BLK Super Specialty Hospital Launches most Advanced Version of TomoTherapy for Cancer Patients

BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi has launched Radixact 9, which is the most advanced version of TomoTherapy for treatment of cancer patients. This machine has come as a boon for cancer patients who need radiation therapy. It will provide various clinical benefits such as a high degree of precision, accuracy and speed.

Highlighting the key features of TomoTherapy, Dr. S Hukku, Chairman, Radiation Oncology Department of BLK Super Speciality Hospital said, “TomoTherapy has come as a boon to cancer patients and is a curative treatment for cancer. It uses X-Ray beamline and next-generation imaging technology and delivers scalable and highly reliable treatments for patients. TomoTherapy combines Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with the accuracy of Computed Tomography (CT) scanning technology and Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT).”

Dr. Shikha Halder, Director, Radiation Oncology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital said, “The launch of this advanced version of TomoTherapy is truly remarkable development which will change the way cancer has been treated. With this system, both SBRT and fractioned radiotherapy can be delivered.

TomoTherapy is the latest and smartest radiation therapy to treat the most complicated cancer tumors. This advanced version technology is now functioning at one of the best cancer hospitals in India – BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi ensuring speed, precision, efficiency and ease of use for better results.

Source : Economic Times

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2 Brain Dead Patients Saved Multiple Lives in Bangalore

Two brain-dead patients saved the lives of 12 persons. One of the donors was a 50-year-old man who met with a road accident and other was 16-year old girl who suffered from brain hemorrhage.

The girl was brought to Fortis Hospital on April 2. Her symptoms started with headache, vomiting and turned into worst condition. Her corneas were given to Sankara Eye Hospital, kidney and liver to needy patients at the hospital. The heart valves were sent to a patient in Manipal hospitals.

In another case, the man met with an accident while returning from a wedding and was declared brain dead on April 3. His heart valves, liver, kidneys and corneas were donated to patients in different hospitals.

Source : Times of India

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How Hong Kong’s Health System Favors Outward Medical Tourism

Walking through the passageways at the North District Hospital in Hong Kong, it may be difficult to ignore one sign on the notice board. The sign stares at all who care to read and lists all the services available in the hospital and the wait times before a patient could receive each of them: A 29-month wait for an ultrasound scan, a 29-month wait for a mammogram, and a 23-month wait for an MRI.

These alarmingly long wait times are typical for almost all public hospitals in Hong Kong, as the increased demand for healthcare in the city exceeds the capacity of medical manpower available.

If a woman has to wait two-to-three years to screen for breast cancer with a mammogram or have a pelvic ultrasound to diagnose a pelvic disease, it means the early stages of such diseases will be missed, giving room for progression of the disease as treatment is delayed, increasing the risk of disease complications and deaths.

Similar to or, in some cases, worse than the wait times for these radiological investigations is the average wait time for specialized care. According to the Hospital Authority, Hongkongers seeking specialized medical care may have to wait up to 166 weeks, nearly three-and-a-half years for their first appointment with a specialist.

This has led to a rapidly growing number of Hongkongers going to Taiwan and other nearby countries on medical tourism trips to receive similar health care services, which are much faster and affordable.

The reasons for this drawback in delivering healthcare in Hong Kong cannot be far-fetched: The surging demand for healthcare services far exceeds the number of healthcare professionals available and the rate at which more doctors and other healthcare providers join the workforce.

With a doctor-to-patient ratio in Hong Kong standing at 1:519, this issue is further worsened by the low pay of doctors, the surging increase in the population of Hongkongers, and the high cost of treatment at private hospitals.

Last year, the President of the College of Physicians of Hong Kong, Professor Philip Li Kam-tao, decried a shortage of internal medicine specialists to provide care amid the growing demand for medical care, particularly in the peak flu season.

Li noted that while the number of patients visiting physician clinics has increased by 20 percent between 2011 and 2015, the number of physicians had only increased by 15 percent, putting a strain on the medical personnel and causing them to reduce consultation time for each patient.

Another area of specialized medical care facing this challenge is mental health services. Official statistics revealed that the number of patients needing mental healthcare services grew by 20 percent within a 5-year review period, while the number of doctors and mental health professionals only grew by 3 percent.

In addition, only two psychiatric nurses have been added to the workforce over the last five years to provide care for over 48,000 people diagnosed with severe mental illness.

Patients in stable conditions may wait up to 159 weeks – more than three years – for their first visit with a specialist and each patient is only allowed six to eight minutes in a doctor’s office before their time is up.

These long queue times do not only affect these non-emergency care services, but Hongkongers also have to wait for a long time before receiving care in the ER, for the same reason.

Two months ago, a 72-year-old man died of cerebral haemorrhage after being delayed for about two hours in the ER of Prince of Wales Hospital before receiving a diagnosis, by which time the patient had significantly deteriorated.

This hitch attenuates the merits of the average public hospital in Hong Kong: low cost of healthcare services and high quality of its medical personnel, compared to other cities in China’s Greater Bay Area.

Doctors in Hong Kong’s hospitals also write referrals to private clinics to circumvent the long wait times for some cases, but this comes at a huge cost. While private healthcare in Hong Kong is among the best in the world, patients would have to pay a very huge price to receive treatment in private clinics.

For example, a low- or moderate-income earner in Hongkong who earns roughly HK$15,000 a month would have to give off a full month’s salary to pay for an MRI scan in a private hospital, which costs around HK$3,000 to HK$15,000.

This leaves the average Hongkonger with the option of medical travel. Many of these patients avoid this delay by travelling to Taiwan, Malaysia, Singaprore, and Thailand to receive high quality of care, at an affordable price. In Thailand, for instance, an MRI scan costs about HK$2,300, with minimal wait times.

