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INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE MAKES MEDICAL TREATMENTS EFFICIENT AND ACCESSIBLE – EFFORTS OF DR. SHARMILA ANANDASABAPATHY

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The automotive sector, corporate world, educational system, and healthcare are under a strong technological influence. Every day smart innovations and advanced technological solutions are introduced that can enable breakthrough performance and enhance efficiency. Cryptocurrencies, voice assistants, driverless vehicles, reusable rockets, and robot assistants are some of the innovations that are changing the world for better. There are some amazing innovations in the healthcare sector that are making medical treatments efficient and accessible to the world.

Drone delivery of medical supplies by David Abney, a stem-cell cure for diabetes by Doug Melton, 54gene by Abasi Ene-Obong, CTRL-kit by Thomas Reardon, and The SmartPod™ by Baylor College of Medicine are few revolutionary healthcare technological solutions. The benefits of these smart solutions make healthcare efficient. Out of all these innovations, SmartPods™ is an innovation that makes healthcare accessible to people living in the rural parts of the world. The easy-to-transport healthcare facility was created by a team of medical experts with Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, a Sri Lankan-American physician, as the primary creator.

SMART PODS – COST-EFFICIENT, DEPLOYABLE, FULLY-EQUIPPED

The SmartPod™ is a deployable healthcare facility that was developed at The Baylor College of Medicine in response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. The purpose of the SmartPods™ was to reduce the response time and effectively address the medical emergencies or disease outbreaks in remote or underserved parts of the world. These pods are aluminum containers with steel frames that meet ISO shipping standards. These are fully-equipped to provide high-quality healthcare to people residing in regions lacking quality healthcare.

The SmartPods™ are standard shipping containers of 8×20 feet and can be easily transported by air, by sea, and by road. The containers can turn into a proper 400+ square foot healthcare facility in less than five minutes. These pods open manually with just four people. Efforts have been made in the past to provide top quality medical care to inaccessible parts of the world. However, the absence of technological equipment and improper communication channels made it impossible for healthcare professionals to extend their services to the people deprived of reliable medical care.

Currently, several units have been deployed worldwide as clinics, laboratories (BSL 2 and BSL 3), and pharmacies. Operating rooms and isolation units for respiratory pathogens (SARS-COVID-2) are also being developed. The SmartPods™ are deployed globally, and they feature a UV and HEPA filtration system which maintains a hygienic environment in these pods by filtering out the allergens and pathogens that spread viruses. Other features of these pods include air conditioning, disinfectant-ready surfaces,  temperature-controlled pharmaceutical inventory, and hardware /software for telemedicine or teleguidance.

Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy has put in significant efforts to make these deployable pods a possibility. Her research and hard work are helping the world cater to disease outbreaks efficiently in both urban as well as rural parts of the world.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN CANCER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

The primary focus of Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy is on gastrointestinal cancer. The Sri Lankan-American physician is involved in extensive research on using novel technologies that can make cancer diagnosis and treatment quick and efficient. Trained in advanced gastrointestinal endoscopy says that cancer in complex parts of the body makes it difficult for the doctors to make an accurate diagnosis. To treat gastrointestinal cancer, doctors must identify the exact affected areas. Neoplastic growth in the body is typically accompanied by hyperplasia and inflammation in the surrounding regions. It is crucial to identify cancer to provide correct treatments, but diagnosis needs to be done accurately and efficiently to avoid unnecessary biopsies which increase cost and risk

Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy’s research has led to the evaluation of advanced imaging technology for the detection of gastrointestinal cancer. Microendoscopy is a cost-effective detection method that easily gets inserted in the biopsy channel of an endoscope and provides 1000x magnification, allowing an ‘optical biopsy’ of the affected tissue.

The use of augmented reality in cancer diagnosis and treatment is another way healthcare providers can stay connected to expert interpretation while operating in rural areas. In underdeveloped countries, the lack of screening and diagnostic technology makes it impossible for doctors to diagnose cancer growth at its early stage. According to Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, the best way to cure cancer is to prevent cancer. Early diagnosis can help prevent cancer before it becomes advanced and incurable.

ABOUT DR. SHARMILA ANANDASABAPATHY – BOARD CERTIFIED IN GASTROENTEROLOGY

A researcher and a professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Sharmila Anandasabapathy’s work is invaluable for the medical sector. Her research papers and articles are published in notable journals. After getting her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Yale University in 1993, she went to The Albert Einstein College of Medicine from where she graduated with an M.D degree with distinction in research in 1998.

After graduating with a doctor of medicine degree, she worked as an intern for four years at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 2004, Sharmila went to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she completed her gastroenterology fellowship and received advanced training in the endoscopic management of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Currently, she is the Vice President and Director of Baylor Global Health, overseeing international programs focused on global healthcare capacity development and research. She is Chair of the AGA Women’s Committee as well as Associate Editor of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Previously, she served as an attending physician at both Mount Sinai Medical Center and M.D. Anderson Medical Center. Her work is highly valued on a global level. She was listed as one of the most influential women in Houston and has been repeatedly ranked in the list of Super and Top doctor’s USA. Moreover, she is a featured USAID female innovator.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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