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Role of information and communication technology in medical research a national perspective

Role of Information and Communication Technology in Medical Research: A National Perspective

Dr Rajni Kant

Indian Council of Medical Research

Department of Health Research

(Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India)

New Delhi

Indian council of medical research
Indian Council of Medical Research Research: A National Perspective

  • Apex body to formulate, conduct, coordinate and promote biomedical research

  • Founded in 1911 as Indian Research Fund Association

  • Renamed as ICMR in 1949

  • Intramural Research: through network of 32 Institutes/ centres and over 100 field units

  • Extramural Research through funding to medical colleges, universities / institutions - average 1200-1500 projects annually (ongoing and new)

  • HRD : About 1000-1200 student fellowships- JRF, SRF, PDF, STS (ongoing and new, every year)

  • International Co-operation in Health Research

Network of ICMR Institutes/Centres Research: A National Perspective

BMHRC, Bhopal

CRME, Madurai

EVRC, Mumbai

DMRC, Jodhpur

FTDRC, Hyderabad

GRC, Mumbai

ICPO, Noida

ICMR Virus Unit, Kolkata

MCC, Pune

NARI, Pune

NCDIR, Bangalore

NCLAS, Hyderabad

NICED, Kolkata

NIE, Chennai

NIMR, New Delhi

NIMS, New Delhi

17. NIN, Hyderabad

18. NIRT, Chennai

19.NIREH, Bhopal

20.NIV, Pune

21.NJIL&OMD, Agra

22.NIOH, Ahmedabad

23 NIIH, Mumbai

24. NIOP, New Delhi

25. NIRRH, Mumbai

26.RMRC, Bhubaneswar

27.RMRC, Port-Blair

28.RMRCT, Jabalpur

29.RMRIMS, Patna

30. RMRC, Dibrugarh

31. RMRC, Belgaum

32. VCRC, Puducherry

Malaria, Leishmaniasis, Filariasis, Diarrhoeal diseases, Leprosy, Tuberculosis,

HIV/AIDS, Poliomyelitis, other viral diseases, Cancer, Occupational Health

Blood Disorders, Reproductive Health, Nutrition, Epidemiology, Medical Statistics,

Regional Health Issues

Health information system
Health Information System Research: A National Perspective

Health information systems strongly influence quality and efficiency of health care, and technical progress offers advanced opportunities to support health care.

Benefits Research: A National Perspective

  • Information technology is critical to health care’s infrastructure and key to transforming how health care operates

  • IT can improve…

    • Quality of patient care

    • Business of health care

    • Compliance with regulations and policies

    • Mobilizing the field to address the fragmentation and lack of coordination in health care…improving quality and performance through standards-based information systems

    • Connectivity & network/communications

Informatics in medical research
Informatics in Medical Research Research: A National Perspective

  • Informatics has become an integral component of medical research due to exponential increase in volume and complexity of data.

  • Informatics tools and techniques are being used world-wide for:

    • Better understanding of disease prevalence and pathogenesis

    • Developing better prognostic/diagnostic markers and therapeutics

  • Three important reasons for limited use of informatics by Indian medical professionals are:

    • Lack of awareness

    • Lack of sufficient infrastructure particular for big medical data

    • Lack of expertise

Icmr taskforce on biomedical informatics
ICMR- Taskforce on Biomedical Informatics Research: A National Perspective

  • Biomedical Informatics Centres of ICMR were initiated in project mode in 2006 Under TF .

  • Established 9 Biomedical Informatics Centres of ICMR at medical colleges and medical research institutes.

  • During the duration of the project (six years) the Centres conducted 57 training programs, completed 122 collaborative projects, developed 47 databases of clinical and biomedical information and published 98 peer-reviewed publications.

  • ICMR extended the program into the second phase and enhanced the mandate to a total of 20 Biomedical Informatics Centres.

Mobile-based Surveillance Quest using IT  ( Research: A National PerspectiveMoSQuIT) Disease Surveillance System for Malaria using a Mobile Platform


Disease Surveillance System for Malaria using a Mobile Platform


Centre for Development of Advanced Computing

MoSQuIT Research: A National Perspective

Mobile based Surveillance Quest using IT


Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Pune

Indian Council for Medical Research/RMRC

Objectives Research: A National Perspective

  • Track, monitor the status of malaria in the community

  • Detect changes in trend, distribution of malaria in order to initiate investigative, control measures

  • Measure the effectiveness of anti-malaria programme

  • Malaria Prevention & control

Design & Methodology Research: A National Perspective

  • Identification of OPD/Healthcare centres & Health workers for data collection

  • Training the Health workers for data collection/transfer

  • Involvement of Medical officers, ANM, MPW, ASHA, Technical supervisor, Surveillance workers for tracking and monitoring

