Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Dr Mohan Z Mani

"Thank you very much for having published my article in record time.I would like to compliment you and your entire staff for your promptness, courtesy, and willingness to be customer friendly, which is quite unusual.I was given your reference by a colleague in pathology,and was able to directly phone your editorial office for clarifications.I would particularly like to thank the publication managers and the Assistant Editor who were following up my article. I would also like to thank you for adjusting the money I paid initially into payment for my modified article,and refunding the balance.
I wish all success to your journal and look forward to sending you any suitable similar article in future"



Dr Mohan Z Mani,
Professor & Head,
Department of Dermatolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018




Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."



Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018




Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
Knowledge is treasure of a wise man. The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
As an experienced dentist and an academician, I proudly recommend this journal to the dental fraternity as a good quality open access platform for rapid communication of their cutting-edge research progress and discovery.
I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."



Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."



Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help ones reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journalsNo manuscriptsNo authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011
Anuradha

Dear team JCDR, I would like to thank you for the very professional and polite service provided by everyone at JCDR. While i have been in the field of writing and editing for sometime, this has been my first attempt in publishing a scientific paper.Thank you for hand-holding me through the process.


Dr. Anuradha
E-mail: anuradha2nittur@gmail.com
On Jan 2020

Important Notice

Reviews
Year : 2010 | Month : June | Volume : 4 | Issue : 3 | Page : 2570 - 2576 Full Version

Convergence E-Health Services Under A Unified National Health Grid For India


Published: June 1, 2010 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2010/.774
DESHPANDE G S, DESHPANDE S R, NALINI G K

* Assistant Professor in Microbiology, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka (India) **Associate Professor & HOD Biochemistry, Malabar Medical College, Calicut. *** Associate Professor in Pharmacology, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan Karnataka.

Correspondence Address :
Gayathree Srinivas Deshpande
Address: #45, Govt Doctors Quarters, HIMS campus, Hassan, Karnataka, (India)
Telephone: +91-9480158773
email:gaya3doc@yahoo.com

Abstract

Though the budgeting for health has increased in recent times and we see a robust network of quality public and private health centres across the nation, the budgeting for e-Health technologies have not received the Indian health planner’s adequate attention. The heart of e-Health efforts should be an efficient mobile based short messaging network which is very much available at a common man’s price. A back up network of call centres like Project M of Africa will not be difficult for a nation that provides call centre back –up and technologies to the world. Convergence E-Health Services under a Unified National Health Grid hold good prospects for a big overpopulated country like India, with a poor and inefficient health infrastructure.

Keywords

Broadband internet, SMS, mobile telephony, e Health grid, Internet and Communication technology (ICT) for Health

Introduction
Though the budgeting for health has increased in recent times and we see a robust network of quality public and private health centres across the nation, the budgeting for e-Health grid technologies have not received the Indian health planner’s adequate attention (1). Consequently, convergence technology derived health benefits have not yet reached the poorest and the rural Indians who lack access to hospital care by the modern medicine doctors because of the vastness of the country and the uncontrolled population explosion in spite of the significant Internet and communication technology (ICT) progress made by India (1) ,(2)

e-Health Initiatives in America
The American Federal Communication Commission’s rural project based on e- Health grid initiatives supports the connection of more than 6,000 public and non-profit health care providers nationwide to broadband tele-health networks. (3). The basic health care facilities networked by the commission are hospitals, clinics, universities and research centres, behavioural health sites, correctional facility clinics and community health centers (1), (2), (3). Telehealth and telemedicine services provide patients in rural areas with access to critically needed medical specialists in a variety of practices including cardiology, paediatrics and radiology and in some instances, without leaving their homes or communities (1), (2), (3). Intensive care doctors and nurses can monitor critically-ill patients around the clock and video conferencing allows specialists and mental health professionals to care for patients in different rural locations, often hundreds of miles away. Similar e-Health care grid initiatives have been reported in Australia, Europe, Canada and Uganda (1), (2), (3). This article focuses on the various information and communication technology (ICT) led developments that have revolutionized the face of health care provisioning all over the world. We also envisage a futuristic health grid model for taking care of the masses of the Indian population who do not have access to rudimentary health care.

