Foundation of Healthcare Technologies Society
Newsletter from the Foundation of Healthcare Technologies Society | July 2021

Dear All,

I welcome you to the second issue of “Population Health Research, Innovation, Skills and Entrepreneurship (PHRISE) Updates” newsletter. The pandemic has brought forth in our FHTS family coping, adaptability, resilience, and empathy to enhance the health of the populations.
We highlight some of our teams’ efforts in responding to the challenges due to COVID-19 with specific emphasis on student mentorship, initiation of an innovative virtual experiential learning program, design and development of a global policy informatics dashboard to track COVID-19 data and policy response, and various other public health research studies that address 21st century population health challenges. We also highlight our new initiatives such as SMAART Hackathon, our new speaker series and monthly public health quiz series as a range of opportunities to provide a platform facilitating knowledge exchange across diverse stakeholders. Our aim is to aggregate and summarize the critical highlights and demonstrate impact that FHTS is making to address equity through the lens of population health.
I hope you find this issue informative and engaging and look forward to sharing more about our organizing activities and contributions in our upcoming newsletter. I want to congratulate the entire team of FHTS for their perseverance, flexibility, innovation and resilience during these tough times amidst COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ashish Joshi PhD, MBBS, MPH

To translate research into practice through use of technology based solutions that can empower individuals and the environment where they live in for the well-being of themselves, their families and the communities.
Demystifying digital health to improve family planning
WHO Digital Adaptation Kits developed by WHO, HRP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), JSI, PATH  to ensure quality of care as countries move from paper-based guidelines to dynamic digital systems. “Family planning services are not always prioritized in digitalization – but when the process is clear and transparent it’s much easier to understand how health information or commodities connects to a broader spectrum of quality of care,” Read more

How can we manage COVID-19 fatigue?
Most people make a good recovery, but the wide range of covid related illness and organ damage weave a complex prognostic picture. Of patients discharged from hospital, more than one in 10 will die within six months, writes Emily Fraser. Some patients with lung damage will have persisting respiratory symptoms. Read more

Reducing Sodium Intake in Community Meals Programs
Evaluation of the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program, Arkansas, 2016–2019:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP) in 2010 with a goal to reduce sodium intake in US Read more
Researchers at FHTS in collaboration with other global researchers recently published articles covering the importance of nutrition informatics in an Indian setting. In addition, protocol on COVID-19 Vaccine Communication, Acceptance and Practices on vaccine hesitancy in an Indian setting published.

The recent paper: Need and Importance of Nutrition Informatics in India: A Perspective published in MDPI Journal. Nutrition informatics (NI) is the effective retrieval, organization, storage, and optimum use of information, data and knowledge for food-and-nutrition-related problem solving and decision-making. There is a growing opportunity to facilitate technology-enabled behavioural change interventions to support NI research and practice. This paper highlights the changing landscape of food and nutrition practices in India to prepare a NI workforce that could provide some valuable tools to address the double burden of nutrition.

The paper: The Impact of COVID-19 Vaccine Communication, Acceptance, and Practices (CO-VIN-CAP) on Vaccine Hesitancy in an Indian Setting: The Protocol for a Cross-sectional Study on Vaccine Hesitancy in an Indian Setting recently published in JMIR Research Protocol. The pilot study was conducted from March 2021 to May 2021. Data gathered from 3130   respondents.  The study participants were recruited from eleven selected urban and rural settings of Chennai district of Tamil Nadu. The data collected at once by utilizing the CO-VIN-CAP survey questionnaire including nine core components. Currently the study is ongoing in the urban and rural settings of Chennai to collect the data for about 25,000 participants to assess the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy and its predictors. For this study, the data will be collected electronically using the validated CO-VIN-CAP survey questionnaire.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has restrained and challenged the entire world in multiple ways. In these times of adversity, innovation is needed. With that in mind, we at FHTS organised an innovative event- SMAART IMPACT Hackathon. It served as a platform for participants to highlight the most prominent and recent trends and data on COVID-19 infection and management, impact on mental health and well-being, vaccination and what next w.r.t. COVID-19 impact, lessons and future. FHTS recently successfully concluded SMAART IMPACT Hackathon.
Date and time: July 24, 8:30 am IST; July 23, 8:00 pm PDT
Topics of the Webinar -

1) Evolution of Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
2) Introduction to Special Topics for Fostering Public/Population Health Effort

Presenter - Pradeep S. B. Podila, PhD, MHA, MS, FACHE, FHFMA, CPHQ, CPHIMS, CSSBB, Health Services/Population Health Researcher
Pradeep S. B. Podila has over 13 years of combined experience in Systems Support, Health Services Research and Data Analytics.
He has worked for over 7 years as a Decision Support Data Specialist-II and Data Governor in Process Improvement & Innovation and Patient Safety & Quality at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) in Memphis, Tennessee. Pradeep received Masters Degrees in Electrical/Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare Administration, and PhD in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Memphis.

