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Health Corner- Myths versus Facts

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Preface: I was given a rather daunting task by one of my acquaintances to put down some tips on good health for general information to my fellow crowd and beyond to humanity at large. Naturally it was difficult to decide where to start from, since the target readers may be from all strata and communities of our society and of all age groups.

But let me begin somewhere….

In the beginning, I would like to put some very general lifestyle habits which should be followed by all people for general good health to one and all. Many of what I am about to unfold are known to public, but some new concepts will also he hereby known-to undo any faulty /wrong habits which the reader may have inculcated, inadvertently.

Let me suggest a listing of never do’s & don’ts:

Never to skip your Breakfast in the morning. This is the most important meal of the day.

              1. You may skip your lunch/take a light lunch.
              2. Never take a heavy dinner moreover with lots of spicy and oily food. Night is the time of metabolic house-cleaning. The less the task assigned to the body in the form of digestion and metabolism at night, the better the body gets self-cleansed and detoxified by the next day.
              3. Drink at least l0 glasses of water in a day. Maybe more in the hotter regions.
              4. Soft drinks are real nuisance consumables with lots of empty calories. They are never to be considered for replenishing the fluid content of the body.( I have found hardly anybody drinking water along with any food-it is invariably a soft drink to go along !!!)
              5. If milk is tolerated, one can go for it, it helps one to go off to sleep. But it should be avoided by people who are trying to get into shape and lose some weight! Dairy products in general are fattening with the exception of some skimmed milk, etc. All the same, rnilk is regarded as one of the compact forms of nutrition…for calcium supplementation .
              6. Eggs are nutritionally recommended for calcium/protein etc. and they do not contribute to high Cholesterol, unless one is predisposed to high lipids in the blood.. (as per recent research). The no. of eggs should be restricted to 1-4 in a week! Not to forget that eggs go into the making of a lot of confectionery products as well, at home. This should also be considered.
              7. Red Meat/Meat of bigger animals should be avoided at all cost. Mutton maybe very delicious to the taste buds and a gratification to cook at home and places of formal eating, but it is a strict no-no as far as good health is concerned. Its fibers arc very much loaded with fats.
              8. Country chicken is always better-they run around a lot and their flesh is tastier as well than poultry bred chicken!!! Chicken should always be taken with the skin removed preferably before cooking. Ideally eggs of such country chicken are good to taste and good for health also. Duck’s Eggs are tastier but rich in Cholesterol!
                Recently the eggs of Quail birds are available locally too.
              9. Green vegetables and at least one serving of fruits should be present in the platters of all meals. Bananas are good in conditions of constipation/diarrhea but they are fattening as well as they contain a lot of calories. ( Bananas are an item with high GI –Glycaemic Index–They can be taken in moderation from time to time. People suffering from ‘Acid Peptic Disorders’ should refrain from Oranges and all sour fruits.
              10. Dry fruits – recommended best ones are Almonds and Walnuts. Cashew nuts although are common and tasty, they are rich in lipids. Peanuts are very good as well.
              11. Chocolates in general should be taken occasionally-but the darker ones with cocoa are said to be now good for heart, as per recent research, although in moderation .Teeth must be brushed at all times after ingesting chocolates to avoid Dental Caries and related conditions by people of all ages, more so children.
              12. Microwave Cooking is to be discouraged-as it robs the food element of their nutritious values! Microwave ovens can best be used as Food Warmers.
              13. The pattern of eating should ideally be when you leave the dining table you feel as if you could have eaten some more………..!!!
              14. Brown Bread is better than White Bread. But Breads again should be taken in moderation, to keep a check on carbs.
              15. Visits to places like McDonald’s and KFC should be avoided in principle, particularly if children are there in the family. Deep fried junk food is just not advisable for good health for persons in any age group-particularly kids and adolescents.
              16. Not to hit the bed immediately after lunch/dinner. It is better to sit upright for about half an hour (watching TV can be done) before one retires tor the day. This prevents conditions of Reflux Oesophagitis/ Heartburn/Waterbrash etc. which are very common. One should not stoop down to do anything just after main meals!
              17. It is better to avoid eating in between principal meals-as this distorts the real appetite and calories cannot be controlled.
              18. Given the option between Tea and Coffee – it is better to go for Tea. Due to its Tannin content, it acts as a good anti-oxidant. (An anti-oxidant is a substance which mops up the potential carcinogenic radicals in the human body.)
              19. Salad dressing/salted preservative added food/fruit Cocktails/ Creamy pastries/ Pudding/ concentrated Kheer products/ Cheese/Butter/ Non-skimmed milk are better avoided.

