INDIA -The Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), Vedanta Medical Research Foundation’s flagship initiative, and BALCO Medical Centre (BMC), have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to drive excellence in cancer care in the country.
The MoU was signed between Dr. R. A. Badwe, Director of Tata Memorial Centre, and Dr. Bhawna Sirohi, Medical Director of BALCO Medical Centre, at Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, in the presence of Mrs. Jyoti Agarwal, Chairperson of BALCO Medical Centre.
As per the MoU, the BALCO Medical Centre and Tata Memorial Centre will join forces for the exchange of knowledge, and enhancement of skills, capabilities, and core practices.
BMC will leverage TMC’s expertise and decades of experience in cancer treatment for developing best-in-class technical and medical guidelines.
With this association, TMC will also empanel BMC as a referral center for patients from Chhattisgarh, and neighboring states.
Both cancer hospitals have mutually agreed to share best practices and evolving knowledge on cancer treatment.
BMC will take part in the National Cancer Grid Virtual Tumor Boards to drive excellence in patient care.
Additionally, the MoU will enable the two institutes to conduct joint or multi-centric research and participate in continuing medical education (CME) sessions.
Looking at the rising incidence of cancer as a health threat and the lack of quality cancer care centers in tier 2 and 3 cities, Vedanta established BALCO Medical Centre at Raipur to provide affordable comprehensive cancer care to all sections of society.
Cancer care in India is concentrated at tertiary hospitals and major cancer centers in urban areas with gaps in infrastructure and human resources that, among other factors, hinder delivery of high-quality cancer care.
India’s National Cancer Grid
Meanwhile, the National Cancer Grid (NCG) in India, a government-backed network of organizations focused on cancer care and research, has established the Koita Center for Digital Oncology.
According to a press release, the center aims to promote the use of digital technologies to enhance cancer care across India.
The non-profit organization Koita Foundation has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with NCG’s grantor Tata Memorial Centre to support the newly established center for five years.
The Koita Foundation has also helped establish the Koita Centre for Digital Health, which focuses on driving academic programs, research, and industry collaborations in digital health.
In 2020, there were around 2.7 million people in India who lived with cancer. Each year, about 1.4 million Indians are getting diagnosed with cancer, claiming 850,000 lives.
As cases grow each year, digital tools are increasingly becoming indispensable in enhancing cancer care.
The KCDO will help drive the digital transformation across India’s cancer care ecosystem, according to the Department of Atomic Energy, which established the NCG.
It will help create an “innovation ecosystem” of hospitals, healthcare technology companies, academic institutions, and research organizations to address challenges in cancer care, said Dr. Rajendra Badwe, director of the Tata Memorial Centre.
The center will assist over 270 NCG partner hospitals in sharing best practices in digital health, adopting digital health tools, and driving common technology initiatives, including EMR adoption, healthcare data interoperability, reporting, and analytics.
Moreover, the KCDO will enable the NCG and its member institutions to pilot and adopt emerging technologies, including AI, machine learning, big data, automation, and cloud computing.
These technologies will in turn power telemedicine and remote patient monitoring that will make healthcare more accessible in semi-urban and rural communities.
The center will push the adoption of AI-assisted clinical decision support tools in enhancing doctors’ ability to provide care, as well as mobile patient engagement apps to help patients better manage their medications and comply with treatment guidelines.
It also plans to introduce healthcare data analytics across hospitals to enable tracking and benchmarking of clinical outcomes and the effectiveness of different treatment and care pathways.
Additionally, the KCDO will seek partnerships with academic and research groups to promote research and development in cancer care.