Research university in Bombay launches new centre for digital health
The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay announced end of last week that it has set up the Koita Centre for Digital Health, with the support of a “generous contribution” from non-profit organisation Koita Foundation.
WHAT IT DOES
With the intent to “drive academic programmes, research, industry collaboration in digital health”, KCDH’s academic research focus areas will include clinical applications, healthcare data management, healthcare analytics, healthcare machine learning, among other things.
According to IIT Bombay, the centre will offer minor, dual degree, Masters, PhD programmes in the Healthcare Informatics field. KCDH also seeks to conduct outreach programmes for healthcare industry professionals, in hopes of enabling them to act as force-multipliers.
KCDH hopes to foster strong collaborations with digital health partners such as hospitals, medical research institutes, healthcare NGOs, governmental organisations. In doing so, KCDH may establish joint academic research programmes.
The research university also said that KCDH is establishing an advisory board comprising healthcare professionals, industry veterans, academics. The board will guide the overall vision progress of KCDH.
Concurrently, KCDH looks forward to working closely with the Koita Foundation. Apart from providing financial support to digital healthcare partners, the Foundation will help KCDH establish industry relationships.
WHY IT MATTERS
Amid a global focus on enhancing digital health informatics, India launched its National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) in 2020. Stemming from the National Health Policy in 2017 which aimed to digitalise healthcare in India, NDHM is intended to provide the necessary support for the integration of digital healthcare in India.
According to IIT Bombay, KCDH will act in synchronicity with India’s drive for digital health adoption at a national scale.
This comes alongside the overwhelming toll of COVID-19 on India, with a 24.9 million case load. Things have begun looking up, over the weekend, India reported a two-month low in daily COVID-19 infections.
THE LARGER TREND
Across India, the pandemic has spurred numerous collaborative initiatives to transform healthcare with digitalisation in varied ways.
In June, India’s Ministry of Electronics IT collaborated with Avaya Spaces to offer free COVID-19 virtual care services to patients.
Deloitte also partnered with the state of Haryana in Northern India to create new models of public health engagement collaboration, with COVID-19 virtual home care services.
ON THE RECORD
“Digital Health is critical to improve healthcare at scale. We are delighted to support IIT Bombay in establishing the Centre, which can play a pivotal role in improving healthcare in India across the world,” said Rizwan Koita, who founded the Koita Foundation.
“The centre will enable an ecosystem that can help address healthcare challenges that have been so glaringly exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital Health Informatics need cross-functional expertise,” added Subhasis Chaudhuri, director of IIT Bombay as he called for cross-functional expertise between digital health informatics.