RSVP by July 23, 2021, 5 pm IST 

Submit RSVP Form
Provoking the Perception - An enlightening series of Monthly Quiz
We are thrilled to introduce our Monthly Quiz Series PROVOKING THE PERCEPTION, in which we will be conducting monthly quiz centred around a particular theme every month. 
As Covid-19 continues to create havoc and devastation in the world and its crucial to have the right knowledge and awareness about it, our first quiz will be focussing on various aspects of COVID-19.

Who all can participate?
Anyone can participate. It is open for all.
Why should you take part in Quiz?
  •  Participation and Appreciation Certificate to all the students who will be registering for the quiz.
  • Winner certificate and LinkedIn badge for winning team in each category.
  • The Top 3 Winners will get an opportunity to be featured in our monthly digital newsletter which is read by professionals across the world.
  • Top 3 winning teams will get an opportunity to intern at Foundation of Healthcare Technologies Society and get an exposure to work on various ongoing research project

Last date of the registration – July 30, 2021

For more information contact:
Register Now
A discussion board where individuals respond to content, teach each other, learn by stating and understanding. It encourages critical thinking and allows individuals to have the flexibility to reflect on their thoughts and to take a position on issues. The goal is to facilitate a professional communication process with your peers in a meaningful manner, value such professional interchange, and for electronic communication to facilitate the process.
The Discussion Board of FHTS engages an active membership of 360 users across the globe (Last accessed 30th June 2021). A platform where different topics are generated pertaining to various domains and the members can put forth their views and learnings. In the month of June, three topics posted encompassing different aspects of research such as Members from diverse backgrounds contributed evidence-based research and exchanged their ideas and thoughts in a meaningful manner.
Key Findings:
  • Importance of data privacy, data sharing, data access, and data security during COVID-19 for evidence based decision.
  • Need for integrated platforms models for global data sharing and management of COVID-19.
  • Most common symptoms, preventive strategies and treatment modalities discussed.
  • Role of Technology in the Indian Framework such as development of Aarogya Setu App and vaccination tracking app such as Cowin.
  • Development of facemask with biosensor technology and usage of drones in supplies.
  • Role of technology in mental health was also discussed.
Read More
A lot of information has been available since the vaccination drive has begun all over the world. There is a hesitancy and many doubts about vaccines among people. Is the information accessible to you accurate? Let's try to understand it better.
COVID-19 vaccine is crucial, meaningful, and essential as it effectively reduces your chance of being infected, preventing severe illness from COVID-19, and contributing to community protection, reducing the likelihood of virus transmission.
The people still doubt the quick response of vaccine development and its safety. The immediate response to develop a vaccine does not mean that companies bypassed safety protocols or adequate testing.
Vaccination effects can be short-term or moderate, like fever, chills, headache, and fatigue, indicating that your immune system responds to the vaccine. No matter if you've recovered from covid-19, you still require to get vaccinated.
So, Get yourself vaccinated & encourage and educate everyone around you to get his or her shot soon. Remember, being vaccinated; you can reduce the risk of getting sick but still carry and transmit the virus to others. Hence, continue to take necessary precautions such as mask-wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing.
Read everything about Vaccines here: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

SMAART RAPID Tracker is a Research enabled Action oriented Policy Interventions driven by Data platform. It is a policy informatics platform aimed to track geospatial spread of COVID-19 outbreak and policy actions and vaccinations globally.


Bhavya Malhotra

Bhavya has been associated with FHTS since 2012 holding several roles, her current designation is Research Program Manager, she is leading a Research Project funded by prestigious government organization viz ICMR which involves integration of information technology and analytics along with nutritional information with an intent to improve public health outcomes. Along with her current role she is a PhD fellow in Population health informatics which is first of its kind in India.

Shruti Sharma

Motivated nutrition researcher with 8 years of progressive experience in the academic and healthcare environment, including extensive experience in project management and research administration. possess an established track record of creating and implementing programs and long-term sustainable strategies aimed at organizational growth. Have worked in the area of public health nutrition, clinical/therapeutic nutrition, health informatics. Coordinated with 4 ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) funded projects and 1 Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Digital India project. Published 9 research papers in various reputed international journals in the area of Public Health.
Her interest areas are Public health informatics, Nutrition informatics. Telehealth, EHR, behavioural change communication, and public health through technology.
FHTS has been offering experiential learning internship opportunities to students since 2013 under the program called INSPIRE and the onset of COVID-19 conceptualized V-INSPIRE under the guidance of Dr. Ashish Joshi to help students get experiential learning experience virtually. Over 300+ interns have participated in the program from 04th May 2020 until date. With a motive to imbibe data analytics, informatics, policy analysis, intervention and outcomes research, leadership and mentorship skills while simultaneously working upon gaining core Public Health skills, FHTS has launched V- INSPIRE Community.  
An inaugural cohort of Inspire Fellows chosen amongst these interns for a period of 6 months. These fellows will acquire skills in public health leadership, problem solving, team building, project management, and communications. What is interesting about this fellowship is that majority of the students are public health aspirants and Dr. Ashish Joshi referred “Preparing the next gen public health leadership” is a need of the hour to solve complex public health challenges of the 21st century.
Below we introduce some of our INSPIRE fellows.
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Anuprita Nair