India has to think of making its planners go the ICT way for creating awareness, for providing adequate resources for the introduction of ICT, for providing curative services and for the referral of tele-health services. The convergence of e-Health services with the traditional health services under a unified national health grid will be the only solution to cover the vast tracts of India where doctors do not exist or are unable to provide efficient care (1),(2),(3).

Working Smarter, not Harder for Rural Health Provisioning
Similar exemplary tele-health broad band and telephonic networking efforts are needed to be made to supplement traditional health caring in public health centres and the centres of health caring excellence in India and other developing world nations which have mal-distribution of medical manpower, in order to dispel the health care provider shortages (2). Indian governmental spending has increased on health care provisioning in the recent times and we see a robust network of public health centres across the nation catering to the public (2). Good bandwidth is now available in India and seamless interconnectivity is now possible across the country, though in the area of broadband, India has a lot of catching up to do. The advent of text messaging has made possible new forms of interaction which were not possible before. Thus, Short Messaging Services on the mobiles or SMS is hugely popular in India, where youngsters often exchange lots of text messages and companies provide alerts, infotainment, news, cricket scores update, railway/airline booking, mobile billing and banking services on SMS (1), (2), (3).

Providing More Broad Band for Better Health
Internet connections are increasing the flow of health care services and information, spurring innovation in the health networks and in the applications that travel through the networks. We are seeing the emergence of a new opportunity, a communications and information infrastructure that has the potential to advance the economical and social well-being of all countries and all people in spite of poor GDP. The World Bank estimates that a 10-percentage-point increase in broadband penetration corresponds to a 1.2-percentage-point increase in GDP in developed countries and even higher increases in the developing world (1), (3).

Digital and Mobile Networks
The ICT revolution is being driven by two powerful technological forces which also operate in the field of Healthcare provisioning: first, digital -- including the dramatic growth of the Internet and IP-based networks of health -- and second, the mobile networks largely used for social contact. The socio-economic growth from ICT has now extended to personal finance and millions are now accessing banks through their cell phones; farmers are said to earn more, while consumers pay less as a result of ICT-related efficiencies (1),(3). In addition to fostering socio-economic health, we see the potential of broadband in fostering physical health -- bringing medical expertise and information further and faster than previously thought possible in far flung inaccessible regions of the world. We see the potential of broadband in improving education -- connecting students and teachers from different villages, cities, even countries. We see the potential of broadband in improving responses to disasters and emergencies (1), (2), (3).

ICT Is Needed To Manage the Health Care Providers and Educators
Today, many Public funded hospitals are set up under the national Rural Health Mission (3) and many medical dental college hospitals across India provide health services efficiently. But all efforts seem to be in isolation for a country whose engineers provide cost effective electronic networks for the developing world and provide health care workers for the western nations. There seems to be darkness in the health care connectivity scenario as well as in efficient health care provisioning, both in the private as well as public health sectors of India (2), (4).

As a nation, renewed honest effort should be made by Indian government to implement Information and communication technology for health care provisioning of the India’s poor without access to health services. It is believed that broadband is the future of mobile, and also that mobile is a key part of the strategy for broadband (3), (4), (5).

Messaging Network for Parti cipatory Health
India's robust telecom infrastructure is the result of a controlled and phased growth which is coupled with strong policies. Today, most people have a mobile connection in most of the urban areas of India and many parts of rural India are covered by an efficient communications network. The Indian mobile market continues to expand with regular new entrants (4),(5),(6). Most of the middle class of India have email ids and use the internet regularly for education, scientific research and collaboration. The SMS or short messaging service is a very popular method of networking across the classes and has been put to efficient uses for social networking, product marketing, etc.We strongly believe that the SMS technology, being simple, has facilitated the development and the growth of efficient text messaging and may be useful in spreading health awareness, health education and health promotion in any nation.But efforts have not been made towards the spreading of health care awareness or health education. In short, there is ample scope for the use of this cheap technology to reach out to the masses and to request their support in health care provisioning for a healthy nation. Ideally people should participate in their health empowerment. It is also a corporate social responsibility of various corporates involved in the ICT business to empower Indians in e-Health. (4),(5),(6)

