New Delhi, Oct 29 | Delivering adequate healthcare, especially for stroke patients, in rural India where more than two-thirds of the country’s population lives in a major challenge, experts said on Friday.
Launching app Smart India that will help the physicians in rural India to provide quality care to stroke patients on the occasion of the World Stroke Day, Dr M.V. Padma Srivastava, Head of the Neurosciences Centre at the AIIMS here, said that there is severe shortage of specialists in rural areas with one of the lowest physician population ratios in the world.
There is only one neurologist in India per 1.25 million populations, she noted.
The app is a part of Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence in Disability and Assistive Technology (CARE-DAT), a joint research project developed by AIIMS and IIT Delhi to study the role of assistive technologies in optimising functional recovery post stroke with special emphasis on hand function and its validation of sustenance and long-term clinical impact.
On ways to deal with the crisis of neurologists in rural India, Dr Vishnu V.Y., Associate Professor of Neurology, said: “Two innovative solutions to this problem include training physicians at district hospital to diagnose and manage acute stroke or use low-cost telestroke model.”
“We developed the SMART-India App with a primary purpose of providing low-cost telestroke services of a neurologist and physiotherapist to physicians in district hospitals,” he added.
Two other stroke related initiatives -IMPETUS and CARE-DAT – have also been started to improve the quality of life of disabled persons who have suffered a stroke.
The objective of the research is to design low-cost exoskeleton and piezoelectric hand gloves for improvement of upper limb function after stroke and to develop virtual reality module and to evaluate the clinical impact on upper limb rehabilitation, Dr Srivastava said.