  • Instantaneous data transfer to the data mart at the PHC/Regional Medical Centre

  • Data analysis for trend identification and outbreak prediction ;

  • Building Blocks:

  • Data collection via Mobiles ;

  • Data transfer from Mobiles to Servers ;

  • Data collation/analysis on Server ;

  • Multimedia User Interface

    • Video clips (Training of using malaria detection kit..) ;

    • Voice/Audio clips (Precaution during epidemic..) ;

    • Health games (Malaria prevention..) ;

    • Alerts of epidemic

Deployment Research: A National Perspective

  • System deployed in Primary Health Centres (Tengaghat, Assam) with 10 subcentres covering Population of size 60,000 from 66 Villages

  • Fifty Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) involved in door-to-door visits

  • Besides these, Lab Technicians, Medical Officers and other Support Staff including Nurses are involved


Based on the success of this work, further scaled-up deployment of MoSQuIT has been approved along International borders of North East India (Mobile based integrated surveillance system for malaria along international borders of NE .

Benefits Research: A National Perspective

Mobile based



  • Prevents delay in data dissemination from field to decision-makers

    • Early diagnosis reduces morbidity and mortality

    • Early detection of epidemic situation

    • Fast reporting, close to real time

  • Improves accuracy of decision making

  • Facilitates better treatment and care of patients

Tuberculosis Screening, Diagnostic & Treatment Adherence system using ICT & mobile Technology

Developed by RMRC, Dibrugarh


Objectives system using ICT & mobile Technology

Design, Development and Deployment of Screening, Diagnostic & Tuberculosis(TB) Treatment Adherence System for inaccessible hilly area & tea gardens which will provide region specific risk factors on Web and Mobile platforms

Connect stakeholders of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) by providing near-real time information to TB Home Visitor(TBHV), Senior Treatment Supervisor (STS) & Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) provider/Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) to identify TB treatment defaulters

Build Pill box compatibility to help with Treatment Adherence

Cost effective and Non-invasive TB Screening, Diagnostic & Monitoring using Information and Communications Technology(ICT) for better X-Ray reading & Cough sound pattern analysis

Generating awareness amongst community regarding hygiene habits especially about spitting & coughing etiquette for the prevention of spread of TB

Mobile system using ICT & mobile TechnologyEdutainment for TB

  • Preventive TB Management

  • Know about TB

  • My Family Care

  • Curative TB Management

  • Prepare for Investigations:

  • Sputum, X-ray…

  • Drug regime, Dos & Don’ts for TB

  • Diet & Lifestyle for TB patient

  • Entertainment

  • TB related mobilegames

Health apps

Health Apps

Connecting to people
Connecting to People system using ICT & mobile Technology


  • Development of Cancer Web Portal for public by ICPO, Noida


Mapping vector borne diseases usage of space technology
Mapping Vector-borne Diseases- Usage system using ICT & mobile Technologyof Space Technology

  • Mapping of village level ecological risk of malaria.

  • Impact of deforestation on malaria vectors in Sonitpur (Assam).

  • Risk map of filariasis in 3 blocks in Odisha.

  • Niche modelling of Kala-azar vector.

  • Early warning tools for malaria.

  • Early warning system for Japanese encephalitis.

  • Determined Climate suitability for cholera using weather parameters.

With images of IRS P6 MX, villages categorized into high ( ) and low ( ) malarious villages in Kallembella (SiraTaluka , Tumkur)

Use of GIS technology in dengue control & Way Points for

  • Buffer zone of 200 m around the 20 locality of West zone Delhi was created

  • Aedes Aegypti breeding was controlled in 2012 -14.

  • No case of dengue was reported from the localities and in buffer zone of 200 m in 2014 & 2015.

E learning programmes in health research
e-learning programmes in & Way Points forhealth research

NPTEL- National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning

  • Joint initiative of IITs and IISc

  • Funded by Ministry of Human Resources Development

  • In 2016, NIE-NPTEL collaboration will launch the following courses:

    • Research methods

    • Good Clinical and Laboratory Practices

    • Principles of Bio-ethics

    • Human Subject Protection and Operating Guidelines for Human Ethics Commitees

Digitization of ijmr since inception 1913

Text/Image Cleaning Software & Way Points for

Indexing & Keyword Generation

Pdf conversion/OCR Metadata

Digital Record


Digitization of IJMR since inception (1913)

Physical Information Digital Form

(Project in collaboration with CDAC, Noida)

  • To increase visibility & Impact, Full-fill regular high demand for articles, Facilitate easy access & retrieval

Journal archive
Journal Archive & Way Points for

Content page
Content Page & Way Points for

Exhaustive search options
Exhaustive search options & Way Points for

Appropriate use of e connectivity
Appropriate use of e-connectivity & Way Points for

  • E-governance for administrative work.

