Special oral health hospitals across India soon

The government plans to set up hospitals exclusively for oral health care at both the national and regional levels, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Thursday.

Special oral health hospitals across India soon

“Facilities for dental treatment and oral health are still inadequate in India. In rural areas, they are practically absent,” he said while inaugurating the Centre for Oral Health Promotion at the Centre for Dental Education and Research at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.

The minister said the coming years would see more investment in dental hospitals and colleges at the national and regional levels.

These would have the latest sophisticated equipment and research facilities.
The new centre at AIIMS has been recognised by the World Health Organization as a partner.

“Doctors on their own should act as points of dissemination of information on positive and healthy habits,” Harsh Vardhan said.

“While the government will do its duty of framing policies and schemes and implementing them, it would require the cooperation and involvement of all to make ‘health for all’ a social movement,” he said.

Source: yahoo news

New discovery promises low cost test for breast cancer

breast-cancer-drugIn a major advancement for breast cancer treatment in the country, doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai have developed an effective and comparatively cheaper method of diagnosing the possible spread of tumour in the breast.

A team of surgeons led by Dr Anurag Srivastava, professor and head of the surgery department at AIIMS, employed the use of a cheaper dye – fluorescein as a tracer material – during Sentinel node biopsy to map the apparent spread of the tumour. The fluorescein, when injected, illuminates under an ultraviolet light.

The mapping technique helps to determine whether the cancer cells have spread out from the tumour and into the surrounding lymph nodes and a tracer material is used during sentinel lymph node mapping in breast cancer.

Until now isotopes and blue dye were used as agents to examine lymph nodes to determine whether the cancer has spread and to what extent. The isotopes are then detected by the use of Gamma Detection Pro machine, which costs around Rs 20 lakh.

Presently, this mapping technology is available with only four hospitals in India — All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow; and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

Hence, the treatment is very costly and out of reach of many hospitals in India.

Dr Srivastava told India Medical Times, “Three-four years back, we surgeons were sitting and contemplating how we can make breast cancer treatment an affordable treatment. Till now, technology used is quite expensive and many hospitals cannot afford to install it. So, we started working on the novel idea in 2010 at Tata Memorial Hospital and in 2011 the research was started in AIIMS. We researched on about 40 patients at both the hospitals. We used fluorescein during Sentinel lymph node biopsy, instead of isotopes, which are commonly being used and are very costly. Fluorescein costs about Rs 30 or so. Fluorescein is also successfully used during a fluorescein eye stain test.”

“When we used Fluorescein, it appeared that it had the same pick up rate as that of an isotope. The dye appears green and quickly detects the possible spread of tumour in the lymph nodes of armpits of a woman affected with breast cancer. The sentinel-node identification rate using the new technique was 97.5 per cent. The lamp that we used to beam ultraviolet light costs a few hundred rupees. Hence, the whole process is very affordable to be used by any hospital,” he said.

Doctors from AIIMS, who were a part of the team led by Dr Anurag Srivastava are — Dr V Seenu, professor of surgery; Dr Anita Dhar, additional professor of surgery; and Dr Amar Prem, resident doctor, surgery department.

Dr Srivastava now plans to popularize the treatment. He said, “We are going to talk about the research in detail at a conference to be held in Kolkata from June 12-15. We are soon organising a meeting at AIIMS with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to highlight the research, its benefits and application. I want that every single patient should be benefitted by low cost treatment.”

“We can now help hospitals provide a quality treatment without compromising with their budget by an effectively mapping technology. We would never want denial of cancer treatment for lack of accessibility. The technology should be soon adopted in treatment of breast cancer,” he said.

Source: India medical Times

IIT-Delhi student develops pocket sized haemoglobin metre

An innovative device developed by a student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi could soon make examining haemoglobin and identifying anaemic cases an easy and quick process. In what could be a breakthrough in the field of biomedical sciences, Ambar Srivastava of IIT has developed a haemoglobin metre named as the TrueHb Hemometer to test haemoglobin.