Few topics relevant to people with certain known disease conditions:

Persons known to have Renal/Ureteric Stores should refrain from eating tomato/related products. A lot of water should be consumed daily.

              1. Persons known to have Diabetes/with father or mother a known diabetic, should maintain a vigilant Diet Chart at home and also, as much as possible outside home. Everything can be taken but in moderation, depending on one’s body weight. What matters is the daily calorie consumption in the guidance of a Dietician or a Doctor.
              2. People with Diabetes should ‘keep their feet as clean as their face’. It is a very well believed saying, respected by Doctors and well educated patients alike. Diabetics are very prone to develop foot ulcers which do not show a tendency to heal can cause big problems to the patient and Doctors and many people have ended up losing their limbs (by amputation) simply arising out of sheer neglect of themselves and their Physician’s advice !!!
                A word of caution here – today children are also diagnosed to suffer from Diabetes simply out of leading an erratic life style!!!
              3. Elderly people with Diabetes for many years are typically prone to have some of the following. So their care takers should be aware of them:
                            1. Silent Heart Attacks – which has a high mortality;
                            2. Sudden Strokes ending up with paralysis of different grades;
                            3. Sudden infective episodes inside their system requiring urgent Surgery;
                            4. Sudden/Early Blindness arising out of a process called Retinopathy…even Cataracts;
                            5. Damage of Kidneys-causing renal failure and heading for dialysis etc. which are very expensive, even by Indian standards and the outcome is always grim;
              4. People with Hypertension (High blood pressure) should try to lead a stress free life, with regular checkup of BP) and medication from Doctors. Long standing improperly treated Hypertension can also lead to damage of Eyes/Kidneys/Heart etc. excess salt on the dining table to be avoided, salt may be used, albeit sparingly in the kitchen.
                ( Less than 5-6 gms a day)
              5. Persons suffering from both ‘Diabetes and ‘Hypertension’ need to be doubly cautious with respect to their day to day life, follow-up with Doctors, dietary habits and medications. All the potential complications of these silent killers get multiplied in such people, but with regular supervision from medical personnel they can lead very compatible normal lives.
              6. Persons known to suffer from a condition called as “Gout” need to have a real look into their diet and consult Doctors when they have episodes of acute pain in joints etc. This is usually due to a genetically inherited metabolic deficiency of an Enzyme, which takes part in Purine metabolism in the body. Simple analgesics after seeing a Doctor may be tried and usually the attacks subside within a few days, in some cases other medication are required and even to go on for life in resistant chronic cases. Beer is to be strictly avoided in such patients and Red Meat and certain leafy vegetables too, should be avoided from their Diet.

I think this has been a synopsis of handy health tips- which all good samaritans of this country need to know-.in order to lead a healthy life here . I have chosen this simplistic approach, as it is easy to be followed by lay persons, avoiding complicated terminology which might intimidate the readers and will defeat the purpose. The List is exhaustive and it goes on and on! It is only a humble effort to pick up a glass full of knowledge from an Ocean of the same . Parents should be rather strict on their children on many such issues. Working men and women must take care of themselves in an adequate manner as hinted above . Elderly people must be closely taken care of by their sons/daughters and taken to visit Doctors if something sinister really comes up with them.
Good Luck and Good Health to all my brethren & friends – young and old.

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DIABETES MELLITUS

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What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes is a condition in which an abnormality in the metabolism results in high glucose level in the blood due to defective insulin production, secretion or utilization.

Classic Symptoms

  1. Increased thirst
  2. Excessive urination
  3. Fatigue
  4. Delayed recovery from infections
  5. Increased hunger
  6. Sudden unexplained weight loss
  7. Delayed healing of wounds

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Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Disease in low-income community

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Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) are leading cause of premature mortality. According to Indian State-Level Disease Burden Initiative report, disease burden of India has shifted from Communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (CMNNDS) to non- communicable diseases over the period of 1990 to 2016 from 37.9% to 61.8%.

