As COVID-19 cases surge throughout the nation, it is imperative for Bangladesh to utilize ICT in the healthcare system to stave off the challenges posed by a catastrophe.
The ICT Division of the Government of Bangladesh and eGeneration have actively been working to help the healthcare sector battle this pandemic with the support of technology. As convalescent plasma therapy is a potential treatment for COVID-19, ‘Shohojoddha – A Plasma Network’ is a national digital platform initiated collectively by the ICT division, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), A2i innovation Lab, Sandhani and eGeneration to facilitate the collection and distribution of plasma in Bangladesh.
To highlight the importance of how working together is crucial, especially during this uncertain time to accelerate the creation of a healthy environment with innovative health-tech solutions, eGeneration organized a webinar titled “Reimagine Healthcare: Shohojoddha – ICT in Battling COVID-19” powered by RTV and in partnership with two leading dailies.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, State Minister of ICT Division and the chief guest of the event said, “The government has been taking strict measures to ensure the safety of its citizens during this uncertain time. The ‘Shohojoddha’ platform is intended to treat individuals suffering from this fatal illness. We seek to constructively utilize the current infrastructure to improve the health of the public along with the implementation of the IT infrastructure which can greatly ease the petrifying health risks associated with COVID-19. To achieve this, it is vital to exploit partnerships with private organizations such as eGeneration.”
Shameem Ahsan, Chairman of eGeneration Group said, "We are very proud to develop the technology platform for ‘Shohojoddha’ and contribute to this noble, life-saving initiative by managing the platform with ICT Division and a2i Innovation Lab. Besides, eGeneration wants to help the public and private hospitals in the country prevail against this pandemic with the aid of technology solutions such as ICU over the Cloud, Telemedicine, Tele-radiology, Hospital Management Information System, AI-based Chatbot etc. in the same way we helped automate five hospitals of Border Guard Bangladesh with 500 beds."
Priti Chakraborty, Chairman of Universal Medical College said, “We need to strengthen our ICT industry and be more accepting towards change. There is a notion of resistance to any kind of transformation in our nation which is not only limited to the healthcare sector. We can start with vigorous trainings and by raising awareness among the general public for embracing digital healthcare services.”
Arif Mahmud, Head of Medical Service of Evercare Hospital said, “The tools we possess to win this battle against the virus are very limited. However, a promising treatment for this ruinous illness is the plasma therapy which involves transfusion of plasma from coronavirus recovered patients. It is a popular belief that after an individual tests coronavirus positive, if the plasma transfusion takes place within the first 14 days, the success rate is projected to be very high.”
Mohammad Mushtuq Husain, Consultant & Chief Advisor of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research said, “The statistics concerning the number of beds available in a hospital needs to be combined into a single platform and should be setup immediately as this will enable Bangladeshi residents to effectively track which hospitals they should visit for prompt assistance. This will be a critical support for both, hospitals and patients.”
Parveen Fatima, Chairman of Care Hospital said, “The pandemic compelled me to utilize and rely on telemedicine to diagnose my patients which made me realize the importance of technology and the benefits it can provide if improved further. To streamline our healthcare processes, we need the government to intervene and assist with the advancement of technology in Bangladesh.”
Al Emran Chowdhury, Director and CEO of Bangladesh Specialized Hospital said, “We need to urge more people to invest in creating more hospital management software which will automate processes starting right from patient registration to their discharge. This will tremendously reduce the inconvenience a patient usually experiences.”
Mahbubul Islam, Director, Management Committee of Labaid Group said, “ICT has exceedingly advanced over the past few years, however, we need to modernize the healthcare sector by implementing integrated medical services. The integrated medical services will ensure the delivery of outstanding, high quality and innovative care while creating an effortless experience for the patients which is both important and urgent in today’s healthcare sector.”
Gazi Mizanur Rahman, Chairman of Gazi Medical College Hospital said, “There is no strict standard health practice management maintenance in our country. For instance, the general public opts for a specialist for any health issue they may experience without consulting a general practitioner first. Before setting up an integrated IT infrastructure, we need to establish a standard health practice management.”
Sulaiman Ahmed, Managing Director of Oasis Hospital said, “The involvement of IT in the healthcare sector is extremely crucial if we want our nation to move forward amidst all the setbacks caused by this pandemic.”
Faruq Ahmed Jewel, Head of Technology of iLab at A2i said, “’Shohojoddha’ is a platform which will contribute immensely in the facilitation of plasma distribution within our nation. Moreover, we can utilize technology to create a doctors’ portal database which will include comprehensive and updated information of all doctors associated with our nation. This can improve the quality of our healthcare immensely.”
Tasmima Mamataz, Senior Consultant, Chittagong Port Hospital said, “The mindset of our physicians have changed overtime as we can witness the vast adaptation of telemedicine. However, there is a gap in integration although most of the hospitals are using different hospital management solutions.”
Mohammad Akhter Ali, Senior System Analyst of Police Headquarters said, “I believe that creating a central national medical database which can store the patient's medical records with the help of technology as it will bring convenience for patients to transfer between hospitals,”
Kamrul Hassan, Head of ICU, University of Science and Technology said, “Health tech solutions such as ICU monitoring system should have been implemented long ago which would have prepared us for facing a pandemic like this. Currently, we are now exploring different solutions and it is important to embrace such technologies now more than ever.”
Nurul Hasan, Finance Director, Oasis Hospital said, “It is not about investment in technology, it is more about the knowledge and mindset regarding it. Often times we witness that the patients and even our health practitioners are reluctant about the adaptation of technology.