All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology-Delhi have started a collaboration to advance digital health.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
AIIMS and IIIT-Delhi had previously worked on some medical AI projects, including the development of predictive models for sepsis, gastrointestinal tuberculosis, and antimicrobial resistance.
Their latest memorandum of understanding essentially builds on their prior collaborations to further work in the various aspects of digital health. In particular, they will focus on AI, ML, and computational genomics to promote research around clinical medicine, public health, and biomedicine.
They also seek to contribute to the government’s Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission by creating a universal health coverage framework to ensure access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
All these will be facilitated through joint research and training, workshops and seminars, and faculty and student exchanges.
“There is also provision for identifying and supporting intramural funding for co-funded projects and developing joint courses under this MOU. We hope to leverage each other’s strengths to create a larger impact in the healthcare space,” added IIIT-Delhi Director Prof. Ranjan Bose.
WHY IT MATTERS
In India, most healthcare infrastructure (75%) is concentrated in major cities where only 27% of the population resides; the rest of the Indian population lacks access to such resources. For every 1,000 patients, there are only 1.4 beds. In some government hospitals, one doctor is attending to about 11,000 patients, which is way above the recommended doctor-patient ratio set by the WHO.
AIIMS and IIIT-Delhi’s partnership ultimately seeks to solve such major health challenges, specifically the access to healthcare in remote and underserved areas, by bringing forth innovations in mobile health, AI, interoperability, cybersecurity, and other allied areas. Aside from healthcare delivery, they also aim to improve patient care and health outcomes.
“This [MOU is] a platform for getting together faculties with diverse domains from two top-notch institutions and facilitating them to converge towards attaining objectives which may have a direct impact on patient health care and research in multiple areas,” said AIIMS Director Prof. M. Srinivas.
THE LARGER TREND
IIIT-Delhi has been engaged in multiple collaborations to promote technologies to improve patient care and medical education. In late 2021, it tied up with the Indian Institute of Technology to set up the first medical collaborative robotics centre in India. The Medical Cobotics Centre is a medical simulation and training facility for young health professionals to train in minimally invasive surgeries.
In other related news, AIIMS in New Delhi is currently embarking on a digital transformation with plans to fully implement the e-hospital HMIS by the National Informatics Centre this year and an all-digital payments facility starting this April.