 

Risk segment and socio-economic impact of NCD

Though major NCD diseases are associated with old age people approximately 42% of all NCD deaths globally occurred before the age of 70 years. Children, adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors contributing to NCDs. Poverty is another factor closely linked with NCDs. In resource constraint setting of healthcare, NCDs increases out of pocket expenditure of an individual or sometimes loss of breadwinner of the family forcing many families below the poverty line. Vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people get sicker and die sooner than people of higher social positions, especially because they are at greater risk of being exposed to harmful products, such as tobacco, or unhealthy dietary practices, and have limited access to health services.

 

Chronic Disease Prevention Programme, an initiative towards NCD management:


iKure together with MIT Sloan School of Management in the District of Paschim Medinipur, iKure initiated a study on NCD with randomly selected 500 people in test group. The initiative is measured following parameters to get greater insight on the contributing factors towards cause of NCD. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), Hb1AC, Systolic Blood Pressure, and BMI are collected to derive the analytics. Using power BI tool following trend has been identified where 25% of all respondents suffered from type1 diabetes, 43% type2 diabetes, 11.8% with high cholesterol, 65.6% hypertensive and 5% obese. Though it is surprising to know such trends were known to affect the elite group, but our findings shows the emergence of NCD trends even in low-income community group.

Moreover, the High-cholesterol, High Blood pressure and High pulse rate was a common trend among identified high risk CVD patient found in 8.4% of the population.

Further, we found high risk CVD zone affected mostly within 56-80 years of age group.
Case of Diabetes was found between 41-56 years age group and females are marginally more prone to diabetic in the catchment areas.

The clinical observation was recorded during door-step screening, monitoring, and doctor’s consultations. The high-risk patients were provided tertiary care through telemedicine platform and appropriate medication. Awareness was created by the CHWs on self-management, prevention and control on NCDs.
 

Conclusion:

In the heterogeneous country like India, iKure is putting the right step forward to achieve WHO’s global targets for prevention and control of non-communicable disease by 2013-2020.

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Integrated approach to healthcare

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Never sees how rich or poor you are or neither judge you being affluent or dissolute, but when it hits, it hits equally hard to all of us- helpless, clueless and money less! In India, where the healthcare is being the most neglected for decades, and accessibility, affordability and quality underpinned with political and policy discourses, people have little hope left, as they witness the deeply rotten system within.

While the govt. is making every amendment to make quality care and treatment available at fair and affordable price, the balance between public needs with commercial aspirations has failed to bring efficiency in the system.

But this can be solved, if we look at the healthcare system in totality but not in isolation and I am happy iKure has put the right step forward where it seems health as an outcome of a holistic and integrated effort. Though started at a minuscule level, iKure is looking at health in totality as against in silos. We are bringing path-breaking innovation, sustainable approaches and best players under one roof that are seamlessly integrated across and impact every levels of the larger system.

Though the clamor of the rising healthcare costs, inefficient system and highly compromised quality create havocs in one’s mind during any episode of illness, iKure serves its beneficiaries with a difference, where it not just treats illnesses but creates good health by acting in totality. This integrated approach will be the game changer in future bringing efficiency in the system to serve better and act responsibly.

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iKure reducing status of anemia by increasing knowledge and healthcare practices

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In India, anemia is identified as a serious health issue where half of the country’s women of reproductive age are anemic. Despite the fact Government of India has implemented several initiatives for eradicating anemia, only 13 per cent improved women cases have been registered as per Global Nutrition Report 2017. Anemia is linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm delivery and intrauterine growth retardation and associated with various maternal morbidities like fatigue and postpartum depression & increased maternal mortality.

