Awareness

Importance of Data in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is one of the oldest known medical systems in human history. Prediction and Prevention are the core strengths of Ayurveda which differentiates it from other streams of medical sciences such as Allelopathy.
Ayurveda always emphasizes a personalized and holistic approach of diagnosis. Person needs to be benchmarked first (Prakruti). Later the current state of the person (Vikruti) is assessed by capturing various inputs such as Nadi (Pulse), Tongue, Face etc. The properties of these inputs are then linked to various tags (Guna, Dosha, Dhatu etc). The interdependence of these parameters in the context of that person (from benchmarked information) is then derived to conclude on the diagnostic part.

Ayurveda and Data Science .. a Perfect Marriage

Do the above ideas sound familiar? Welcome to the world of Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence!! On the face of it, this sounds bizarre. Why and how do these two uncorrelated fields go hand in hand? If you think carefully, Ayurveda based diagnosis is a data hungry process. 

In fact, I’d say the pioneers of Ayurveda were the best data scientists of all the time. They have monitored, assessed thousands of patients manually and established correlation with respect to the symptoms in their mind. This formed the base template of diagnosis. It got better and better over generations with more and more patient assessments. This is exactly what any machine algorithm does after digesting input data.
Now just imagine what can be achieved if this process of data analytics is implemented with the help of modern-day compute technologies and algorithms.
That’s what we are doing at Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd. I am proud to say, we are pioneers and front runners when it comes to modernizing and digitizing the Ayurveda space with the help of data science.

Potential at a Glance …

Ancient knowledge of Ayurveda can be objectified and quantified with this data driven approach. There are great benefits of this step. Let’s have look at some of these,

  1. Technology adaptation of Ayurveda will make last mile delivery possible, thus benefiting the last person in the remotest corner of the world.
  2. Other streams of medical sciences such as allelopathy will become more complimentary and not competitive methods of diagnostics. 
  3. Open new avenues of Research and Innovative product/service ideas.

Exciting Time is Here!!

We have witnessed many technology revolutions brought by Data science in the last decade. It has transformed our life. I strongly feel Ayurveda is just the next natural candidate awaiting for this transformation with the help of data science. Once achieved, the Ayurveda story will be rewritten in modern day language and that will take Ayurveda to the world stage.

We, at Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd are committed to this transformation of Ayurveda and help it achieve the much deserved recognition at the world forum!!

Author- Parag Kulkarni,
M. Tech, IIT Bombay
Co-Founder and CTO,
Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd.

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“Looking through a New-Normal hourglass: A Developing and Developed country scenario!!!”

The Year 2023 was an eye opener for the entire world. Human beings have seen a transformation throughout the 21st century. But as 2020 came we saw something changing around us, each year after that we documented changing trends called “New-Normal” from lockdowns to warfare, we have seen so much happening all around us. We are learning to live it, adapt it and somewhat we are adopting to live it now. 

These 2 events have remarkably affected our physical, mental & emotional wellbeing to a great extent. With this blog we will read to understand the Global Healthcare trends and how they still differ in many ways in the Developed & Developing countries even in the 21st century.
To understand the current 2021 World Health Data scenario lets have a close look at the below charts

We can distinctly see that the developed countries showcase a rising scenario in increasing expenditure as well as social health insurance in terms of the government funded healthcare system usage. We have also seen that in developed countries like the USA, Germany, Singapore, etc the Public Healthcare systems are more utilised, approachable and accessible to most of the population in comparison to the private healthcare system. The concept of registration with a particular doctor or hospital facility, having a health insurance card for each individual, paying large health insurance premiums makes it somewhat essential that the Healthcare system remains approachable and transparent.

The best thing about having all data of an individual that is linked to a Health insurance card and available just by accessing through the date of birth and nationality makes it easier when you are on the move or you are having a health condition. But we also know for sure that the Healthcare system in all the developed countries is extremely advanced but also very costly. Most people from developed countries prefer visiting new-healthcare booming countries like India, where they find the healthcare system more affordable, easy and highly advanced. Now that’s a bit confusing, because for ages we have said that Healthcare Infrastructure, accessibility, affordability, doctors and physicians, nurses and midwife ratios are extremely poor in these developing countries, also the Public hospitals and healthcare facilities are highly insufficient, but the below graph speaks something new

In the developing countries on the other hand the scenario of India looks changing with the coming years. Though the Public healthcare system is still not the most preferred by most, the National schemes, healthcare budget does look promising and proliferating. India is growing in terms of healthcare infrastructure development but it’s still unequal when it comes to distribution and reach. Still the accessibility and approachability of the Public Healthcare system is a big issue in India and needs to be addressed at the earliest.
While the issues we face in India are different from those in developed countries we still have a long way to go when it comes to the Public or Government supported hospitals.
India has experienced record-breaking economic growth that has been accompanied by significant reductions in poverty. According to the World Bank, infant mortality in India has fallen from 66 to 38 per 1,000 live births from 2000 to 2015. Life expectancy at birth has increased from 63 to 68 years, and the maternal mortality ratio has fallen from 374 to 174 per 100,000 live births over the same period. Showcasing that healthcare providers, infrastructure, National Healthcare schemes and their reach has shown significant improvement. The faith in the system is growing and needs constant boost and support from the prominent leaders.

