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Pioneer Health

The dicoveries

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TECHNIQUE IN NEUROSURGERY

One of India’s most innovative neurosurgeons, Dr Atul Goel of KEM Hospital in Mumbai, developed a technique that is becoming the global standard for treatment of basilar invagination (when the second cervical vertebrae migrates upward, potentially compressing the brain stem). He calls his technique the Atlantoaxial Facetal Distraction and Craniovertebral Realignment, which is replacing the standard technique of surgery through the mouth.

QUICK BUG IDENTIFICATION

Doctors in Delhi can take pride in combating the vicious strain of antimicrobial resistance that was named the New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase 1. This year, Dr Raman Sardana of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital brought India its first MALDITOF-Vitek automated microbial identification system. The underlying science is mass spectroscopy that analyses the molecular signature of a specimen to identify a bug in minutes.

PERMANENT EYE COLOUR

If you are curious what an eyecare hospital like Vasan Healthcare has to do with silicon implants, you may not have heard of the biggest (baddest?) medical breakthrough of 2012. This year, Dr Shibu Varkey performed India’s first permanent eye colour change in Trichy. He does it using silicon implants so small that they’d make even Smurfette snicker. The implants come in grey, green or blue in various shades. Dr Varkey delicately inserts an implant in the front of the eye to naturally unfold and cover the iris with the new chosen colour.

VACCINE TO COMBAT HEPATITIS C

In India, 20% chronic liver disease has one cause: Hepatitis C virus which spreads through blood contact and affects 12 million people. It causes severe liver problems, sometimes even ending up in cancer. In February this year, a team of scientists led by Professor Saumitra Das, developed a vaccine that could produce the antibodies to fight the virus. Right now, the vaccine is still being tested on animals, but the results are promising, according to Das.

LENDING A HAND

Organ donation came a long way. That kidneys, eyes, liver, skin and intestines can be donated is common knowledge but Indian doctors now have the know-how to transplant hands from a brain dead person. The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi, successfully conducted two hand transplant surgeries this year. The success rate is 100 per cent. The good news is that the surgery follows similar procedures that one follows for donation of kidneys and liver.

SUPER CONNECTOR

2017 was a defining year for Telemedicine which grew roots in many parts of the country with rapid advances in communication technology and infrastructure. High speed Internet reached many far-flung areas bringing costs down and pushing Government agencies as well as private players into setting up telemedicine projects. The launch of DigiGaon, a Government-run telemedicine service facilitating the improvement of national healthcare goals, is another ambitious plan. An evolution in the e-health space in terms of technology. Through ease of access to information and health services, people from remote locations can also have access to quality healthcare. 

 
 
 
 
 

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