TrueHBThe pocket sized haemoglobin metre is the first case of an innovation from the biomedical engineering department of IIT-Delhi actually getting productized. Developed at the IIT’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering with funding received from the Technology Development Board of the Department of Science and Technology, the device will help in early identification and dealing of anaemia cases, which is a major silent killer in India and is the underlying cause of a majority of maternal and foetal deaths in the country. The department was established in 1971 as a joint venture between IIT Delhi and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to develop healthcare technologies.

AIIMS New Delhi has already authenticated the device for its effectiveness. AIIMS tested the effectiveness and accuracy of the TrueHb in a laboratory set up and found a high level of accurate measure of the haemoglobin level.

Dr Renu Saxena, professor and head of the haematology department at AIIMS New Delhi, told India Medical Times, “Yes, we have tested the efficacy of the TrueHb Hemometer here at AIIMS and I can say it is quite an innovation. It is smart, accurate and cost effective.”

Ambar Srivastava, ?founder and managing director, Wrig Nanosystems, told India Medical Times, “I started working on the idea in September 2010. Bioelectronics has been an area of my interest and I am very passionate about it. I started thinking of this concept during my second year of B Tech, IIT Delhi. After completing my graduation and masters in B Tech, I decided to go for PhD but then I thought why not build this product and start my own company. I learnt a lot from people at IIT, especially my professors. My seniors and a couple of my friends too encouraged me a lot.”

To commercialise and bring the device to the doorstep of every healthcare centre, Srivastava established a company, named Wrig Nanosystems, to produce TrueHb Hemometers.IIT-Delhi student invents device to test haemoglobin

Srivastava said, “I started Wrig Nanosystems Pvt Ltd in 2010. Our product is based upon our patent pending technologies, is only of its kind from India and far superior in performance than others in the world. It is comparatively very affordable, pocket sized, and world class in quality. It will transform healthcare and make the decision taking process faster and accurate. This technology is ultra-convenient, weighing around 60 grams like a glucometer with just a tiny drop of blood from a pinprick on the disposable strip. It not only reads the accurate level within 45 seconds, but also stores upto 1,000 such readings. It can be charged like a mobile phone and allows up to 300 tests per charge. The CBC (complete blood count) counter is the gold standard for haemogram tests in labs. It could cost Rs 4-20 lakh, is at least twice the size of a personal computer and needs regular power supply. Though price of the new product is still to be finalized, but it is going to be much cheaper than any other device available in the market.”

“Right now we are busy finalizing the strategy for launching the first bulk of the product on pilot basis in the Delhi/NCR region,” he said.

Srivastava further said, “It was the combined efforts of people from different disciplines — Biochemistry, Micro-optics, Embedded Electronics, Computational Algorithm, Electrochemistry, and Industrial Designing. The development of such devices is highly multi-disciplinary and requires optimum balance of application of different fields in a right manner. Being a research and development organization, we are currently developing similar ultra-portable and affordable devices for all other blood testing profiles, which are expected to be innovated soon.”

He said, “We have an objective to change the entire healthcare paradigm globally. Today, a doctor writes a test and patients go to path labs for test which in turn is produced to the doctor after some days. We want to cut down that cycle entirely. Providing quick and affordable devices to doctors would cut down the need to go to the path labs, and with our devices 60-70 per cent cases would get tested at doctor’s clinic itself. This is where revolution in faster, smarter and wider healthcare delivery will begin.”

Srivastava further said, “I think doctors should open up in adopting such new technologies which may make their caregiving faster, convenient and affordable. They should be open to the changes that technology is bringing to make healthcare delivery system smarter. For other players that are involved in healthcare equipment research and manufacturing, I believe it is our moral duty to ensure that the deepest corner of the world should have access to our services. If a technology cannot benefit the majority, then the fundamental definition of an innovation loses its ground.”

