Amrita Jeevanam, a low-cost medical device for rural villagers

27 Sep 2014, Amritapuri
Amritavarsham – Amma’s 61st Birthday Celebrations

Amrita Jeevanam is a low-cost medical device that combines a medical device, an interface device, and mobile device all configured with Amrita’s health-awareness and monitoring program. Villages in rural India often do not have easy access to timely healthcare, village patients will greatly benefit by getting customized feedback and guidance for lifestyle changes and better manage and monitor their health. Amrita Jeevanam, developed by Amrita University’s CREATE labs, will be offered free of charge at 140 villages adopted by MAM.

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Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Kerala Minister of Forest, Transport & Environment unveiled the medical device.

Amrita Hospital flags off medical relief to flood-hit in Jammu – Kashmir

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) is sending its disaster management and mobile Telemedicine unit to Jammu-Kashmir to provide medical care to people affected by the recent floods.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Sing will flag off Amrita Hospital’s Telemedicine unit at 9am on this Sunday 5th Oct at India Gate, New Delhi.

The mobile medical facility is equipped with Colour Echo Cardiography, Gastroscopy, Retinal Camera, Ultra Sonography, X-Ray Radiography, Ventilator, Minor Operation theatre, Delivery Room facility, Electro Cardiography, Light Microscopy, Digital Photography and Bio Chemical Testing with a semi-auto Analyzer to analyse Hepatitis B, Rat Fever or Leptospirosis, etc.

A team of medical experts from the departments of General Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine and Radiology are there in the team. They will provide vaccinations like DPT, Polio, MMR, and Hepatitis B at the relief sites.

A team of Veterinary doctors with medicines and vaccinations for animals are also part of the team.

The centrally air conditioned Telemedicine Unit van is equipped with satellite-based video conferencing facility. It is also supported by two emergency ambulances, equipped with cardiac facilities, trained medical team and adequate medicines. These ambulance can travel to interior places where the Telemedicine van cannot reach.

The output from these devises can be transmitted to Amrita specialty hospital for expert opinion or any health care center that has a Telemedicine facility. It is also equipped with Amrita Health Information System. Using all these facilities expert doctors can directly see the patient, diagnose the disease and start emergency medical management.

Amrita Institute for Medical Sciences has been in the forefront of rendering free medical care to people hit by natural disasters across the country. During Gujarat Earthquake 2001, Tsunami in 2004, Bihar flood in 2008, Andhra-Karnataka flood in 2009, and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) landslides in 2013 where the mobile Telemedicine unit along with disaster management team had rendered exclusive medical relief services to the affected people. A total 548 medical camps were conducted by the Amrita mobile Telemedicine unit in the last seven years.

Amrita Santhulam: low cost balance trainer for rehabilitating neuro patients

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27 Sep 2014, Amritapuri
Amritavarsham61, Amma’s birthday celebrations

The Amrita Santhulam (Balance trainer), is a low cost rehabilitation system for the elderly patients suffering from stroke, Parkinson’s, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, post ankle sprain and similar morbidities which cause impaired static and dynamic balance in the human body. This was launched on the occasion of Amma’s 61st birthday celebrations, developed by Ammachi Labs of Amrita University and the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Dept at Amrita Hospital. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Minister of Forest, Transport & Environment unveiled this equipment.

The balance training system will motivate the patients to perform repetitive rehabilitation exercises through games offering the functionality to simulate real world scenarios. The system provides audio and visual feedback to the patients balance while performing an activity like brushing their teeth or fastening a button. This is an innovative approach in addressing the patient’s ailment. Doctors can analysis their patient’s therapy progress with immediate feedback.

An advanced balance analyzer software program running in the background provides the doctor/therapist with information on the patient’s progress of therapy in a qualitative fashion.

Amrita Hospital receives the first British Medical Journal (BMJ) India Award

Amrita Institute for Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospital) has received the first British Medical Journal BMJ-India 2014 Award for pediatric heart program.

The BMJ Awards, launched in 2009, considered as the “Oscar” in the medical field.

BMJ, one of the world’s leading medical journals, had unveiled its maiden awards in India this year to recognize excellence in healthcare in the country. The awards were given in 10 different categories, selected from almost 500 entries by a panel of eminent medical professionals. For Amrita Hospital, the BMJ-India 2014 Health Care Award was given for continuously striving for excellence in delivering high quality, affordable cardiac care to children.

 

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Amrita Hospital performs on an average 700 pediatric cardiac surgeries annually, while another 600 children are treated in the catheterization laboratory, Dr Raman Krishna Kumar, Clinical Prof and Head of Department of Pediatric Cardiology, who received the award, said. Since its inception in 1998, AIMS has performed 12,000 heart operations and 10,000 catheter procedures in pediatric cardiac care.

Amrita has pioneered low cost treatment for children with congenital heart disease and developed a unique treatment protocol for closure of a certain type of heart defect known as Patent ducts arteriosus or PDA. Over the last 16 years Amrita Hospital has become a preferred destination for babies in the region requiring heart surgery with exceptional surgical results in this difficult discipline.

