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Can AI help patients with bone fractures?

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Can AI help patients with bone fractures?

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) with gait analysis can greatly improve treatments for people with fractures, suggests a study on Wednesday.

Gait analysis can help doctors gauge how an individual stands and walks, especially in the case of a fracture.

The study showed a significant association between the rates of hospital readmission after fracture surgery and the presence of underlying medical conditions.

Together with AI, early gait analysis can be key in providing insights into the injury’s impact on locomotion and recovery which can help personalise and improve rehabilitation strategies.

Using AI can help predict “post-injury complications such as infection, malunion, or hardware irritation among individuals with lower extremity fractures”, said the researchers in the paper, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

The findings “demonstrate the profound impact that integrating machine learning and gait analysis into orthopaedic practice can have, not only in improving the accuracy of post-injury complication predictions but also in tailoring rehabilitation strategies to individual patient needs,” said corresponding author Mostafa Rezapour, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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The personalised approach “is a step forward in our quest to optimise rehabilitation strategies, reduce recovery times, and improve overall quality of life for patients with lower extremity fractures,” Rezapour said.

–IANS

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Economic Survey links mental health disorders with 'significant productivity losses'

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Economic Survey links mental health disorders with 'significant productivity losses'

Economic Survey links mental health disorders with 'significant productivity losses'

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) In a first, the economic impact of mental health was discussed in the Economic Survey 2023-24 tabled by the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Monday.

The Survey talks extensively about mental health, its significance, and implications on policy recommendations. It also associated mental health disorders with “significant productivity losses”.

It is because the condition leads to “absenteeism, decreased productivity, disability, increased healthcare costs, among others”.

Citing the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) 2015-16, the Survey noted that 10.6 per cent of adults in the country suffered from mental disorders. However, the treatment gap for mental disorders ranged between 70 per cent and 92 per cent for different disorders. It also showed a higher prevalence of mental morbidity in urban metro regions (13.5 per cent) as compared to rural areas (6.9 per cent) and urban non-metro areas (4.3 per cent).

The Survey also pointed out poverty as a reason for increasing mental health issues among people. It showed that “stressful living conditions, financial instability, and a lack of opportunities for upward mobility contribute to heightened psychological distress”.

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It also highlighted an increasing prevalence of poor mental health among adolescents exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Citing the NCERT’s Mental Health and Well-being of School Students Survey, it showed that 11 per cent of students reported feeling anxious, 14 per cent as feeling extreme emotion, and 43 per cent experiencing mood swings.

The Survey noted key initiatives and policies such as the National Mental Health Programme and National Tele Mental Health Programme by the government to tackle the rising burden of cases. It also informed of increasing mental health professionals by sanctioning 25 Centres of Excellence to increase the intake of PG students.

The government also provisioned mental health services for 22 AIIMS, also provided online training courses via digital academies to general healthcare medical and paramedical professionals. The Survey stresses important policy recommendations including redoubling efforts to increase the number of psychiatrists, and sensitising mental health at the preschool, and at the Anganwadi level to provide precious early identification of disorders.

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–IANS

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Over 34.7 cr Ayushman Bharat cards generated: Economic Survey

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Over 34.7 cr Ayushman Bharat cards generated: Economic Survey

Over 34.7 cr Ayushman Bharat cards generated: Economic Survey

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) More than 34.7 crore Ayushman Bharat cards have been generated, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, while tabling the Economic Survey document in Parliament today, a day ahead of the Union Budget announcement.

The scheme has also “covered 7.37 crore hospital admissions in India,” said FM Sitharaman.

Launched in 2018, the initiative encompasses two primary components: the establishment of Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) and the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) — a scheme that extends health insurance coverage for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

“In healthcare, Ayushman Bharat is not only saving lives but also saving generations from the debt trap,” the Finance Minister said.

The HWCs ensure preventive, primitive, and some curative services with standardised quality at the lowest possible level, that is, sub-centre. It also ensures the strengthening of sub-centres with manpower and supplies.

PM-JAY, which provides insurance of Rs 5 lakh to people for healthcare services ensures equity-based reduction of out-of-pocket expenditure of people.

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“Considering the multiplier effect of low costs, the scheme saves more than 1.25 lakh crore of out-of-pocket expenditure for poor and deprived families,” Sitharaman said.

She also stressed the challenge of ensuring mental health which is “intrinsically and economically valuable.”

The lack of it can not only lead to “significant productivity loss but also increase healthcare costs.”

She also called out against overusing smartphones and the Internet which “are associated with the great rewiring of childhood.”

The Economic Survey is prepared by the Economics Division of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Finance Ministry under the guidance of India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA).

–IANS

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India's healthcare needs greater allocation of funds: Experts

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India's healthcare needs greater allocation of funds: Experts

India's healthcare needs greater allocation of funds: Experts

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) India’s healthcare sector requires more allocation of funds for better research and to provide better facilities to a vast number of people, said experts on Monday, a day ahead of the Union Budget.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to present the Union Budget 2024 on July 23.

Currently, India’s public healthcare spending remains low with just 1.6 to 1.8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But a higher allocation is needed, said the experts.

“The healthcare industry is still awaiting the government’s promise of spending 2.5 per cent of GDP on healthcare. We hope this will happen in this budget,” Dr Harsh Mahajan, Chair of the FICCI Health Services Committee, Founder & Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging Labs, told IANS.

Stressing the need to increase focus on diagnostic and preventive healthcare, he urged the government to “minimise customs duty on life-saving equipment, on diagnostic reagents and machines.”

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“If we are to have a 5 trillion economy in the next few years, we need a healthy India, and focus by the government on the healthcare sector is a must.”