Finding the solution to anemia in rural health iKure’s Community health worker’s follows a step-wise approach to improve status of anemia in its catchment areas namely Hubli, Tabageria and Varanasi. With scheduled home/ camp visit as well as in Hub & Spoke clinic, iKure extends care in the following ways:

 Early detection: Early diagnostic is a first step towards the cure. With Low-cost point-of -care devices, iKure provides diagnostic services at the door Step/Camps/Hub/Spoke to ensure high coverage and penetration of its cost effective care to every women and across the remote belt.
 Awareness building: iKure believes that if expectant women knew of the impact of anemia, they would surely not forget to take the supplement. Informing women about the possible side-effects of these supplements, such as black stools and nausea, also helps improve knowledge and understanding. iKure’s health workers with their stronghold in the village community create awareness among the rural population regarding appropriate feeding practices – including exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, and optimal complementary feeding during the first 2 years of life which are crucial for avoiding the development of iron deficiency anemia.

 Regular screening and follow up: Most of the health initiative undertaken by the Government provides iron and folic acid supplements but assurance against consumption is not adequate. Regular follow up by the CHWs improve consumption patterns.
 Targeting Vulnerable groups in a strategic way: Women at reproductive age and the children below 5 years are the most vulnerable group of Anemia. iKure target this vulnerable group in a fragmented way by their specific programmes like school health programme; MCH programme and special screening programme through workgroup and self-help group.
 Distribution of Toolkit: iKure develops creative tools to create awareness among the population. These toolkits are delivered when a patient visit iKure’s clinic. It is a handy way to spread the message regarding anemia.

 Conclusion :- Awareness building in appropriate feeding practices reflects in 90% mothers who have started breast
feeding within 1hr of delivery and has positive effect on improved birth weight. 51% child within 0 to 6 month of age and 31% child between 6 to 12 months of age were identified with no development delays minimizing adverse outcome of anemia in pregnant women.

Identifying anemia is vital because anemia can go undetected until it becomes severe. The multi- factorial disorder needs extensive communication campaign and technology to detect and treat anemia. iKure continues to bridge the gap through improved health practices, nutritional counselling and sanitation and hygiene practices.

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The Main Types of Vaccines

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Adapted from: National Network for Immunization Information) Copyright 2000, and the National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The safety and effectiveness of a vaccine depends on how it is made and what it contains. There are four main ways to develop vaccines:

 

Live attenuated vaccines contain bacteria or viruses that have been altered so they can’t cause disease. Killed vaccines contain killed bacteria or inactivated viruses. Toxoid vaccines contain toxins (or poisons) produced by the germ that have been made harmless. Component vaccines contain parts of the whole bacteria or viruses.

 
 

Live Attenuated Vaccines

Live attenuated vaccines usually are created from the naturally occurring germ itself. The germs used in these vaccines still can infect people, but they rarely cause serious disease. Viruses are weakened (or attenuated) by growing them over and over again in a laboratory under nourishing conditions called cell culture. The process of growing a virus repeatedly-also known as passing–serves to lessen the disease-causing ability of the virus. Vaccines are made from viruses whose disease-causing ability has deteriorated from multiple passages.

 

Examples of Live Attenuated vaccines:

Measles vaccine (as found in the MMR vaccine)
Mumps vaccine (MMR vaccine)
Rubella (German measles) vaccine ( MMR vaccine)
Oral polio vaccine (OPV)
Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
Inactivated (Killed) Vaccines
Inactivated (killed) vaccines cannot cause an infection, but they still can stimulate a protective immune response. Viruses are inactivated with chemicals such as formaldehyde.

 

Examples of Inactivated (Killed) vaccines:

Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), which is the shot form of the polio vaccine
Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
Toxoid Vaccines
Toxoid vaccines are made by treating toxins (or poisons) produced by germs with heat or chemicals, such as formalin, to destroy their ability to cause illness. Even though toxoids do not cause disease, they stimulate the body to produce protective immunity just like the germs’ natural toxins.

 

Examples of Toxoid Vaccines:

Diphtheria Toxoid Vaccine (may be given alone or as one of the components in the DTP, DTaP, or dT vaccines)
Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine (may be given alone or as part of DTP, DTaP, or dT)

 

Component Vaccines

Some vaccines are made by using only parts of the viruses or bacteria. These vaccines cannot cause disease, but they can stimulate the body to produce an immune response that protects against infection with the whole germ. Four of the newest vaccines are made this way.
Examples of component vaccines: Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HIb) Vaccine/Hep B Vaccine/Hep A Vaccine/ PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)

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Health Screening

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Due to our lives getting complex with the passage of time, this topic assumes an enormous dimension, for the upkeep of a healthy society. ”Health Screening” is the need of the hour for every member of a progressive nation, helping build a sound future of a country.