She has completed her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal. She has been admitted to the MPH program at Boston University School of Public Health, starting in Fall 2021. She started her journey at FHTS as a V-Inspire Intern and got the opportunity to participate in the first of its kind, the SMAART IMPACT Seed Grant initiative. Her team was awarded winners of the event, and they subsequently successfully developed innovative health behavior strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake by addressing vaccine hesitancy. She is now a part of the first batch of the V-inspire Fellows and is working in the poster presentation cluster. She recently worked with her team to arrange the SMAART IMPACT Hackathon, which focused on COVID-19. The event was attended by 200 participants, including esteemed judges panel, healthcare professionals, researchers, and students from different health care sectors. She hopes to make the most of the fellowship to develop her passion for understanding and solving public health challenges while improving her leadership, communication, and research acumen.

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Mohammed Baleeqhuddin

I am Mohammed Baleeqhuddin, a Doctor of pharmacy student and Public health enthusiast. Previously I was a virtual intern at FHTS. Now I am INSPIRE FELLOW at FHTS. Before joining FHTS, I have been part of many community initiatives and health camps. FHTS has helped me build upon my interest in Public health. My area of interest is biostatistics, health informatics, and Research methodology.

Tisha Prakash

I want to thank Dr Joshi for allowing me to be a part of the FHTS family. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, association with FHTS provides the ability to learn and contribute. The task given to me as an Inspire Community fellow provided me to acquire skills in informatics. Learning by practicing, extracting data, structurally compiling it, and analysing it in a format of evidence has given me insight into analysing quantitative data, understanding and making sense of complex scientific data, and converting them into publication for dissemination to a larger scientific audience. In the era of information and pandemic, basic health informatics learning here allows me to shape data to be shared throughout the chain of care, from the patient right to the health care system. Moreover, the work done with other fellow members enhances my capabilities to collaborate and communicate. I appreciate my mentor for their valuable support during interactions and presentations. I hope to utilize my strengths and skills to make a difference in the field of oral health promotion & prevention of oral diseases. It also helps physicians provide better care, quicker care and spend more time with patients.

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Isha Malik

Dr Isha Vikas Malik (PT), a physiotherapy graduate from Amar Jyoti Institute of Physiotherapy, Delhi University and Master in Public health from Indian Institute of Public Health have been working as a Manager Administration and Facilities at Ishan hospital, Delhi. After successful completion of MPH, I wished to serve for one of the most deprived domains, Disability and Rehabilitation and put it forward in the community spectrum. With the aim of learning more about formulation and implementation of innovative policy making, I was drawn towards the experiential learning based V-INSPIRE programme of FHTS. Presently, I have been working on a Disability informatics project as a Public Health Intern with FHTS. An amalgam of research, intervention, innovation, entrepreneurship and skills, essential for bridging the gap in public health research for targeting health related inequalities, I got it all at FHTS. Apart from this, I have been working at FHTS in a dynamic role of INSPIRE Fellow as well. The contribution FHTS has made in the healthcare informatics and technology domain is highly commendable. I wish to carry forward with this journey of learning and be able to contribute better for public health in future.

Pooja Murjani

Nutrition & Research Enthusiast with majors in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator & specialises in Diabetes Management, currently working as a Clinical Nutritionist & Diet Consultant in Mumbai. She is also associated with SNDT Women’s University as a Visiting Lecturer.  Being specialized in Therapeutic Nutrition, she can help patients with clinical conditions & metabolic disorders. She is passionate about educating patients to enhance their dietary habits in order to heal with food. Research based dietary implications & straightforward education is her favourite methodology which can help people achieve their health goals & can be sustained in the long run. Apart from this, she creates user friendly content in order to create awareness about medical health conditions. Being a keen learner, she has been associated with FHTS under multiple domains so as to gain more experience and knowledge about the same. She is currently working as an INSPIRE Fellow, contributing to Digital Newsletter Cluster at FHTS. Her interest areas are Clinical Nutrition & Research, Nutrition Informatics, Nutritional Counselling & Nutrition Entrepreneurship.

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Aparna Suresh

Dr Aparna Suresh is a dental surgeon with two years of clinical experience, she graduated from AMRITA INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES. She was in charge of independently managing a renowned dental clinic in Trivandrum. Also, she has worked with multiple NGOs for content writing and social media marketing internships. Dr Aparna was a part of the V-INSPIRE programme for a brief period of time. Currently, she is working as an INSPIRE FELLOW at Foundations of Healthcare Technologies Society in the digital newsletter cluster. Also, she is doing a Postgraduate Diploma Course on Health Informatics and Management. Her areas of interest are Oral health, Health informatics, Public health management and health communication.

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