HOMOEOPATHIC INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Incorporating Information Technology has been the cornerstone of success of allied sciences. The accomplishments much boasted of in Modern Medicine were actually materialized only with the help of visionaries who took pain in analyzing emerging advances in science & technology and skillfully applying them in Medicine. It has been a cry of all well wishers of Homoeopathy, that our system shall be strengthened with modern science & technology in order to cope up with newer threats. Is there a necessity of change in our fundamental conceptions ? Or shall we think of an IT Enabled Classical Homoeopathy (ITECH) ?
Homoeopathy, the poem of poems, carved out of the bedrocks of inductive logic & sound philosophy by the master creator & intelligent truth seeker, Hahnemann, has hitherto shown its benevolence in soothing the ailing humanity. The multitude of illnesses to which helpless mankind suffers find a compassionate solution with this patient oriented energy medicine, the positive outlook enhancing mechanism. Pioneers of Homoeopathy have dedicated their valuable time in verifying the truth unveiled by our master. Dr. Dunham, Dr. Kent, Dr. Stuart Close & Dr. H. A. Roberts were all advancing on these lines supplementing their clarifications with correlations from other sciences. Homoeopathy survived the attack of so called ‘scientists’ when the Antibiotic theory ruled the world & vaccination was propounded as the only road to health. But somewhere we strolled. We became lesser cosmopolitan. We started viewing new advances with skeptic eyes. Now the time has come to stand united with truly scientific explanations and demonstrations of Homoeopathic cures in a consistent & repeatable manner. Then only we will be in a position to surpass the future challenges by Genetic Engineering & Nano Pharmacology.
Some of the levels of incorporation of technology will be discussed below. This spectrum will encompass needs ranging from that for a homoeopath in private practice to that for a Super Specialty Institution in Homoeopathy.
Online Consultation can be commenced by every homoeopath. It is not even necessary that one should have own website or e-mail id. Free websites can be created with web-mails which will enable him to practice online. But it always has the disadvantages of unnecessary ads and less user control. Creating a professionally designed website will truly give you a cutting edge advantage.
A simple method is one in which you give your e-mail id or contact numbers in your free website and patients communicate to you offline by mailing you case history, lab reports etc. But it is not highly effective as there is less chance of getting a complete picture of patient’s illness. Alternatively patients can fill in case record forms (pre-designed by you) available in your online consultation website to furnish necessary details and submit it.
The best method is online consultation by video conferencing with the help of a broadband internet connection, webcam / digital camera and wi fi headset / blue tooth enabled mobile. This is ideal especially for big institutions and firms. Grabbing expert opinions on your patients is also possible with this method.
CHAIN OF CLINICS
With a group of your like minded friends (associate consultants) you can establish a chain of clinics scattered in different parts of your state or even in other states or countries. A unique Patient Identification Number (PIN) may be given to the patient. Inscribing it on a Patient Information Booklet (PIB) with printed details of patient’s first visit, follow ups, general information on Homoeopathy and a list of your associate consultants with contact details is desirable but it is liable to be misused. Instead you can store the complete case records in your website which can be accessed only by your associate consultant with your permission. So business class patients on frequent travels can still get quality health care under your supervision.
Technology can really change your outlook & your patient receiving strategies. A desktop computer at the reception desk and a notebook for you with Local Area Networking (LAN) can do wonderful works. The general details of the patient can be entered at the reception desk and registration card may be given. You can employ a junior doctor (intern) for case receiving, He / She may be provided with a desktop computer with case recording software which records the case in text, image & video formats. Through LAN all these details are at your fingertips and you can even amaze the patient by specifically preparing your detailed questions. A user friendly and cost effective repertorisation software can help you a lot. Please don’t go for pirated versions; you are dealing with a very serious profession with patient’s health on the other end.
It is high time that we announce a Mission Homoeopathic Database calling for all homoeopaths to contribute their cured cases, well documented with follow ups. This can be used for Clinical & Statistical Research studies and as a treasure of reference for budding homoeopaths.
Isolated attempts to this goal are operating in our country, but we need to have a structured and unified attempt. This will go a long way in answering to unhealthy criticisms hovering around Homoeopathy.
Though many of our senior homoeopaths do miraculous cures we are unable to convince it to our allopathic friends ( and even homoeopaths) only due to the lack of presentation skill. Senior homoeopaths may employ a junior doctor well versed in preparing presentations. Good quality video recording or atleast before and after photographs ( as being published in this journal) should be used. Conventional powerpoint slideshows are slowly being replaced by flash presentations which give more attraction and added utilities.
Setting up an Electronic Library with digital archives in Homoeopathic Medical Colleges will be very useful. Our classic textbooks as well as old copyright expired / out of print books may be digitized so that they become ready reference tools.
Telemedicine units can be set up with video conferencing system in
Many repertorisation software now available come up with in-built case analysis modules serving us to conduct clinical research studies easily. Biostatics software can simply reduce our work and we can prepare research papers with basic understandings. Submitting projects to Extramural Research Schemes, National Rural Health Mission, Healthy Mother & Happy Child through Homoeopathy scheme etc can be undertaken.
Publishing papers to national & international journals won’t be a Herculean task with all these gadgets and in fact with patients & patience! International journals like Homeopathy (formerly BJH) have online article submission systems enabling even remote practitioners / authors to submit their papers / articles.
We shall hopefully dream of a grant future of Homoeopathy supplemented with technological advances and enriched with scientific developments taking a strong position in the Healthcare Delivery Systems across the nations ailing suffering humane as envisioned by our master.
Lecturer, Sarada Krishna Homoeopathic
Author ‘Companion Series to Homoeopathic Philosophy’
Res : JYOTSNA, KWRA-147/4, Kalady West, Thiruvananthapuram,
Ph : +91 989598 1530 (
+91 93494 07330 ( Residence)