He also called on the government to consider another long-standing demand of the industry on the “Goods and Services Taxes (GST) which healthcare providers pay but do not get back any input tax credits, and which ultimately increases patients’ cost.”

Dr D. S. Rana, Chairman Trust Society & Nephrologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, also called for “more allocation of funds in the healthcare sector to focus on providing healthcare — whether primary, secondary or tertiary care — at the doorsteps of the rural population.”

He also emphasised the need for the “right maximum retail price for drugs” to fight counterfeits.

Further, Anubha Taneja Mukherjee, Member Secretary of Thalassemia Patient Advocacy Group, urged the government to set up a national-level control programme for thalassemia — a blood disorder — on the lines of sickle cell anaemia.

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“India is the thalassemia capital of the world. The government should definitely consider increasing spending on thalassemia for the prevention, management, and treatment,” she told IANS.

Stressing the need for ensuring blood safety for the patients whose survival depends on blood transfusion every fortnight, Mukherjee called on the government to “increase spending on new technologies like the nucleic acid test, which can help prevent transfusion-linked infections like HIV.”

Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, stressed the need for “high investment and research” in the pharma sector.

“We should work towards rationalising GST rates for the pharma sector,” he told IANS.

Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of Population Foundation Of India, told IANS about the need for “investing generously for the education, skilling, employment and well-being of the 370 million youth of the country.”

Muttreja suggested boosting higher education for women, vocational training, and leadership opportunities to leverage gender dividends.

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She also called for developing tailor-made health services to cater to the needs of the ageing population in the country.

–IANS

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Lack of proper sleep could lead to brain-related problems, warn doctors

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Lack of proper sleep could lead to brain-related problems, warn doctors

Lack of proper sleep could lead to brain-related problems, warn doctors

Hyderabad, July 22 (IANS) People must never ignore sleep to meet deadlines, and it’s never appropriate to waste time on the Internet over a proper good night’s sleep, advise healthcare professionals on World Brain Day.

Recommending a seven-hour sleep to help the brain function better, they warned that lack of proper sleep could lead to brain-related problems.

Commenting on the importance of sleep and the adverse effect on the brain due to lack of it, Dr. S Ramesh, Consulting Neurosurgery, Kamineni Hospitals said, “Sleep is one of the most important components in the daily routine of an individual. Sleep is important for a number of brain-related functions, like the communication between neurons/nerve cells.

“People must be made aware that without proper sleep, the required pathways in the brain to create new memories and new response systems, will get adversely affected.”

“It is a known fact that the brain controls the human body and functions and emotions. It is important to know that sleep affects every aspect and every organ in the human body, especially the brain.

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“While a good sleep will have a positive impact, irregular sleeping habits could affect almost every type of tissue and system like the brain, the heart, and even the lungs. Many people complain about mood swings, and this has a direct connection with the quality of sleep and its impact on the brain,” observed Dr. Ch Vijay, Consultant Neurologist, KIMS ICON Hospital, Vizag.

On the occasion of World Brain Day, the focus is on promotion of brain health.

Dr. A Rampapa Rao, Chairman, Ucchvas Transitional Care, stated “I understand the biggest risk for a healthy brain is ‘Hypertension’ apart from other etiological factors and in itself is a manifestation of altered lifestyle mainly being deprivation of optimum number of daily sleep hours in young and middle years of life.

“I appeal to everyone to take measures and focus on getting at least seven hours of qualitative sleep on a daily basis irrespective of the occupation they are engaged in.

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“We strongly believe that a healthy sleeping habit is the single most significant factor in maintaining healthy brain and its optimum functioning.”

Though the World Federation of Neurology was founded on July 22, 1957, it was only in 2013 that the Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee of the Federation proposed its founding day be designated as the World Brain Day.

This year, the theme for the day is ‘Brain Health & Prevention’, which encompasses the mission to proactively assess and address neurological diseases.

The day also emphasises the importance of early detection and effective management of brain related ailments.

–IANS

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South Korean hospitals to hire 7,700 new trainee doctors amid standoff

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South Korean hospitals to hire 7,700 new trainee doctors amid standoff

South Korean hospitals to hire 7,700 new trainee doctors amid standoff

Seoul, July 22 (IANS) Hospitals in South Korea are set to begin hiring about 7,700 trainee doctors on Monday. However, medical professors have warned of boycotting their training programmes in protest of the government’s push to accept the resignations of striking trainees.

Months-long standoffs with trainee doctors over the medical school admission quota hikes have shown no end in sight, as trainee doctors have been unresponsive to the government’s appeasement steps, including a plan to abandon all punitive steps against striking trainee doctors, Yonhap news agency reported.

More than 90 per cent of around 13,000 junior doctors left their jobs in February in the form of resignations against the government’s plan to sharply raise medical school admissions, and hospitals accepted resignations from 7,648 trainees upon the government’s request this week.

The government is recruiting new trainees to minimise the impact of the mass resignations, and hospitals have sought 7,707 training doctors combined for the training programme set to be launched in September, according to the health ministry.

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Still, doctors have demanded that the government revisit the quota hike decision, claiming that medical schools cannot handle the increased enrollment.

Lim Hyun-taek, the President of the Korea Medical Association, said in a social media post that the government “must fully accept demands from trainee doctors and medical students,” adding that doing so is “the only way” to resolve the standoff.

Last week, medical professors from the radiology department at the Catholic University of Korea stated that they will “never replace trainee doctors who are fighting against wrongful state policy with other trainees.”

The government has already finalised an admissions quota hike of approximately 1,500 students for medical schools next year to address problems stemming from the shortage of doctors.

–IANS

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