Health Screening‘ is almost a mandate today, in view of the huge amount of disease conditions which are ascribed to….largely faulty Lifestyle…. responsible for essentially preventable and timely remediable ailments… broadly speaking.

This preventable and holistic approach should be made available to the public at large, in rural, semi-urban and urban settings, where the community is scattered and located.

Primary prevention is the buzzword today, in the medical fraternity,thereby on one hand preventing increasing morbidity and on the other hand relieving people of the disease and financial burden implicated in all such cases.

* An overall glimpse into the contemporary ‘Health Screening’ recommendations may be found as below (although the list is by no means exhaustive)…

 

1. General Survey of persons of all ages… at a recognized health facility… to discover physical abnormalities…related to a disease.

2. Diagnostic modalities… such as…

Blood tests…. to rule out Hypertension/Diabetes/Lipid disorders/ Stones in the Urinary system/Acute & Chronic viral affections… like HIV/Hepatitis A,B,C &E,/ Tumour Markers(as decided by the Physicians)

Stool for Occult Blood… to rule out Large Intestinal Malignancy

Prophylactic Colonoscopy… to rule out Cancer of the Large Intestine…for diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

PAP smear (In women)… to rule out Cancer of the Cervix

PSA (In males)… to rule out Cancer of the Prostate (beyond results due to enlarged Prostate)

Mammography and/or USG… to rule out Cancer of the Breast

Lung Cancer Screening….to those who have been long smokers…to rule out Carcinoma-Lung.

Oral cancer screening measures… to detect early Oral Cancers

Periodical USG-Abdomen of subjects…to keep an eye on the many abdominal organs… affected by hectic lifestyle measures. etc. to name only a few of the modalities for this gigantic objective.

This campaign should be widely propagated to mitigate the suffering of humanity from a large No. of Disease entities which are largely preventable and even if detected early ,can be claimed to be curable… as per international guidelines and evidence based Medicine.

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SMOKING

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Smoking is a commonly abused potential to inhale tobacco/ items of substance abuse in the form of smoke through the upper naso-pharyngo-laryngeal passage. The list of substance(s) which could be taken in this manner is quite huge today… a few being… tobacco and a gamut of items under the heading of ‘substance abuse’.. Like opium and its derivatives.. in the form of heroin/cocaine/methamphetamine/PCP/cannabis etc etc.

The most commonly adapted form of Smoking menace is that of Cigarettes/ Pipe smoking/ Tobacco manipulated in many other forms. For those who smoke, it is the mindset which initiates this habit which then culminates into addiction. Youngsters feel it makes them look and act like mature adults with an obvious imaginary style quotient attached with the habit. Persons of slightly older age find that it is an essential habit to relieve them of stress of day to day life and many who feel it helps them to ease bowel habits and then cannot kick the practice as time goes on!

Although various governments across the globe have restricted out smoking in almost all the public areas like passenger transport… such as airports & aircrafts / train stations and rail compartments / public gathering areas-like cinema halls/auditoriums/malls etc. , public awareness is still not up to mark to curb/ get rid of the habit. To add to the woes…stopping tobacco sale is simply not achievable due to the commercial stakes involved in a large scale. The health hazards of Smoking can look like a big list of diseases… some prominent ones being…Hypertensive and other Heart Diseases /Oro-pharyngeal cancers/ Gastro-esophageal Lesions/Stomach

Cancer/Respiratory Conditions like COPD etc. If a person quits the habit of smoking, the good results start kicking in with immediate effect but the damage done to the body cannot be undone!

For such a vast country like ours, the impact of this single habitual menace can easily be understood which causes a huge burden of disease to the already overburdened health system of this country, but results in a mammoth scale of morbidity and mortality which is easily looked upon in the realm of preventable illness. As true Samaritan of India, we can only hope that this problem gets addressed some day and people are freed from the slavery of such potentially harmful addiction… to lead healthy lives.

