Toppers of three medical colleges given certificates of appreciation

Information technology will play a major role in medical sciences in the coming years, said the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Asian Heart Institute ‘Padma Bhushan' Ramakanta Panda here on Sunday.

The cardiac surgeon who led a team to perform a redo bypass surgery on Prime Manmohan Singh was here to address the toppers of three medical colleges - Andhra Medical College, Maharaja Institute of Medical Sciences, Vizianagaram and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Srikakulam.

Elucidating the role of information technology in medical sciences, he said robot-assisted surgery was the future and that was where IT would play a big role. Driving the point through a powerpoint presentation, he said that earlier, for open heart bypass surgeries they were making a cut of at least 9 to 10 inches; then slowly moved to smaller incision of three inches and now with robot-assisted surgery it could be done by a keyhole surgery. “One should not perceive that the entire surgery will be done by a robot. The robotic arm is only an extension of the doctor's arm,” he said.

Dr. Panda explained that at present robot-assisted surgeries are being performed with the doctor sitting about 20-feet away from the patient in a console. In the future because of the rapid development of IT, the surgeries can be remotely performed with a doctor sitting in another country. “Right now the success rate of conventional bypass surgeries is about 99 per cent and with the further development of robot arms, it will touch almost 100 per cent, as the image on high definition monitors can be magnified by 15 times. This will enable a doctor to perform better,” he said.

The cardiac surgeon said that in the future doctors will be trained on simulators just like how pilots are trained.

Addressing the toppers, the Founder and Chairman of L.V. Prasad Eye Institute ‘Padma Shri' G.N. Rao, said, “Being a topper not only brings in a sense of achievement, but along with it comes more responsibilities and challenges.” The ophthalmologist said, India is heading towards a convergence of communicable and non-communicable diseases and that is likely to trigger a health crisis, and the young minds should gear up to face the challenge by being surgical and treatment innovators. “The challenge is to bring basic health care to a uniform and affordable platform, especially when half of the country's population goes to sleep not fully fed, and when we head the list for maternal and infant mortality rate.”

The Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari in her address said that health care for the poor is an onerous responsibility on the young shoulders. She pointed out that public-private partnership is necessary to take healthcare to the grass root. “It will be a difficult task for the government alone,” she said. Over 130 toppers covering MBBS, MD and DM from the three colleges were given certificate of appreciation.

The programme was coordinated by the CEO of Symbiosys Technologies O. Naresh Kumar, President of Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association P. Vishnu Kumar Raju and Business Manager of Abbott Healthcare Rajesh Kumar Patro.

Referring to a query from Mr. Naresh Kumar, Dr. Panda said that he would seriously think of setting up an Asian Heart Institute in the city.

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