Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 19th July, 2019

Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on Wednesday.

“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” said Dr. Tedros. “Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances. We all owe it to these responders -- coming from not just WHO but also government, partners and communities -- to shoulder more of the burden.” The declaration followed a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for EVD in the DRC. The Committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The Principles of Joint Protection

The following principles are the foundation of patient education in joint protection.

  Respect pain

  Distribute the load over stronger joints and/or larger surface areas

  Avoid maintaining the same joint position for prolonged periods

  Reduce excess body weight

  Use good posture and body mechanics

  Use the minimum amount of force necessary to complete the job

  Simplify work by using efficiency principles: plan, organize,
   and balance work with rest

  Remain active to maintain and increase strength and range of motion

Japanese encephalitis

India is facing JE spurt of cases in Assam with multiple deaths. Many of these cases are acute encephalitis syndrome with negative JE test.

The government should think of doing virtual post mortum of all deaths.MRI is more sensitive than CT scanning for detecting JEV-associated abnormalities such as changes in the thalamus, basal ganglia, midbrain, pons, and medulla.Thalamic lesions are the most commonly described abnormality. They can be highly specific for JE in the appropriate clinical context

The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 allows establishment of DNA
Data Banks

The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 was re-introduced in Lok Sabha on July 8, 2019. The Bill provides for the regulation of use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of missing persons, victims, offenders, under trials and unknown deceased persons.
The primary intended purpose of the new Bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country......read more

Cabinet approves setting up of National Medical Commission

Union cabinet has approved the National Medical Commission Bill 2019. The Bill provides for setting up of a NMC in place of MCI and repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

Salient features

  The Common final year MBBS exam to be known as National Exit Text (NEXT) would serve as licentiate exam, for entrance to     PG medical course and as screening test for foreign medical graduates.

  The Bill provides that the national entrance test (NEET), common counselling and NEXT shall also be applicable to Institutes     of National Importance (INIs) like AIIMS to have common standards in the country.....read more

Self-esteem in Mythology

For spirituality, one needs to control two things, first, lust and then the ego. Among, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha and Ahankara, ego and lust both are slow poisons and do not allow one to be spiritually healthy. There are many examples of how to control ego in mythology. Fundamentally, it is said that one should learn to kill ego of oneself and never hurt the ego of others......read more

Healthcare News Monitor

32 ATM-like dispensers to dish out drugs in Tamil Nadu

Times of India

Chennai: A self-service kiosk that dispenses drugs like an ATM machine will be placed in 32 places, including 23 government medical college hospitals and urban primary health centres in cities such as Chennai, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Wednesday. The machines will dispense drugs for tuberculosis and chornic ailments such as diabetes and hypertension. “Patients don’t have to stand in long queues outside pharmacies. A QR code in the prescription will be used to dish out the right drug,” said a senior health department official. Initially, at least 32 such kiosks, to be set up at a cost of Rs 80 lakh, will dispense 32 drugs, the CM said

The kiosks will allow medicines to be stored and dispensed near the point of care while controlling and tracking drug distribution. “We want patients to make complete use of free medicines offered by the government without hassle,” said a senior official. Medicines in the state are purchase by the Tamil Nadu Medical Service Corporation and are given for free to patients treated in state-run hospital.

3 Ways Google Is Taking Healthcare Tech to New Heights

Health Tech

Recent business moves by Google and its parent company Alphabet prove that the tech giant is investing heavily in artificial intelligence and data with hopes to reinvent the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. Staffing and corporate acquisitions are chief among them. In November, Google hired David Feinberg, the former CEO for Geisinger Health, to lead the company’s Google Health initiative. Days later, it absorbed DeepMind Health, part of a British artificial intelligence company that produced an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors. Both strategies are key to developing a wide range of complex and intuitive tools. “AI holds the potential for some of the biggest advances we are going to see,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said last year at a town hall event in San Francisco. “You know whenever I see the news of a young person dying of cancer, you realize AI is going to play a role in solving that in the future, so I think we owe it to make progress.” Here’s a look at some of the transformative technologies in development: 1. AI Helps Doctors Complete Routine Tasks - Google, in conjunction with Stanford Medicine, is beefing up an early-stage research project called Medical Digital Assist as it explores ways to use artificial intelligence to improve visits to the doctor’s office. The primary aim: using Medical Digital Assist to leverage speech and voice recognition technologies that can help physicians with note-taking and paperwork.

Resident doctors face two-fold risk of contracting TB: study

The Indian Express- Anuradha Mascarenhas

Resident doctors are twice as likely to contract tuberculosis (TB) as compared to other nursing students, a study conducted by the B J Medical College (BJMC) and Sassoon General Hospital has found. “Medical residents have been found to be at higher risk for Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) than other students in indicating high TB disease exposure in the workplace,” said Dr Aarti Kinikar, BJMC professor and one of the lead researchers of the study ‘High risk for latent tuberculosis infection among medical residents and nursing students in India’, which was published in PLoS ONE on July 8. The researchers studied 200 healthcare workers comprising postgraduate medical residents and nursing students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at BJMC and Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) between May 2016 and December 2017.

Enhancing delivery of quality health care: Biomedical engineers act as a bridge between modern medicine, engineering

Firstpost - S B Sinha

As per the World Health Organisation's (WHO) sustainable developmental goals (SDG 3), by 2030, countries should substantially increase health care spending to recruit, train, and retain skilled health care professionals (HCPs) to substantially reduce the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). From the accessibility of thousands of innovative medical devices to increasing skill sets of HCPs, patient safety is now recognised as an indispensable arm of a healthcare setting. At a time when innovations are promising solutions to hitherto unmet medical needs, the call is now, more than ever to have professionals who can drive this change. This is where biomedical engineers (BMEs) become an indispensable part of the health sector. Let’s understand why. Working alongside the HCPs are BMEs, responsible for the overall inspection, management, and regulation of existing and future medical devices. Often, unsung heroes, a BME is the brain behind managing crisis during an entire treatment procedure. While a doctor diagnoses and treats a patient, a BME ensures the medical devices function as per the requirement and is usually the first respondent to any emergency caused by technical malware. From the concept to market reach and clinical trials, BMEs are part of the health care ecosystem contributing to meeting the SDGs, especially universal health coverage.