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  • Apollo Hospitals’ 11th Int’l Health Dialogue held on Advancing Healthcare Innovation and Patient Safety Through AI, Health Equity & Sustainability

    Published on February 27, 2024

     Bengaluru: Apollo Hospitals, India’s largest integrated healthcare provider, successfully conducted its 11th International Health Dialogue (IHD), an unparalleled platform bringing together luminaries, innovators, and healthcare professionals. The annual event held on February 23 & 24 was an amalgamation of the International Patient Safety Conference (IPSC) & Transforming Healthcare with Information Technology (THIT) at Sheraton-Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Over two enlightening days, the event witnessed groundbreaking discussions, transformative ideas, and collaborative initiatives aimed at shaping the future of healthcare. The prestigious conference was graced by the honorable Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for S & T, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space (Vice President, CSIR), along with prominent industry leaders and stakeholders.

    This year’s IHD emerged as a call to action to India’s healthcare ecosystem for prioritizing health equity and saw notable leaders such as Dr. Neelam Dhingra, Head of the Patient Safety Flagship Unit at the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Carsten Engel, Chief Executive Officer of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), Dr. Joel Roos, Vice President of International Accreditation at Joint Commission International (JCI), and Dr. Dana Safran, President and CEO of The National Quality Forum. The conference also saw active participation from renowned figures such as S. Somanath from ISRO, and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon Limited, among others. Other key speakers included Atul Mohan Kochhar, CEO of the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), and Shri D. Randeep, IAS, Commissioner of Health & Family Welfare Services, besides Dr. Shweta Prabhakar, Head of Quality & Patient Safety at Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, Mr. Sravan Kumar, Deputy Director of Quality at Zulekha Healthcare Group, and Dr. Sathya R Sriram, CEO of Preventive Health at Apollo Hospitals.

    The first day of the IPSC conference started with a walkthrough of  Apollo’s ‘SMART HOSPITAL- The Future of Healthcare- A Walkthrough’, followed by impactful keynotes by Dr. Preetha Reddy, Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Group, and Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Group alongside Dr. Carsten Engel, Dr. Dana Safran, Dr. Neelam Dhingra, and Dr. Joel Roos. Their presence symbolized a collective commitment to advancing healthcare quality and patient safety on a global scale.

    At the THIT conference, luminaries like S. Somanath, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, and Dumitru Prunariu, former Chair of the UN Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space, discussed ‘Transforming Healthcare with IT.’ Other notable participants included Russell Andrews, former Medical Advisor at NASA, and Thais Russomano, CEO of InnovaSpace Ltd., among others, representing diverse expertise from healthcare, technology, and space exploration. There were deep dive sessions around the role of AI in revolutionizing connected medical devices and how India is driving innovation in healthcare on a global scale led by Vishnuvardhan Pogunulu Srinivasulu, Founder & CEO, Vizzhy Inc, Bengaluru, Lalit Singla, Founder & CEO, SteerXInnovations and Taslimarif Saiyed, Director & CEO, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, Bengaluru.  The theme for this year’s THIT was centered around the topic of “From A to l, Achievement through Innovation”; exploring the potential of Artificial Intelligence in strengthening healthcare services in India.

    Day 2 built upon the momentum of Day 1, with a focus on charting the future of healthcare, emphasizing health equity, sustainability, and AI advancement. Notable sessions explored the importance of public-private collaborations, leveraging data for improved healthcare outcomes while safeguarding patient privacy, and upskilling the healthcare workforce for the digital era. Richard Mitchell, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Leicester, NHS Trust (UHL), Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Director Medical Services, Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Stella Vig, National Medical Director for Secondary Care and National Clinical Director for Elective Care, NHS, England discussed future of patient safety in the AI world and shared global best practices to aid our ecosystem. While Dr. Karan Thakur, Group Lead, Sustainability & ESG, Vice President, Public Affairs, Apollo Hospitals moderated a session around the healthcare sector contributing to global NetZero Goals, Dr. Navina Evans, CBE, Chief Workforce, Training & Education Officer, NHS, England delivered a hard-hitting keynote address on the tech-savvy face of the future healthcare workforce.

    A major highlight of IHD 2024 was the first edition of Solvathon 2024, a 36-hour hackathon that brought together 14 dynamic teams, spanning diverse disciplines such as medicine, engineering, data science, and entrepreneurship, to innovate solutions for real-world healthcare challenges. Organized by Apollo Research and Innovations, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Centre Bangalore (IIT ACB) and the THIT conference, participants dedicated themselves to tackling urgent healthcare issues by developing working prototypes and competitive solutions rooted in feasibility, scalability, and impact. While InfoMeds is the winner in the student’s category, Gabongo emerged as the winner in the startup category, where they received cash prizes worth 1 lakh each. The winning teams showcased their innovations to industry leaders at the THIT Conference and also now have the opportunity to collaborate with Apollo teams for commercial implementation.

    Addressing the plenary session on Day 1, Hon’ble Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh said, “As India progresses towards attaining universal health coverage, it is imperative to prioritize patient safety and digital health initiatives. The IPSC and THIT dual conferences are great health advocacy initiatives geared towards stimulating dialogue on healthcare policies and crafting a comprehensive framework for establishing a secure and efficient healthcare ecosystem. This framework will integrate cutting-edge technologies to make healthcare accessible to all. The theme ‘Future of Patient Safety’ resonates with our commitment to quality care. Technology is revolutionizing healthcare, but challenges persist. Transparency, collaboration, and patient empowerment are crucial. Let’s prioritize patient safety for a better healthcare future. Ending with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ words: ‘No one should be harmed while receiving health care.’ Let’s build a culture of safety together.”

    Ms. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “While India is taking massive strides towards a ‘Viksit Bharat’, strengthening our healthcare system is an essential stepping stone towards realizing that future. As we invest in healthcare, we invest in the well-being and productivity of our citizens, laying the foundation for a healthy and prosperous society. AI is certainly emerging as the cornerstone of this transformation, offering unprecedented possibilities to revolutionize healthcare services and add exponential patient-centricity at every step. With International Health Dialogues we invite the entire ecosystem to work together to build a healthcare system that not only meets the needs of the new generation but also serves as a beacon of health, compassion, and progress for generations to come.”

    Ms. Preetha Reddy, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group, said “Over the last decade, the International Health Dialogue has been able to elevate the conversation and initiatives across our ecosystem toward patient safety. Our healthcare systems stand at the crossroads of a digital revolution. Today, as touchpoints for healthcare expand with digital and tele-services becoming more mainstream, so do the fundamental ideals of patient safety. Our approach to healthcare delivery must keep pace with the dynamic needs of the present and future generations. We hope that the outcome from the insights shared at this forum will aid the entire ecosystem in integrating more meaningful and futuristic patient safety measures to ensure India continues on its journey of building a healthcare model for the world to follow.”

    Overall, the 11th edition of International Health Dialogue 2024 saw attendance from 4000+ delegates from 30+ countries, including healthcare and medical professionals, government officials and policymakers, students, and more. Since the first edition in 2013, the spectrum of participants and range of discussions have magnified. With over 100+ sessions and 200+ speakers, the sessions in 2024 amplified patient perspective, put the spotlight on the integration of artificial intelligence in building a futuristic healthcare model and emphasized the rising importance of data privacy at every step.

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