Hongkongers also fear that as China strengthens links among the Bay Area cities, it may overburden the medical resources and infrastructure in the city, as more people from the Bay Area will travel freely to Hong Kong to receive medical care, which is the best in the area. This will see only see more Hongkongers seek cheaper and better healthcare in countries around.

The cost, quality, and speed of treatment are major drivers of medical tourism around the world and the need for these is potentiating medical travel among residents of Hong Kong. With the current low doctor-to-patient ratio, very long wait times, and growing population in the city, outward medical tourism will be inevitable in Hong Kong.

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Kerala: Emerging Destination for Medical Value Travel

Medical value travel has experienced a steady growth, especially in Asian regions where countries including, India, Thailand and Singapore are considered among the most-preferred destinations.

A KPMG and FICCI report estimates a 15 percent annual growth rate to rise to about $158.2 billion by 2017. Several factors, such as low-cost treatment options, reduced waiting time, world-class quality and personalized services combine to make this rich, cultural and leisure destination an attractive proposition for medical tourism in India.

Cost-effective procedures in key specialty areas, such as cardiology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, nephrology, oncology, coupled with alternative options for Ayurveda, yoga and homoeopathy therapies give this destination in southern India a distinct advantage.

Ayurveda Hub

Popularly known as hub of Ayurveda, Kerala has captured the imagination of many as an admired destination for medical value travel in India. And now, because of high quality healthcare services including state-of-the-art in- infrastructure at Aster Medcity, Kerala can claim to be among the most advanced healthcare destinations in South Asia.

Kerala is listed among the “top 10 paradises in the world” and among “50 must-see destinations of a lifetime” by National Geographic’s Traveler magazine. Most visitors to Kerala define the state by its exotic location, favorable climate, and educated and cultured population. While a regional language prevails in most parts of the state, English binds every location.

For medical value travel, flight connectivity across countries forms an essential factor. Kerala enjoys a strategic placement on the Indian map offering seamless connectivity through the Middle East and Far East. International airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Khozhikode allow visitors to fly to any part of Kerala in less than three hours. Kerala tops the indices for India’s lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy rates. With a 100 percent literacy rate, Kerala has the highest Physical Quality of Life Index in India and is the only Indian state with macro health indicators on par with OECD countries.

Travelers are initially attracted to the Ayurvedic and wellness services in Kerala, but medical tourism is gaining appeal. Kerala has pioneered and concentrated on efforts to provide quality medical facilities and low-cost treatments for Indian as well as international patients. The establishment of top multi-specialty hospitals and emergence of skilled and qualified doctors are facilitating Kerala’s job growth.

The majority of hospitals, both public and private, have achieved National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Provider and International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) designations.

Kerala has delivered world – class standards of healthcare at affordable costs – about a 15 percent discount – compared to other destinations in India. The state has successfully made the leap from leisure to medical tourism by building healthcare expertise combined with a sustainable model for education and infrastructure development.

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The Future of Artificial Organ Transplants in Medical Tourism

Although North America is currently the market leader in artificial organ technologies—valued at USD 4.08 billion in 2014 and expected to reach USD 7.13 billion by the end of 2019, according to Mordor Intelligence—patients are flocking to foreign countries to lessen the economic hardships associated with these types of medical procedures in North America.

Given the cost of artificial organ transplants, countries that focus on attracting medical tourists could greatly benefit from the growth of this market in their region.

Analyst projections show Asia as the fastest-growing market for artificial organs. While countries such as China and India begin to see improvements and expansions to their healthcare infrastructure, along with the development and growth of medical tourism in their region, the artificial organ transplants market may experience steady growth as well.

Countries with an interest in medical tourism who are experiencing increasing healthcare expenditure, growing income levels, and growing surgical procedures have amplified possibilities of becoming key players in this emerging market.

This, coupled with lesser competition than North American and European countries, and the rising knowledge and preference for artificial organs, create a promising environment for healthcare professionals, patients, and countries as a whole.

Twenty-two people in the United States die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. On a global scale, the numbers are astronomical. What if artificial organ transplants could change that.

More than 120,000 people are currently on the national waiting list for transplants, and number grows every 10 minutes when a new name is added.

So far in 2016, more than 16,000 transplants have been performed in the U.S.

The statistics showing the demand for organs in the U.S. are high, when those numbers are combined with global statistics the numbers could be scary.

There have been almost 8,000 donors so far in 2016. These numbers are just not matching up for the demand for organs.

Since there are not enough natural organs to cover the demand, the market for artificial organs is steadily growing. According to a new report published by Transparency Market Research, the artificial vital organs and medical bionics market was valued at USD 17.5 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach an estimated value of USD 32.3 billion in 2018.

Artificial organs, usually made from patient stem cells, are grown in laboratories and are used to replace the function of a natural organ. Artificial organs are often used to take the place of life-sustaining functions, or even for replacement joints found in knee or hip replacements.

The noted growth of this market is a result of the growing number of organ failures due to age-related disorders, high numbers of people on waiting lists for organs, new or improved technologies for the development of organs and increasing accidents and injuries leading to amputations.

According to a report by MarketsAndMarkets research firm, manufactures are currently focused on the development of artificial implant products such as wearable artificial kidney, bio-lung, and artificial pancreas for diseases that cannot be cured with alternative treatment methods.

Although this market is a great source of revenue for any nation, a few pivotal factors such as the ever- increasing costs of artificial organ technologies and a lack of surgical training in the field, have limited the reach of these medical procedures to countries outside of North America and Europe.

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