C-DAC to help malaria and TB patients in NE

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Sakal Times
March 26, 2016

A technology-driven disease tracking system developed by city-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will enable speedy medical aid to malaria and tuberculosis (TB) patients in the North East.

After successful trials of Mobile-based Surveillance Quest using IT (MoSQuIT), the malaria tracking system, C-DAC has teamed up with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and local health departments to launch the TB surveillance system.

The focus will be on patients residing in highly inaccessible and hilly regions in Assam, Tripura and neighbouring states. The hub of all tracking systems will be the Regional Medical Research Centre in Dibrugarh, Assam.

This centre will house the medical history of affected persons, the visits by medical staff and prescribed drug doses. Apart from this, the centre also has a drug alert system connecting hospitals or health care centres and a deceased's family, besides also a round-the-clock monitoring facility for drug-intake and disease follow-ups.

C-DAC scientist Dr Ganesh Karajkhede said, "While malaria or TB cases are reported everywhere in the country, the challenge in the North East is the accessibility to medical facilities. People there are still largely dependent on government-run hospitals. However, now using technology, disease tracking and medical aid will improve significantly."

The state governments, too, have played a supportive role in implementation of the system, said Joint Director of Applied Artificial Intelligence (AAI) Group of C-DAC Anuradha Lele.

"Our systems will store all disease-related information of patients and help easy diagnosis and treatment through the government machinery. The state health departments have steered forwarded this application's reach in this region," said Lele.

With MoSQuIT, diagnosis reports are obtained instantly as opposed to a seven-day leap time when done manually by health workers. Similarly, the updated stock of medicines can also be obtained online instantly, which would otherwise need up to seven days.

'Integrated disease surveillance soon in NE'

While C-DAC has so far focused on two diseases, in the future, it plans integrating major illnesses prevailing in the North East. "Our work in developing an Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) is underway. Local government bodies are involved in the same," said Associate Director of AAI Ajai Kumar.