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Covid provided fillip to digital medical care ecosystem: Health Secy

12/08/2022 at 10:20 PM

New Delhi, Aug 12: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Friday said the Covid pandemic has provided the fillip to the ecosystem of digital medical care while citing the examples of electronic ICUs or tele-ICUs, and tele-consultations.

Reiterating the implications of pandemic on medical teaching and medical care, Bhushan said the Central government is expanding these services by taking technical advantage of internet and mobile technology penetration in the country.

“These avenues are being pushed forward at the ground level for ensuring accessibility, affordability, equity along with quality of healthcare services,” said Bhushan.

The Health Secretary was speaking at the inauguration of 3rd National Conference “ERMED Consortium: Digital Health Resources: A reality” in the presence of Dr. (Professor) Atul Goel, DGHS at National Medical Library, here on Friday.

National Medical Library’s Electronic Resources in Medicine (NML-ERMED) Consortium is the flagship electronic resources consortium by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, wherein access to 228 e-journals are being provided round the clock to 71 states and Centrally-funded government institutions including all the AIIMS.

Building on this strong ground work, libraries must also come up with innovative best practices so that it can help cater to the needs of our medical professionals, he highlighted while inaugurating the conference.

He said that rapid transition has been taking place be it from print and manual learning resources to electronic forms.

“But, we must not lose sight of the bigger picture that India is perhaps one of the few countries in the world that is observing significant expansion of medical institutions in the recent times. Hence, we must be careful in adopting global technological practices and must take into account our local needs.”

While highlighting the presence of vibrant research community in India and technological prowess which needs to be further encouraged, Union Health Secretary mentioned about the CoWIN platform that has been able to robustly serve not just our citizens with more than 2 billion vaccine doses recorded digitally but has been hailed as a global best practice.

He urged the stakeholders to come up with similar digital platforms and create homegrown best practices where Indian methods and Indian solutions dominate the digital spaces.

The prime focus of ERMED is helping medical colleges to comply with NMC guidelines, standardize care across all clinicians, reduce variability in care, enable safe patient care, drive appropriate drug use and prescribing behaviour, decrease medical errors, stop unnecessary diagnostic testing, shorten length-of-stay, lower mortality rates, exposure to the latest research, information development, scientific and technological progress.

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