Free cataract surgeries in Kenya

14kenyaeyeUnder the initiative of Embracing The World, one week of cataract surgery was held in Vihiga County, Kenya.

The team attended total number of 200 cases. Most of them cataract surgeries, some capsulorexis, extrabismus, and one quist. Three ophthalmologists, two nurses, and an optometrist came from Spain to help the operation.

All the patients operated had an initial vision below 30%.  Some of them needed a person to take them around as they could see only light perception.

One of the patients give the doctors his cane the next morning of the surgery as he said he didn´t need it any more as he could see again.

After this experience, the Vihiga County Governor did realize the need of affordable eye care in the district hospital and they will place a surgeon in the hospital from this September.

Simultaneous Pancreas Kidney Transplant done at Amrita Hospital, first in Kerala

The first Simultaneous Pancreas Kidney {SPK} transplantation in the state was done at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences on the 17th of August 2014. This is the 3rd such successful surgery in India.

The recipient is a 31 year old Engineer hailing from Palakkad. He has had Type 1 Diabetes for the past 16 years and had developed diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy and end stage renal failure over the past two years. Despite using an insulin pump he had recurrent episodes of low blood sugar on a daily basis which was preventing him from effectively doing his work. Following the surgery his blood sugars are normal on a normal diet and his diabetes has been cured. The Kidney function has also normalized.

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This combined procedure of transplanting both the Kidney & Pancreas in a single surgical operation is particularly effective for patients who have Type 1 Diabetes and chronic renal failure. If the kidney alone is transplanted and the Diabetes is poorly controlled, then even the transplanted kidney will slowly be affected by the high blood sugar levels. The main advantage of this combined transplantation is improvement in quality of life and freedom from diabetes related complications and dialysis. This also avoids frequent blood sugar testing and occurrence of life threatening hypoglycemia’s.

This technically complex surgery was made possible by excellent team work by a multi disciplinary team involving Transplant Surgery, Nephrology, Urology, Endocrinology and Anaesthesia & Critical care. Able assisatnce was provided by the Nursing Survives and other supporting departments

This transplantation was made possible by a selfless act by the family of a 38 year old brain dead patient in Kochi.

325 Liver Transplants in 10 Years at Amrita Hospital

July 29, 2014
A reunion of liver transplant recipients and their donors was held at the Amrita Hospital of Medical Sciences on the 10th anniversary of Amrita’s liver transplant unit.

Mohanl at Amrita Hospitals' Liver transplant 10th Anniversary

Mohanlal addressing at the 10th anniversary of Amrita’s liver transplant unit

Transplantation is the only treatment available from patients suffering from acute or chronic liver failure. Nearly 90% of Amrita’s liver transplant patients survive the surgery, and go on to lead normal, healthy lives.

Siju,  Amrita Hospitals' Liver transplant  patient

Siju Sunil, a liver transplant patient

Shyju KK is a daily laborer who sometimes gets work and sometimes doesn’t. When it became clear that his little boy Shamin would need a liver transplant to survive, Shyju knew he could never afford it. Instead of giving up hope, he went directly to Amma and asked for help. Amma made sure that Shamin got the transplant he needed. Little Shamin now has a healthy liver, and a long life ahead.

In the past 10 years, Amrita Hospital has conducted 325 liver transplants–85 in the past year alone. The youngest patient was five months old. Patients are given transplants regardless of their ability to pay; Amrita has spent Rs. 19 crores (more than $3 million) on providing liver transplants for poor patients.

Kerala Health Minister VS Sivakumar and renowned Malayalam cinema actor Padmashree Mohanlal were present for the occasion of the Ten-Year Anniversary of the Liver Transplant Unit. Speaking on the occasion, Mohanlal, who has pledged his own organs for donation, encouraged others to consider doing the same. Health Minister Sivakumar pointed out that the need for organ donation is much greater than the number of organ donors at present, and asked families of brain-dead patients to consider donating their relative’s organs to give other struggling patients a chance to survive.

The first liver transplant in the state of Kerala was performed at Amrita Hospital in 2004.

 

Empowering Kenya

Br. Shubamrita Chaitanya visited Kenya from April 22nd to April 29th, 2014. During his stay, public talks were held at the Balaji temple auditorium and the Langham Court, during which he spoke on the topics ’Living Fearlessly’ and ’Living a Life of Purpose’. Both programmes attracted packed audiences, who thoroughly enjoyed the talk, devotional singing and guided meditation.

Mr. Yogeshwar Varma, the High Commissioner of India, was the chief guest at the Langham Court. Addressing the gathering, he profoundly thanked Amma and Amrita Center Kenya for their tireless efforts to spread spiritual values in the country of Kenya and their ongoing commitment to providing services for the poor and needy, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or social background.