Unified National Health Hotline and Messaging grids like the Global Public Health Intelligence Network
(GPHIN), (7), developed by Health Canada in collaboration with WHO, have served as a secure Internet-based multilingual early-warning tool that continuously searches global media sources such as news wires and web sites to identify information about disease outbreaks and other events of potential international public health concern. Similar Health care hotlines as a concept are yet to arrive in the Indian society, in spite of the advances in ICT here. 7We envisage a network which is very similar to the above dedicated service providers under the Health ministry and the Home ministry, which can incorporate state level and district level health hotlines and messaging networks and also sub-district and city level health telephonic hotlines and messaging networks. Similar networks do exist already, with regards to the home department gathering intelligence about the society, including health at both the national and state levels (7), (8), (9).

The Role of the Cable Based Internet
Today, Indian citizens have access to the television (TV) and Indian TV channels have been very innovative with regards to the health needs of the society and have often initiated several national health debates and often carry free health related advertisements. The overall concept of health messaging through the electronic media including the radio has been successfully employed in India. However, the Indian Cable network has to be modulated to suit social or health messaging, but still these media have a lot of potential apart from providing internet access to villages. 10

Unified National Health Grid
A networked Indian health care system under the leadership of the Indian Medical Association, All India MD/MS/DNB Doctors Association, the Qualified Medical Practitioners Association, the Homeopathic and Ayurvedic doctors associations, the Indian Medical Council, the Indian Dental Council and the Nursing council, as well as dental nursing, physiotherapy professional associations and all health sciences universities across India, can do wonders for the patient e-Health caring. Such an e-Health grid should be accessible to all patients and should reduce the inefficiencies within the health care delivery services of India (10), (11).

Even another second health grid can also be envisaged and an online network using the SMS technology to reach all the health care providers including the unqualified practitioners should be attempted for redundancy in health networking. Fjeldsoe et al have recently published a review of research which examines the application of SMS for various health behaviour change interventions (11). A large number of studies were published last year (2008) which reported on the developmental work of SMS programs or on SMS trials that were in progress, which indicates that research into the health behaviour change via SMS is increasing. They found that most of the studies which were conducted to date (10/14 studies) had focused on the management of chronic diseases, predominantly using SMS as a reminder service to increase the adherence to treatment programs among sick individuals (i.e. blood glucose monitoring among diabetic patients). Less than half of the studies (4/14 studies) had focused on promoting preventive behaviours to healthy individuals (i.e. smoking cessation or healthy nutrition). Some researchers (12) found statistically significant, positive changes in behaviour in more than half of the studies (8/14 studies). These are said to be promising results for the future of SMS in health behaviour change research (11), (13), (14).

Project Masiluleke (“to give wise counsel” and “lend a helping hand” in Zulu), 15or Project M, is designed as a 3 stage test to assess the ability of mobile technology to help reverse the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis crises in South Africa and across the continent. The goal is to connect citizens nationwide to critical health-related information, as well as lifesaving HIV and TB resources. The first stage of the project uses “Please Call Me,” or PCM, text messages - a special, free form of SMS which is widely used in South Africa and across the continent - to deliver approximately 1 million HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) messages each day for one year to the general public. The messages connect mobile users to existing HIV and TB call centers where trained operators provide the callers with accurate healthcare information, counseling and referrals to local HIV and TB testing clinics. After three weeks of beta testing, Project M had reportedly helped triple the average daily call volume to the National AIDS Helpline in Johannesburg.

To handle this surge in calls, Project M uses virtual call centers where existing help-lines will be augmented by teams of highly-trained, highly-adherent HIV+ patients who will field questions via their mobile devices from the general public. These peer counselors will be closely vetted, trained and will represent “gold-star” patients - extremely knowledgeable about their illness, diligent about their treatment regimen and intimately familiar with the weight of an HIV+ diagnosis. These virtual call centers truly hold the potential to create hundreds of new jobs and to considerably increase the capacity of South Africa’s health system. We don’t see any reasons for not incorporating similar initiatives in India or world wide. With the possible philanthrophic help of various corporates and ICT leaders like Nandan Nilekani, Sudha Narayanmurthy, Azim Premji and others we can do better than Project M even here(16), (17),(18).

