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Connecting India to create a medical soft power and a world leader in providing novel treatments

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Dr Abhishek Bharadwaj Sharma
Dr Abhishek Bharadwaj Sharma
Dr A B Sharma is an expert cancer biologist with an international experience from the United Kingdom, Germany and Luxembourg. Currently working to improve brain cancer treatment at the Department of Oncology, Luxembourg Institute of Health, Luxembourg. He is involved in defining the fundamental aberrations of cancer cells and finding the new treatments. Dr Sharma is interested in improving the treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Independent India has existed for more than 73 years and with the current population 1.3 billion, the medical health services need a lot of reformations. India remains a developing country and with the current burden of maintaining the health quality of the world’s second most populated country, it is ranked 145 out of 195 countries in terms of access to health care (according to a Lancet research paper). In India, the system provides the medical care responsibilities predominantly via the state government and the synchronisation between the federal and the state government remains crucial for pan India health care management. India needs a centralised patients database which could be further used to make the subcategories of the existing medical problems. To find novel treatments and attract the world to India for its medical problems.

Combining all medical centres

Without the federal and state government database and its centralisation with mutual sharing, it is nearly impossible to estimate the exact medical reforms and the specific care required across different geological population’s medical needs. For instance, the Ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease associated with SCA2 mutation is most frequent in the eastern parts of India, so the resources, research funding and policy to ease the life for patients with such diseases should be enriched in the associated Indian region. 

Several reports are present for individual hospitals reporting their database for specific medical conditions for example cancer hospitals reporting their studies with registered patients but the merger of all the states and national cancer database would help us get the picture of the bigger problem. While the problem of remotely located patients with lack of facility drive them to bigger cities, remains an obstacle as these same patients are then registered at a different location which may distort the interpretation from the individual organisation databases. For this, although nothing new to suggest, important to stress the need of uniformly present medical facilities throughout the pan India which are equally equipped and supported by highly trained professionals. 

Bringing Information Technology Sector To All The Hospitals

The collaboration between the Indian IT giants with the private and government medical centres are a necessity to develop these data-sharing scaffolding networks. This will additionally help our IT industry boom further with the creation of more jobs, indeed a much-needed step during the covid19 crisis and with increasing unemployment rates.

Converging data to explore the fundamentals and discover treatments

Further, the expansion of molecular cell biology laboratories which are well present throughout India (ICMR, CSIR, DBT, IISERs, IITs and ICAR labs) and doing extensive work should be well connected with these databases to identify and work on various medical problems at the causative level to discover the novel treatments. The fact that we are not the first one to make an effective vaccine for covid19 and deliver it to the world, tells us that we need to pace up our medical research developments. It is noteworthy to highlight that the generic medicine and vaccine mass production capacity of India are excellent, however, India should invest more in understanding the fundamental aberrations of the diseases at the molecular and cellular level to increase the novelty in the medical industry. To generate the genetic, epigenetic and transcriptomic databases at the regional level and exchanged at the national level. This will further help us to develop precision medicines catering to individual profiles. The better collaboration between the patients treating professionals and medical scientists can give us a significant lead, thereby giving India an extra edge to become the world a leader in developing the novel treatments for common global medical problems. 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, collaborations between IT industry, medical public and private centres, and the research institutes with government initiative and monitoring will create a great setup for better Indian medical care accessibility and improve concurrent treatments. Indeed, all this means India has to increase its medical, education and research budget significantly.

In the end, in the current world, the data is power and centralized database from the whole of India, from more than 1.3 billion people will empower us with the knowledge which no other country can get alone. From there it will be the onus on the medical doctors and scientists to lead India to its full potential, making India a global medicine power hub. A power of Swadeshi and make in India, a world centre for global medical knowledge.

References/Sources:

Fullman, Nancy, et al. “Measuring performance on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index for 195 countries and territories and selected subnational locations: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.” The Lancet 391.10136 (2018): 2236-2271.

Sinha, K. K., Worth, P. F., Jha, D. K., Sinha, S., Stinton, V. J., Davis, M. B., … & Bhatia, K. P. (2004). Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia: SCA2 is the most frequent mutation in eastern India. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry75(3), 448-452.

Jalali, R., & Datta, D. (2008). Prospective analysis of incidence of central nervous tumors presenting in a tertiary cancer hospital from India. Journal of Neuro-oncology87(1), 111.

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Dr Abhishek Bharadwaj Sharma
Dr Abhishek Bharadwaj Sharma
Dr A B Sharma is an expert cancer biologist with an international experience from the United Kingdom, Germany and Luxembourg. Currently working to improve brain cancer treatment at the Department of Oncology, Luxembourg Institute of Health, Luxembourg. He is involved in defining the fundamental aberrations of cancer cells and finding the new treatments. Dr Sharma is interested in improving the treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
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