curable in majority of patients and thereafter they can lead normal lives without experiencing weakness in any part of the body. We have taken immense efforts to achieve this high degree of preparedness and clinical capability of our expert team at all our group hospitals.’

Dr Venkatramana, Chief Neurosurgeon & Vice Chairman, BGS Global Hospital, on the importance of public awareness for Strokes in India, said, ‘Recognising the early signs of stroke is crucial and plays a vital role in the management of the disease. To achieve this, public awareness has to go up by several notches in India, where even the educated, urban population has trouble in understanding the symptoms of stroke. This World Stroke Day we pay tribute to thousands of stroke survivors, their immediate family members and all clinicians, nurses and paramedics who have helped win lives.’

Having successfully treated numerous Stroke cases, Dr Halprashanth DS, Consultant Neurologist & Stroke Specialist, Global Health City, said, “In stroke there is no first-aid. For the thousands of patients reaching us within the first 270 minutes (4 ½ hours) of the onset of stroke – our treatment has been highly effective. And in many cases, patients are able to talk freely and walk freely without any aid. For us giving them their normal lives back is so satisfying. At Global Health City better outcomes are made possible by a Comprehensive Stroke Team in a dedicated Neuro-intensive care unit for emergency management and post-stroke rehabilitation with physiotherapy, speech and occupation therapies.

But in order to combat the alarming rise in the incidence of stroke, we also offer affordable stroke prevention packages, which help to check risk factors and prevent development of brain stroke. For the general public, we always advice the F.A.S.T (Face, Arm, Speech and Time) concept as the golden rule, to handle strokes effectively.”  Added, Dr Halprashanth.

Global Hospitals have released three versions of ‘Stroke is Treatable’ that can be viewed on the following links: https://youtu.be/e3XpR62qB2o, https://youtu.be/PBTa3gzgc5Y, https://youtu.be/eyffMLQvUDY

About Global Hospitals

Global Hospitals Group, India’s most renowned healthcare services provider offering better care, cutting-edge research and advanced education to caregivers, is one of the country’s fast growing chains of Multi Super Specialty Tertiary Care Hospitals offering healthcare services of international standards. A 2000-bed Multi Super Specialty Tertiary Care facility spread across Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, Global Hospitals is a pioneer in multi-organ transplants including kidneys, liver, heart and lung.

Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh Feast to Begin at Courtyard Marriott from Friday

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chef-irfan-sayyed

Bhopal, 13 October 2016: In order to further spice up the festivity mood of Bhopalites the Courtyard by Marriott is coming up with Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh – a 10 day Awadhi food extravaganza. This ten day event, beginning from Friday at All Day Dining restaurant MoMo Cafe between 7:00 pm  to 11:00 pm. Chef Irfan Sayyed, who has 10 years of rich experience in Awadhi food, will spell the magic of taste with an array of authentic Nawabi cuisines.

Chef Irfan Sayyed while addressing a press conference organised here on Thursday to announce the launch of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh said “Bhopal and Lucknow have strong influence of Nawab culture and cuisine therefore they have quite similar likings for Kebabs, Biryani and other Awadhi dishes. We shall be offering some of the very popular vegetarian and non vegetarian menu to the city food lovers during the event.”

Chef Irfan further informed that the guests will be served three vegetarian, two non-vegetarian starters, veg and non-veg biryani, three vegetables, a paneer dish and lots of desserts every day. The vegetarian menu will include dishes like Santre Ka Shorba, Bhune Makai Ka Shorba, Tamatar Dhania Ka Shorba, Hare Moti Ke Kebab, Chhena Anjir Ke Kebab, Dahi Ke Kebab, Nadru Ke Shaami Kebab, Chatpati Tawa Arbi, Nimona, Gobhi Mussallam, Bhindi Kali Mirch, Paneer Lavang Latika, Aaloo Katiliyan, Chukandar Ka Bharta, Paneer Kaliyan, Dingri Dulma, Dal Shabnami, Dal Sultani, Dal Khudpukht, Sabz Dam Pulao, Qubooli Biryani and Aaloo Methi Ki Tehri. The non vegetarian dishes will include Lal Mirch Murg Tikka, Gosht Seek Kebab, Machhali Til Tinka, Kachche Keeme Ke Kebab, Murg Chaandi Tikka, Tawa Boti, Murg Gulbadan, Kate Masale Ka Gosht, Murg Rezala, Burhani Gosht, Murg Badami Korma, Lucknowi Nihari Gosht, Gosht Awadhi Biryani, Murg Toshi Biryani and Gosht Keema Pulao etc.

Courtyard by Marriott Brings Flight Mode Rock Band

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#Flight Mode Rock Band

Bhopal, 23 August 2016: Courtyard by Marriott, Bhopal is going to give a rocking live band treat to the music lovers of the city this Friday from 9 pm onwards at Grand Lotus – The New Ballroom. The Chandigarh based ‘Flight Mode’ Rock Band, known for new age Indian experimental genre, will fire the stage. The event will witness unlimited food and beverages.

Lead vocalist Vivek Nagra, drummer Vishant Nagra, guitarist Vaibhav Chabra, percussionist Rajat and bassist Ankur Mendiratta are are all set to keep audience super charged and excited throughout the evening. The band members are also known for producing songs which showcase their distinct style. They promise to enthral listeners by their clean, melodious and an extensive range of vocals complimented by wonderful fret playing in sync to the creative drum groves.

The band leader Vivek Nagra says “Music is a very powerful mode of expression. It brings so much substance to life. It brings peace and love both, to the ones who creates it and the ones who listen.”

Fortis Malar Hospital Surges 20% On Demerger Announcement

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Fortis Malar Hospital shares surged 20 per cent to Rs 68.50, its maximum intraday limit on Bombay Stock Exchange after its parent company Fortis Healthcare announced a restructuring exercise.

Fortis Healthcare on Friday announced demerger of its diagnostic business SRL, which will be merged with Fortis Malar subsequently. Fortis Healthcare shares also gained as much as 3.5 per cent.

The existing hospital business of Fortis Malar Hospital will be transferred to Fortis Healthcare and Fortis Malar Hospitals will be renamed SRL post the merger of diagnostic business with it.


Shareholders of Fortis Healthcare will get 98 shares of SRL for every 100 shares held in the company.

Fortis Malar Hospital had come into existence in 2007 after Fortis Healthcare acquired stake in Chennai-based Malar Hospital.

The demerger of Fortis Healthcare’s diagnostic business will unlock value for shareholders, analysts said. Share offerings of diagnostic services providers Thyrocare Technologies and Dr. Lal PathLabs have witnessed huge interest from investors and their shares have outperformed the broader indices after listing.

As of 9.44 a.m., Fortis Malar Hospital shares were locked at upper circuit with 20 per cent gains at Rs 68.50 while Fortis healthcare shares were up 0.48 per cent at Rs 188.70. In comparison the broader Nifty was up 0.07 per cent.

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