India’s top medical experts assembled at a two-day ‘National Conference on Healthcare Management’ at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) from May 20 – 21, 2016 to call for frugal innovation to make healthcare affordable without sacrificing quality.

The program, with its theme of “Frugal Innovation in Healthcare,” was led by distinguished speakers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the National Board of Accreditation for Hospitals (NABH), the World Bank, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, and top hospitals across the country. It covered topics such as quality and patient safety, safeguards against medical negligence, universal health coverage, and creation of eco-friendly hospitals.

Said Dr. Sanjeev Singh, Medical Superintendent, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS), Kochi: "Healthcare, especially in India, is mostly competition driven and there in no fresh idea that comes in. So we have all become very good copycats. When a hospital adopts a new mechanism, every other hospital copies it – none tries to improve or develop it further. There is a severe dearth of new quality management, marketing and diagnostic tools in healthcare. Innovation will not find inroads in Indian healthcare unless it is affordable and low-cost. India needs frugal and cost-effective mechanisms in healthcare."

The key theme of the Conference was to find more avenues for frugal innovation and cost-effective solutions in healthcare and doing more with less, thereby cutting the cost of healthcare while maintaining quality.

Said Dr. Dinesh Nair, Head of Department of Hospital Administration, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS), Kochi: "Due to the rising cost of healthcare and hospital-based services, the issue of making healthcare affordable to the masses has become paramount. One way forward can be frugal innovation in healthcare technology and innovations in services, such as digitizing hospital automation like digital pathology, digitization of radiology imaging, and innovations in delivery system like providing tests and screening at the patient’s doorstep."

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