Roundup: Bayer to launch 27 telemedicine centres in India and more briefs

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Bayer to launch 27 telemedicine centres over 2 years in India

German multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer is setting up 27 telemedicine centres in 12 districts across eight states in India over the next two years through Bayer Foundation India.

The company has identified the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh to launch telemedicine facilities that will provide healthcare via telehealth. 


Bayer partnered with multispecialty clinic RxDx Healthcare and Piramal Swasthya, the public health arm of the Piramal Foundation, which are both experienced in running telemedicine in primary health centres located in some targeted districts.

A press statement noted that each telemedicine centre will be manned by a trained nursing and midwifery staff, along with a coordinator and a GP. It will offer about 20 medical specialties via telehealth.  

Additionally, Bayer will conduct medical camps to raise awareness on pressing health topics, such as breast cancer, diabetes, and dermatology, as well as training and awareness sessions on health, hygiene, and nutrition.

It is expected that the telemedicine centres will reach between 35,000 to 50,000 beneficiaries within the targeted states.

Vietnam to issue vax pass from mid-April

Vietnam’s Health Ministry has announced that it will start issuing vaccine passports on 15 April.

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The country’s vaccine pass will bear a person’s name, birth date, and vaccination record, including shots, date of vaccination, and the diseases they are vaccinated against. De-identified data will be stored in a QR code, which will expire after 12 months. 

Vietnamese citizens can download their vaccine pass through the PC Covid mobile app or other digital health apps. They can also obtain their passports by accessing the Health Ministry’s website.

The vaccine passports have been tried out in late March at some hospitals in major cities.

Eye specialist VISTA adopts computer-aided robotic tech for cataract surgery

Malaysian eye specialist centre VISTA has added another computer-aided robotic device to its range of tools for conducting cataract surgeries.

The company started using the Sophi Wireless Phaco System by Swiss medical device maker This AG.

The device is a battery-based phacoemulsification system used to remove cataracts. It features voice information assistance and text-to-speech, as well as a video display of microscope images transmitted through Wi-Fi.

According to Dr Aloysius Joseph Low, VISTA’s chief ophthalmic surgeon, they stand to benefit from Sophi’s safety features that minimise the risk of contamination and raise surgical stability, “resulting in a safe and fast surgery”. 

Sophi will be coupled with the clinic’s existing Ziemer Z8 Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery system, which uses computer-aided lasers to make initial cuts to enter the eye. Their combination will “increase the efficiency and safety of our surgery,” said VISTA growth chief Grace Heng.

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“Having robotic computer-aided technology that automates processes takes away the constant demands of a surgeon’s attention on non-essential details, freeing up the surgeon to focus on important processes that impact surgical outcomes and which require human experience,” VISTA said about their adoption of robotic devices in cataract surgeries.

“VISTA’s objective is to raise the bar in the evolution of cataract surgery and migrate away from manual procedures towards computer-assisted technologies, artificial intelligence, and the latest generation of trifocal lenses that aim to help increase patient’s safety, comfort and results,” Dr Low added.

Chinese aged care provider Taikang Healthcare upgrades contact centre

Taikang Healthcare Investment Holdings, the aged care service unit of insurance firm Taikang Insurance Group, has partnered with Infobird, a provider of AI-powered customer engagement solutions, to transform its digital contact centre management and intelligent services.

Taikang Healthcare has been providing elderly care, rehabilitation care, and medical and health services in China for over a decade. Its physical elderly care agencies now cover 24 provinces in the country. 

As its business continues to grow, the company intends to upgrade its contact centre. According to a press statement, its collaboration with Infobird will be done in two phases.

In the first phase, Infobird will deliver cloud telemarketing and cloud customer service solutions to enhance its customer service and lead management, as well as optimise outbound calling. 

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In the second stage, Infobird’s omnichannel call centre will serve Taikang Healthcare’s home care service centre, handling reservations and scheduling. It will also deploy its AI chatbots to assist with issuing reminders on medications and return visits.

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