“Please Call Me” x 1 Million x 365 for India
The first stage of the project for Project M built around the use of specialized text messages, delivers approximately 1,000,000 HIV/AIDS and TB messages each day, for one year, to the general public. These messages were broadcast in the unused space of “Please Call Me” (PCM) text messages – a special, free form of SMS text widely used in South Africa and across the continent. Utilizing technology from the Praekelt Foundation, message content from iTeach, design insights from frog design, and network capacity donated by MTN, the messages are known to help connect mobile users to existing HIV and TB call centers. Trained operators provide callers with accurate healthcare information, counseling and referrals to local testing clinics. Within its first months, this service sent out over 300 million messages, helping triple the average daily call volume to the National AIDS Helpline in Johannesburg. Similar efforts can help India. A more robust HIV project and National AIDS Control Organisation can help India in developing such a 24x7 SMS based ‘please call me’ network (15).

New ICT Weapons to Defeat Paediatric Diseases
Health-e-Child was started in January 2006 as an integrated project of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission and is now delivering revolutionary medical services to its participating institutions across Europe. As a consequence to ICT investment, European healthcare professionals can now freely and seamlessly use the Grid environment to conduct large studies and exchange expertise within the Health-e-Child European excellence network. The platform handles medical data ranging from genetics to imaging and clinical examination data by synthesizing those in a cohesive unified whole. This harmonized view of the data is said to form the basis of personalized treatment, comparison and the identification of the classes of different individuals, based on their biomedical profiles. Regardless of their location and thanks to a simple USB key, physicians are able to connect to the system and navigate through the European population of children who are enrolled in their studies, to quickly identify similar cases having been treated and to check how they recovered, ultimately impacting on their decision making or simply helping at better understanding rare patient conditions (16), (17).

In a world that is increasingly dependent on ICT, the Indian government and technocrats can also think of investing to develop an ICT-based health care system. Except a few health care centers and hospitals that have deployed a semblance of ICT for things like data collection and management, the Indian public health care system is not automated and needs attention. Once implemented properly, such an an e-health system can help all citizens, especially the rural to gain access to better health care delivery through ICT (17)

We feel that ICT has to be clubbed with higher bandwidth to establish health care information systems which can cut across primary, secondary and tertiary health care systems. It can also enable the deployment of convergence technologies for the development of drug information and records, for the study and control of epidemics, for provisioning health insurance, for research and the dissemination of information, for distance learning in the health profession and to reduce average health costs and to improve the health system’s productivity (15), (16), (17).

The Indian government would achieve these objectives by capitalizing on the existing global ICT infrastructure such as e-mail facilities that could connect medical, nursing, dental and other paramedical rural health personnel in India with their peers in India’s academic institutions and health universities (15),(16),(17).

ICT skills training should be included in the curricula of all medical and paramedical educational institutions in India. Training would not only connect medical personnel, but would aid in the development of software packages for health care delivery, primarily to support clinical work and hospital management. As a tool to survey national health threats, the national health grid can be exploited to teach ways of preventing the transmission of HIV and to educate patients and their families on palliative measures, providing them with information through online conferences where they can share their experiences. The short messaging service will be a valuable help at hand in all such endeavours (15),(16),(17).

Adequate national, social and individual state level and district level budgeting for a similar unified network of ICT providers, working in unison with the health service providers of the nation, will offset the existing health infrastructural defects and serve as an efficient health forecasting tool. HIV control, malaria and epidemic control will become a reality and will remove pandemic associated health nightmares of the health providers and the public at large. The heart of such efforts should be an efficient mobile based short messaging network which is very much available at a common man’s price. A back up network of call centres a la Project M of Africa (16), (17) ,(18) will not be difficult for a nation that provides call centre back –up and ICT technologies to the world. Such networking can be easily attempted in the private sector under the leadership of Medico-Friends Circle or the CEHAT which have a significant say in the Indian Health care thought process and regulation (15),(16),(17).

Conclusion

Abbreviations
GDP=Gross domestic product, SMS=short messaging service, ICT=Information and communication technology
CEHAT= Centre for Enquiry into and Allied Themes HIV=Human immunodeficiency Virus

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