Monday, 13 May 2013

Modern Heathcare - Affecting Life in a Good Way

Well to begin with this post let me state some facts right. I was one of those who didn’t take the concept of healthcare very seriously, but then came an incident last winter when I was struck with a bout of Chicken Pox unknowingly through my classmate who had the same and me being unaware that the disease spreads through air, it affected me as well. And from me to my siblings. It was a whole month of trauma, pain and bedridden patients at home. This simple incident and the fact that there is still not a medicine which can help you get rid of chicken pox before its due course of 7-8 days, not only changed my outlook on health , but also  forced me to think “Is my current Healthcare enough?” and the even more important question “Has Modern Healthcare indeed affected lives?”

Healthcare is a very essential and detrimental component to our being, yet so often under-rated and unaware of, especially in the Indian context. For instance, how many of us know about the concept of ‘Ethical Health?’

For me healthcare doesn’t just mean absence of disease but an overall knowledge of various diseases and their prevention. This is especially uneven in our Indian context. While there are some “haves” which have all the necessary resources (in fact extra!!) of the various health facilities and know-how, there are the “Haves not”, who are more superstitious and some even believe that diseases are curse from past life deeds!! (Yes, still such people exist!!!).

Now let us have a basic look at the concept of health. Health is the state of physical, mental and social well being. It involves more than just the absence of disease. A true healthy person not only feels good physically but also has a realistic outlook on life and gets along well with other people. Good health enables people to enjoy life and have the opportunity to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

To achieve and maintain good health people must have basic knowledge about the human body and how it functions. Only then can they determine what will or what will not help or hurt their health. Therefore learning about health should be a part of every person’s education, current knowledge about health together with good living habits can help almost everyone to maintain good health and improve the quality of life
A contemporary health system relies on the contribution of human resources and health technologies. Medical devices, one aspect of health technologies, equip health care providers with tools to perform their functions effectively and efficiently. Although medical devices provide an opportunity for a better service, the lack of a national system for selection, procurement, use and management may lead to a disproportionate escalation in health care delivery costs. Member States need to establish systems for standardizing and regulating the selection, procurement, use and management of these tools.

Medical devices are considered to be crucial for the services offered in prevention, analysis, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and disease. Every day more than 50 000 different kinds of medical devices are estimated to be used in health care facilities and elsewhere all over the world. Most are quite simple, while others are complex and combine different technologies. The global medical device market is worth over US$ 150 billion, with the United States of America, European Union, and Japan having over 65% of the market share. The market is expected to grow steadily by 4% to 5% annually over the next few years implying that this technological revolution in health will continue in the foreseeable future.

In this respect therefore, health is of strategic importance to a nation and its people because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, since good health implies high productivity, low morbidity (ill health) and low mortality (death) rate. However, health for all, does not mean that healthcare services would be totally free for all citizens in terms of cost, nor does it mean that everybody would be taken care of by specialist, teaching or general hospital, it simply means that in terms of accessibility, healthcare services would be available to each individual to utilize and improve or maintain his/her well-being.

Society as a whole benefits from people good health just as individuals do. For this reasons various government and voluntary agencies strive to preserve and improve people health condition.
The influence of location on health is clear even at the global scale. The best way to reduce the worldwide burden of disease may be to provide individuals with ready access to clean water, adequate nutrition, and basic sanitation, yet the availability of these “big three” basic needs differs greatly from place to place. People’s access to immunization is perhaps the next most important variable in the health picture, yet access to immunization often depends on social circumstances and the distribution of health care facilities.

Much has been learned in the past about geographical influences on health through mapping the spread of diseases, access to care, and the treatment and prevention of illness. Coming more fully to terms with the impacts of location on human health, however, requires recording, modeling, and predicting human health outcomes at individual- to population-level scales, while accounting for:

Human mobility (e.g., daily, weekly, seasonal, life course)
Socioeconomic circumstance (e.g., income status, age, education, gender)
Behavioral risk factors (e.g., smoking, drinking, drugs, diet)
Changing environment (e.g., climate change, industrial development, urban expansion)
Time course of disease (e.g., cancer latency, induction period)
Genetics (e.g., determinants of predisposition to disease)

Addressing some of the major health challenges of the 21st century requires developing increasingly sophisticated theories, methods, visualizations, and tools that can help account for the intersecting impacts of these variables in different locations.

In the end I conclude it on the note that Modern Healthcare has indeed affected lives, and made it better in more ways than one, but still a lot more needs to be done, since with the passage of time new devils are erupting in form of never-heard-of diseases and the world needs “Medical Giants” like Apollo Healthcare to provide remedy.

Lastly I would like to quote Buzz Aldrin, “There’s a need for accepting responsibility - for a person's life and making choices that are not just ones for immediate short-term comfort. You need to make an investment, and the investment is in health and education. ”

Note: Statistics reference taken from Google.

This post has been written for How does Modern Healthcare touch lives? and Indiblogger