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IIT-G, TMDL, & NHM join hands to revolutionize healthcare in Assam

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) has joined hands with Tata Medical & Diagnostics Ltd. (Tata MD) and National Health Mission, Assam, Health & Family Welfare Department, Govt. of Assam, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the Tata MD’s Healthcare Model for augmenting public healthcare delivery in the Kamrup district of Assam by establishing a Digital Nerve Centre. The MoU was signed today, on 1st December 2023 by Dr M.S. Lakshmi Priya, IAS, MD, NHM Assam, Girish Krishnamurthy, MD & CEO, TATA MD, and Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Dean PRBR, IIT Guwahati.

The event was graced by Keshab Mahanta, Hon’ble Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Science and Technology, Information & Technology Departments in Govt. of Assam, Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO TATA MD, Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, and dignitaries from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, State of Assam, TATA MD and IIT Guwahati.

Speaking during the MoU signing event, Hon’ble Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Science and Technology, Information & Technology Departments in Govt. of Assam, Keshab Mahanta, said, “We are extremely excited that Tata MD, under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, is setting up the transformative Digital Nerve Centre Model in the state of Assam. We are grateful to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IIT Guwahati for partnering in this initiative. With this MoU, we mark the beginning of a unique transformative journey that holds the promise of better health outcomes, enhanced accessibility and facilitate local employment in this project. We are committed to bringing advanced healthcare to every household with technological interventions. I believe this MoU will cater to the needs of the people in healthcare by providing easy access and better treatment.”

One major highlight of this project will be Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s involvement as the strategic partner to provide inputs and share learnings of adapting and implementing innovative models, as well as taking the learnings from the initiative to other states and globally to ensure more women and children have access to lifesaving care.

Speaking about this project, Dr Rajani Ved, Director-Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, “We look forward to working under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, Government of Assam and partnering with Tata MD and IIT Guwahati to help in implementing innovative ideas and accelerating the progress to reach our common vision of health for all.”

To implement this project, a Digital Nerve Centre – Command Centre (Hub) will be established at IIT Guwahati campus with technical, IT and physical infrastructure setup, and vendor coordination support from Tata MD. Another major initiative of this pilot project will be to setup Digital Nerve Centre (DiNC) components at Healthcare Centres in 30 District Hospital (DH), Community Health Centres (CHC), Primary Health Centres (PHC), and Sub-centre (SC) in Assam.

With the Digital Nerve Centre – Command Centre (hub) established at IIT Guwahati, NHM will be able to deploy systems and technologies to implement the Healthcare Model for augmenting public healthcare delivery. These include:

  • A cloud-based patient registration system
  • Pre-Planned visit for out-patient consultation (Appointment system)
  • HealthX platform of Tata MD to build the patient medical record progressively
  • A centralized Concentric Data Repository (CDR) system
  • Technology to support Virtual Consultation
  • Tab/mobile based DiNC Application for the healthcare workers
  • Dashboarding tool for DiNC implementation among others

Along with this, IIT Guwahati will provide an office space to set up this centre at no cost, running and managing the operations at DiNC, and will conduct research and drive technology led innovation in healthcare domain.

Speaking about IIT Guwahati’s participation in this pilot project, Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Dean PRBR, IIT Guwahati, said, “We are extremely excited to host the Tata MD’s Digital Nerve Centre at IIT Guwahati campus. This collaboration is a unique example of Industry collaborating with Government and Academic institute, in delivery of healthcare to millions of people in the country. This project is an amalgamation of Technology, Processes, Network and the masses, which serves as a robust ecosystem to deliver efficient healthcare to millions of citizens. We are elated to be the first Academic institute to deploy the pilot project with the support of NHM Assam, TATA MD and Gates Foundation. This will provide a great opportunity for thousands of students at IIT to learn and practice innovative interventions in healthcare delivery.”

Apart from this, the DiNC will work towards generating ABHA IDs for the entire North Guwahati block, streamline referral services to provide preplanned appointments, ensuring efficient and timely referrals of patients requiring specialist care, Improving Digital Literacy of ASHAs, CHOs, MPWs and ANMs, Virtual consultations with DiNC Doctors, and augmentation of Public Health Programs including:

  • Reproductive Child Health
  • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram
  • Mental Health Care
  • Non communicable Diseases

Speaking during the event, Girish Krishnamurthy, MD & CEO, TATA MD, said, “Given the public health leadership system established by the Government of Assam, and with the support of IIT Guwahati as the academic partner, I am confident that this project will create a significant impact. Our system aims to address the five most important fundamental philosophies, including Continuous Care, Connected Care, Proactive Healthcare Management, Patient-Centric Model, and Patient Care. Under the aegis of the Government of Assam, Tata MD is committed to providing all possible support to IIT Guwahati to launch this pilot project. With the help of all stakeholders, I am certain that Assam will become a leader in creating a unique healthcare model for the nation.”

The Tata MD’s Healthcare Model for augmenting public healthcare delivery is a first-of-its-kind model in the North Guwahati block that will focus on enhancing government programs, providing continuous, connected, proactive, patient-centric, and closer-to-patient care services. The model will introduce four new layers such as network, platform, process, and people to provide end-to-end care coordination services to patients. Along with this, the existing health programs will also be augmented and delivered with close coordination with the Govt. of Assam – Health & Family Welfare Department, and all its stakeholders for a holistic healthcare transformation. India Education Diary

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