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Malaria

 

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Malaria is a dreaded disease since primitive times and time immemorial.

There is no statistics on how many lives has been lost since the dawn of civilization, from this preventable malady…this far.

It is a vector borne disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium species transmitted by the ubiquitous mosquito…Anopheles type…the female variety.

The parasite variants are Plasmodium Vivax/Plasmodium Falciparum/Plasmodium Malariae and Plasmodium Ovale responsible for causing the different clinical types of Malaria, each with different characteristic features and morbidity potentials.

The essential symptoms are Fever with chill and rigor and a subjective combination of headache/nausea/vomiting/abdominal ache/body pain etc.in an apparently non-complicated case of malaria. In complicated cases, the signs and symptoms become more sinister.

The fever often takes a typical periodical rhythm and gets the typical name of Tertian/Quotidian types of fever…associated with other typical/atypical symptom complex. Out of the whole galaxy of Malaria variants, what is dreaded most by the medical fraternity is Falciparum Malaria…which often ends up with fatal complications unless treated promptly and appropriately. The usual complications are affection of the central nervous system (Cerebral Malaria) manifested by convulsions and passing of black urine ( hence the name of Black Water Fever)….due to massive intravascular haemolysis of the parasitised RBC-s and the haemoglobin finding its way out through the kidneys….ending up with Renal failure… ! However with prompt and adequate treatment ,the complications may be avoided completely !

The treatment of Malaria is simple following its correct diagnosis and goes by a certain protocol adapted from country to country depending on the epidemicity of the disease and the resistance/susceptibility pattern of the region to the different drugs meant for the same. The basic tenets of malaria treatment remains the same guided by the parasite species and the nature of treatment required…..prophylactic / therapeutic. Travellers destined for Malaria prone areas are recommended to undertake Malaria prophylaxis prior to travel in those countries.

For some species relapse of Malaria isa big potential problem and some typical medication needs to be taken to prevent this relapse,due to characteristics of its lifecycle in the Red Blood corpuscles in blood/liver…over a certain period of time.
Some typical drugs used in Malaria prophylaxis / treatment /relapse control are..Chloroquine/Mefloquine/Quinine/Artemisin group of Drugs/Primaquine etc. guided by the indication of the type of approach required.

Prevention of Malaria is a daunting and herculean task targeted to different strategies of vector control ,through adult and larvicidal measures and adopting self protective measures like avoiding mosquito bites at all costs and steps to drastically reduce the adult mosquito population through strategic measures.
Emphasis should be placed on diagnostic approach to Malaria by proper facilitation of blood collection through Smear preparation on slides….thin and thick smears ..and identifying the exact variant of the parasite and its density.

Immediate treatment begins as soon as results are available and confirmation is also seeked through Immunological Tests for Malaria. (Malaria Antigen)…on select cases,as per the decision of the clinician.
Trained manpower is also a perquisite in Malaria control at all stages of its management approach.
In spite of adopting all the recommended measures in Malaria control…old and new….the menace of the disease is far from over and the human race needs to take particular precautions to prevent its transmission and spread to the community and keep the mortality as low as possible !

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iKure’s effective technology integration to address public health data challenges

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“It is not because countries are poor that they cannot afford good health information; it is because they are poor that they cannot afford to be without it.”
– Health Metrics Network, World Health Organization

Introduction
Health data is of paramount importance for public health policies, programs, budgets and evaluations, forming a strong ground for effective implementation and the basis for optimum health functions. Even a small scale data resource can turn highly effective to estimate highly resolved health effects. However, India’s existing health information remains skewed with large gaps in data collection, dissemination and analysis. With burden of diseases on the rise and the Millennium Development Goals’ deadline drawing closer, addressing the data challenges has grown imperative for effective healthcare delivery.

Data Challenges in India’s public health system

India’s public health department is limited with health statistics cadre with little or no statistical training. The system continues to lack data management, analysis, interpretations of large-scale public policies. Further, issues related to standardized health data collection. The aggregated data are collected and tabulated using different reporting formats by the health record department which leads to dublicacy and redundant data capture. Another challenge of the public health system is the medium on which records are stored. Health departments maintain paper based format and very few of them have opted the computer medium.