  • E-governance for project management.

  • Knowledge Management Policy for optimum utilization of National Knowledge Network for health service delivery, medical education and research (e Health)

    • Integrating research with service, medical education and health care delivery systems.

    • Sharing knowledge about best practices to raise the productivity and efficiency of health systems and improve the outcome related indicators.

    • Building up the capacity for management of health effects of disasters/outbreaks.

Action plan for telemedicine
Action Plan for Telemedicine & Way Points for

  • To prepare the Policy Document on Knowledge Management for Health- Service, Education and Research in the country (KMP).

  • To develop an efficient Health Knowledge Management System for collection, collation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge for improving the quality of Health Services, Education and Research

  • Under chairmanship of Prof. S.V. Raghavan, Scientific Secretary in the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India & Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering along with other area experts, ten projects were reviewed and five were found to be suitable to be undertaken as per KMP policy initiative

Projects related to telemedicine
Projects related to Telemedicine & Way Points for

  • School Based Surveillance of Acute Pharyngitis and Rheumatic Fever, RHD among School Children using Mobile Phone based reporting system; prospective randomized cluster intervention trial.

  • Evaluate the Role of Telemedicine in Diagnosis of Retinal Diseases in Tribal Population of Keylong, Lahaul & Spiti of Himachal Pradesh Using Fundus Photography.

  • Impact of 24-Hour ACS Helpline on the Thrombolytic Rate in Acute Coronary Syndrome in Kangra District: A Cluster Controlled Trial

  • Effect of Standard E-Management Guidelines to Improve Treatment Compliance Among Patients With Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus of Urban, Rural And Tribal Area of HP

  • Geriatric Friendly Clinic: Primary Health Care - An Age-Friendly Approach

  • Strategic program to develop and evaluate the effect of an educational program for rationalizing the use of antibiotics in peripheral centers connected to telemedicine unit of a tertiary care hospital.

Software development
Software development & Way Points for

  • Short term studentship (STS)

  • Management of Acute Coronary Events (MACE)

  • e-Recruitment

  • Monitoring the Engineering Services

Management information systems at icmr
Management Information & Way Points forSystems at ICMR

  • Up-to-date databases of

    • Extramural projects funded by ICMR

    • Profiles of ICMR Institutes and Scientists

    • Publications of the ICMR Scientists

    • Seminars/Symposium/Workshops/Conferences funded by ICMR

    • Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR)

  • Report generation

    • Generation of customized reports for time bound queries, parliament queries

  • Interactive Extramural Information System for the Division of ECD.

Office procedure automation opa
Office procedure automation (OPA & Way Points for)

  • Implemented in the year 2000 at ICMR Headquarters

  • Four ICMR institutes (NIOH, NIRT, NIV, RMRIMS) are using it

  • Help in tracking the Office files and its place

Video conferencing
Video conferencing & Way Points for

  • ICMR has established and managing Video Conferencing facility at its nine institutes, which help in interaction and deliberations on various health issues in short time with out involving any travel

  • The facility is being used extensively for National and International Conferences by all institutes having VC facility

Databases prepared

Databases Prepared & Way Points for

Mega Project on Digitization of IJMR since

inception (1913): Outcome- IJMR Digital

Archive with searchable interface

Database on Research Papers on Malaria in

the name MALPUB (1955-2005) and its


Directory of Indian S&T (including Medical

Periodicals) with the name DIP (2010)

Also digitized the past available Annual

Reports, Special Reports & Technical


  • Tuberculosis & Way Points for(Developed by NIRTH, Chennai)

  • TBDRUGS -Database of Drugs for Tuberculosis

  • DDRTB-Database for Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

  • Nutrition (Developed by NIN, Hyderabad)

  • Food and Nutrition Database

  • Diet Calculator with recipes and Recommended

  • dietary Guidelines

  • National Food Borne Disease Surveillance Portal

PROPOSED Activities & Way Points for

E-Governance with the purpose of automating all activities and building an Information Base

ICMR Computational Genomics Centre

Data Repository consisting of all research data generated by ICMR through its extramural & intramural activities. Application of Data mining and Business Intelligence.

Develop E-class rooms using National Knowledge Network for teaching of Medical Students by the faculty of tertiary care Hospitals.

Conclusion & Way Points for

  • Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Health Care including Health Research have immense potential.

  • This will help in easy connectivity, people mobilization, developing rapid response system and help in mapping and forecasting of diseases in advance as well as developing important databases.

  • E-health/m-health is need of the hour

  • Challenge is to widen the scope and be prepared to cope up with fast changing scenario as well as adoptable to new innovations/ technologies

  • Strengthening infrastructure and capacity building will further enhance its utilization

  • May also contribute to Digital India Campaign of the New Govt.