Handheld devices are an upcoming wave in healthcare and are expected to revolutionize the entire healthcare system in the future. Soon, common people will be able to perform self-tests conveniently in their homes, record and maintain their medical data and monitor their health regularly, provided such innovations are researched and commercialized with domestic funding and support. Once such devices are made available, the average life expectancy of individuals can potentially be increased by a minimum 10-15 years through effective regular home health monitoring.

Source: India Medical Times

AIIMS doctors devise new technique for complex spine surgery


Doctors at AIIMS have devised a new technique for complex spine surgery involving the joint at the upper part of the neck that supports and articulates with the head.

“The procedure called ‘distraction, compression, extension and reduction (DCER)’ removes the compression over the spinal cord and also reduces the deformity through a single surgery performed only from the back of the neck,” said Prof P Sarat Chandra (Dept of Neurosurgery) who conceptualised the innovative surgery.

The surgery normally is arduous, requires two separate procedures performed at the same sitting or in two different sittings and is a full day job, explained Chandra.

It first involves drilling out the piece of bone compressing the spinal cord (operated through the mouth) followed by a second procedure performed from behind the nape of neck resulting in stabilising the head and neck using rod and screws.

Surgery in this area is quite complex, technically demanding and requires intensive training. However, this procedure reduces the time of surgery by 50 per cent and has also been shown to reduce the rate of complications and hospital stay significantly.

The complication involving this area (called technically as atlanto-axial dislocation and basilar invagination) results in the uppermost portion of the neck slipping from its articulation with the base of the Lead causing compression of the spinal cord.

If untreated, the patient develops weakness of all limbs, becomes incontinent, bed-ridden and finally succumbs to the disease, said Chandra.

“The technique currently does not require any special instrumentation and utilises the existing instruments to perform a 2-axis motion which reduces the deformity,” stated Prof BS Sharma (Dept of Neurosurgery) who also has been part of the study.

The concept of the technique is connection based on the law of levers, first described by Archimedes, Prof P Sarat Chandra said.

He further added that the technique will be of immense use for our patients as it does not require any additional cost, reduces the hospital stay and also the complication rate thus benefiting the patients and the hospital in the long run.

The initial results of this procedure has been published in various prestigious international and national journals and has been also presented in various conferences.

Source: Business standard

AIIMS ties up with Australian University for improving trauma care in India

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has tied up with Australia’s Alfred Health and Monash University to strengthen trauma-care systemsacross the country.

Under the project, both the countries will exchange and share their trauma care services, expertise and research information to improve trauma care systems.

The Australian and Indian Governments are investing over 2.6 million dollars through their Australia-India Strategic Research Fund Grand Challenge Scheme, to find the best ways of delivering needed care to injured people.

“Trauma-care systems in India are at a nascent stage of development. Industrialised cities, rural towns and villages co-exist with almost complete lack of organised trauma care. There is gross disparity between trauma services available in various parts of the country,” said Dr Subodh Kumar, Additional Professor of Surgery, Jay Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS.

Rural India has inefficient services for trauma care, due to the varied topography, financial constraints and lack of appropriate health infrastructure, he said, adding there is no national lead agency to co-ordinate various components of a trauma system.


Further, he said that, there is no mechanism for accreditation of trauma centres and professionals exists.

“A nation-wide survey encompassing various facilities has demonstrated significant deficiencies in current trauma systems,” he said.

The project will be led by AIIMS Director and AIIMS trauma centre chief M C Mishra.

The National Trauma Research Institute is also a lead partner in the collaboration.

The bilateral research and development collaborative sponsored by the Government of India and the Australian Government will be announced at the sixth International Congress–TRAUMA 2013, to be held here between November 8 and 10.

The event is being organised by the Indian Society for Trauma and Acute Care (ISTAC) along with the AIIMS Trauma Centre.

Source: The Economic Times