Health

The Cost of Orphan Drugs

Karanveer Singh has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). His family has discovered an experimental therapy that skips the missing exon in the DMD gene, allowing dystrophin production. Despite bureaucratic obstacles, the Central Licensing Authority permitted a clinical trial across India. If successful, the treatment, developed by the Dystrophy Annihilation Research Trust (DART), will be available at a fraction of the cost of Western alternatives, offering hope to thousands of families.

The mission to put health records at doctors fingertips

The National Digital Health Mission’s Strategy Overview outlines India’s plan to become a Digital Health Nation, leveraging the nascent state of healthcare digitization to learn from other countries and avoid their mistakes. The strategy involves adapting India’s data portability architecture, using the Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA) for healthcare data sharing. It proposes a radically-federated design, storing healthcare data at its generation point and enabling rapid data transfer across the health system.

Immunity passports might be inevitable as we go along

As countries grapple with COVID-19’s community spread phase, the focus has shifted to frequent testing. It is time to consider the potential use of health and immunity passports. These passports could become essential for travel and social activities, but at the same time give rise to a greater risk of deepening social divides and creating new forms of privilege.

How the covid pandemic could reshape life in our cities

Cities are dense hubs of economic activity. However when they come up against an epidemic like COVID-19, it prompts rethinking urban design, emphasizing remote work, local markets, and reduced physical contact, while considering the impact on migrant populations and urban efficiency.

Aarogya Setu and the value of syndromic surveillance

The 2001 anthrax attacks led to the development of syndromic surveillance, a method for early disease detection using aggregated data. This technique, exemplified by India’s Aarogya Setu app during COVID-19, analyzes symptom data and location history to predict and manage outbreaks, balancing public health benefits with privacy concerns.