With the continuous emphasis of collecting and maintaining correct data for medical and research purposes, another obstacle among record keepers of recent trends is data utility. The practice for data collection is not well known and request for data collection is often misinterpreted.
With the given issues on data collection and sharing, the quality of data obtained from different locations also varies. Key data points when captured are difficult to accurately translate into a common language, which can influence the quality of data.

Integration of patient’s data using technology

The potential of health information technology in transformative healthcare delivery has achieved significant traction, but such technology holds huge potential in streamlining the aggregated data into aunified data management system to address the data challenges in public healthcare system.

iKure’s healthcare delivery is enabled by cloud hosted technology platform that seamlessly integrates various cutting edge technology allowing collection, display, transmission of patient’s generated health data accurately even with least human interface.

Mobile health technology holds great potential to address the data challenges, since it has reached in various segments of the population that have been underserved by healthcare settings for ages. The rapid growth of consumer mobile health market reveals that patient’s interest and use of mobile technology for sharing and receiving information have grown extensively.1 The high rate of adoption for digital technology presents massive opportunity to track patient’s clinical health outcomes, better characterize the behavioral and environmental effects on health and intervene constantly to improve health.2
For example, a basic cell phone is used to collect and disseminate information, identify locations, social contact and connectedness and these opportunities expands with the use of modern applications, computing power, and interface capabilities such as smart phones, wearable devices and m-health applications.

iKure’s Data sources

iKure believes health data will influence every step of the healthcare cycle, from patient experience to care delivery, innovative model and medical research. iKure helps medical practitioners analyze data creating a single data repository.
The data collected through various sources are stored through following medical devices:

Point-of-care diagnostics: iKure’s use of various point-of-care testing device such as digitalized ECG, glucose tests, Blood pressure etc., that create continuous streams of data which can be leveraged by medical field to interpret trove of information for early detection and diagnosis.

EMR Technology: iKure provides quick access to EMR, creating complete atomization of its patient’s medical records. Leveraging algorithm with machine learning, it offers medical experts to answer specific questions based on patient’s health rather than from global and national statistical averages.


Telemedicine platform: iKure extends access to healthcare for the underserved population through telemedicine platform. This has enabled iKure patient’s get access to specialized care in rural areas with no proper infrastructure. As its long term benefits is still unknown in medical research, studies on doctor’s effectiveness to collect patient’s information through digital settings can offer better insights and outcome on patient’s health.

Data for Research Analysis

iKure leveraging disruptive technology innovations are bringing together diverse kinds of data including socio-economics, environment, and genetic information along with individual health status, behavior and outcomes providing a powerful resource for medical research to pose new questions, uncover new findings and validate hypotheses. Towards this, iKure is working in association with Tandem Research organizations, which aims at developing and applying technology to detect early diseases and maximize the potential of its patient database to achieve high efficiency and make meaningful impact in patient’s life. This project will bring meaningful insights drawing from the field of Science and Technology Studies to develop frameworkto understand the sociology of the user and development of ethical and safe AI applications to protect user’s interest and privacy. It will draw qualitative information that is essential to understanding the socio-cultural factors that affect the system and the patient.

Data for Drug Trials and Analysis

With the ability of iKure to capture real-time patient’s health data, it presents wider scope for pharmaceuticals to leverage such data for clinical trials and analyze drug usage. Collaboration with iKure will provide access to million patients’ database providing granularity where pharma companies will know if there is greater benefit of using certain drug for a particular health issues based on highly specific characteristics. Going forward, we aspire to work with Pharma companies wanting to market-test their drugs usage and new trials. We intend to collaborate with public health agencies that are looking to understand what kind of treatments are efficacious and can be plugged together with regard to specific epidemics and save data collection costs.

Conclusion

In view of the privacy challenges related to Data access, iKure is using anonymization algorithm to effectively preserve both patient’s privacy and data utility. iKure’s data anonymization ensures balance between data utility and required participant data privacy. iKure is also using high security measures for the Data Security & Privacy.

References
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5603303/
2. https://www.nih.gov/sites/default/files/research-training/initiatives/pmi/data-collection-mobile-technologies

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