On April 23rd, Shubamrita addresed 120 young Kenyans who are currently undergoing vocational training at CAPS Youth Empowerment Institute Training Center in Bururburu. The session was entitled ’Embrace Your Dreams’ and he invited the youth to reflect upon their personal ambitions and conceptualize concrete steps towards leading a successful and purposeful life.

Upon the invitation of Hon. Moses Akaranga, the Governor of Vihiga County, Shubamrita give a talk to the executives in the Government on Social Governance and Leadership.

Amongst those who were waiting most eagerly for Swamiji’s visit were the 110 children at the Amrita Watoto Boma, the Children’s Care home in Athi River. The students proudly told him about their academic achievements and then spent informal time with Swamiji, singing and dancing and all the time repeating one question: “When is Amma going to visit us?” The permaculture project in the premises of the Children’s Home has seen a healthy expansion, providing organic food for Amma’s children and turning the Home into a beautiful park of lush green vegetation. A greenhouse has been erected to provide even more nutritious vegetables to the children and staff. Every Sunday, more than 200 children from the surrounding informal settlements were invited to the Home to receive free food and snacks.

On April 28th, Br. Shubamrita launched the second free eye-surgery camp held by M.A. Math Charitable Trust, in conjunction with Vision Beyond Borders and Nairobi MJF Balaji Lions Club. 1,372 patients had been screened across the country, out of which 120 were diagnosed with a severe cataract condition that leads to blindness and subsequently received a free cataract surgery at Athi River Shalom Community Hospital. A group of seven doctors and nurses from Spain came to volunteer for one week to do the surgeries. In December 2013, the Shalom Hospital became a partner of the Telemedicine Project with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi, India, receiving free consultations from highly specialized doctors.

It was really inspiring to see Amma’s love and compassion spreading across this beautiful country through the various activities and projects. Though far away physically from Amma, the volunteers of Amrita Kenya are so close to her in spirit, as they try to live Amma’s message through these projects initiated there.

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Amrita is the best hospital in the country

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre was awarded the best hospital in the country for “betterment of health care” by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) based on an exhaustive review and presentation process.

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In a glittering function in New Delhi on the 2nd of September 2013, Dr.Prem Nair, Medical Director, received this award on behalf of the Amrita Institute from the famous Bollywood film director Ramesh Sippy.

Amrita Personal Health Record

health recordMarking yet another medical revolution in India there is now a way for ordinary citizens to take control of his/her life health record. Amrita Technologies have come up with portable Electronic Health Record stored in a pen drive, purely personal and protected, universally usable, designed to enable self-management of personal health. The medical records can be accessed anywhere by simply plugging it into a computer.

Amrita Technologies created this innovative product solution in close collaboration and involvement from various physicians, surgeons and medical personnel.  On seeing this product, Dr. Sanjiv Singh, Medical Administrator of the 1350 bed Super Specialty AIMS hospital in Kochi said “This product is easy to use and can be easily carried around by ordinary citizens.  We expect tremendous benefits for patients and hospitals alike by making this critical information made available when it is needed the most.”

“A person suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac problem, allergies or other ailments has an accident or emergency, if his or her medical records will be readily available, we can save so many lives.” This was Amma’s instruction when we started the initiative, recollects Pradeep Achan who heads Amrita Technologies.

Keeps you secured for ever
Traditionally health data is locked within the hospitals, doctors, and with disparate IT systems far from the direct reach of individuals. An easy to use portable application will now empower citizens and provide critical medical history data to physicians and hospitals when it is needed the most.
Some portion of the medical record can be publically viewable, as emergency medical record. Rest of information can be viewed only when the person unlocks the information based on his/her personal pass phrase. Person can upload his/her current medical records – either in standard documents formats (doc, pdf, jpg) or scan and upload his/her records in. Images like X-ray, Ultrasound, CT, etc can be uploaded in standardized JPG or DICOM medical format.  All details of consultations with various specialists, related investigations & other documents are saved in chronological order and can be seen in seconds.  The data can also be backed up in a PC in encrypted form.
Many a time details of past medical history play a critical role in right diagnosis & emergency treatment. In such cases having access to complete medical history, including previous diagnosis, medical prescriptions, test results, allergies, patient response to various treatments and drugs is extremely helpful.  In fact, many lives can be saved in critical casualty situations when this information is easily accessible with the click of a button.

Medical details in patients that require monitoring over a period of time, such as premature babies, diabetic patients and elderly people would be extremely useful in determining the right course of medical actions by doctors and health care providers. It would reduce medical errors and also help to save on medical expenses as unnecessary duplicate medical tests and prescriptions can be avoided.

health record It supports   ‘go-green’ initiatives reducing paper usage and can also significantly reduce administrative costs of disseminating clinical information, including telephone calls, faxes, mail and courier charges.

This product will be launched during  Amritavarsham60 and will soon be available across the country in various convenient shapes like bracelets, wrist-bands, key-chains, bangles.