India also has shown dynamic rise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. India has given some world-class scientists, including a proliferating clinical trials industry, leading hospitals, vaccine development facilities attracting the foreign investors and patients and treating its better-off citizens.

Yet Indian government and public health officials agree that the country faces persistent and daunting public health challenges, particularly for the poor and the underprivileged sections. These include communicable as well as noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use, leading to cancer and other diseases; and high rates of road traffic accidents that result in injuries and deaths in the country.

As the Indian government strives to provide comprehensive health coverage for all, the country’s rapidly developing healthcare system remains an area of concern. There are disparities in health and health care systems between poorer and richer states and underfunded health care systems that in many cases are inefficiently run and underregulated. New government-financed health insurance programs are increasing coverage, but health insurance coverage for all members or each and every individual is highly limited. Investing in a health insurance card or scheme is not a highly popular scenario making the procurement of treatment, surgery or hospital expenditure with high disparities. Metro cities have large private hospital facilities providing advanced medical care but have extremely high health packages which are not affordable for the middle or higher middle-class populations. Also most health insurance schemes do not support elderly parents’ health expenditure if they suffer from multiple health complications and so it becomes all in all a difficult scenario

Public and private health systems are placing huge demands on the country’s capacity to train exceptional health leaders and professionals. Rising to meet these challenges, the people of India have an opportunity to have a major influence on their own future health and on the future of public health and medical efforts globally. The year 2020 was the year that showed the world that India fought back the pandemic by not only creating and supplying the COVID vaccine but also the age-old medicine Ayurveda science and Yoga is the New way of life. From preventing to curative to wellness India has it all. The lockdown and the pandemic showed us that physical, emotional and mental wellbeing can be achieved with a balanced diet, positive attitude and movement all are the essentials of combating the health issues as big as covid 19.
India is digital and data giant in the coming years, if we couple the medical healthcare system and develop a digitally safeguarded EHS system that helps each and every citizen documented and linked with his or her Inner health data so that in case of health issue or emergency nobody gets treated late due to delay in getting treatment just because nobody filled the case paper and gave the information. A simple healthcare linked to vital citizen cards of Adhar card can give every citizen to avail health treatment in the most needed times without any hassle. If only our public hospitals become more approachable and acceptable to all the citizens equally and the Public and the Private come together to provide the best possible health treatment, it will be a golden day in the history of our country.
With a lot of disparities seen among the developed and developing countries what is most essential is that ultimately the health issues and needs of the population have to be taken care of to have a better life and burden free health care system equal and affordable to All!!!

Author: Mrs. Shruti Prashant Kulkarni
B.Sc. (Foods & Nutrition), M.Sc. (Public Health)
Clinical Nutritionist, Diabetes Educator & Counsellor, Ph.D. scholar
Research & Product Domain Expert (Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd)
Chief Nutrition Counsellor (Germany)

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Health constitution in 2023

India is celebrating 74th republic day this year. With adopting and implementing concrete laws and constitutions, India is growing very significantly.
In the case of the health sector, we have to deeply rethink the constitution related to healthcare systems especially post pandemic. The pandemic has exposed the deep vulnerabilities of India’s healthcare system.
Right to Health is a part and parcel of Right to Life and therefore right to health is a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen, but India’s low expenditure on public health is creating big loopholes in healthcare systems. Also, the Right to health is concerned with various factors such as housing, food, water, sanitation, and environment.
As per articulated in the 1946 Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), whose preamble defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The preamble further states that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without any discrimination. But we are struggling with many co factors which indirectly affect the healthcare system badly.

We can redesign the health constitution 2023 in such a way that it will reduce burden on curative care. As we know, every constitution has some fundamental values on which it is built and developed to attain maximum benefits to people. Ayurved, can be helpful in similar ways to redefine core base values of the healthcare constitution of India.

Ayurved is the science of life, or it is the way of a healthy life. It not only briefs about various treatments but exclusively focuses on a healthy lifestyle which is a unique approach.
Early lifestyle modifications, early diagnosis and adopting Dinacharya and Ritucharya will be extremely beneficial in reducing outburst of many communicable, seasonal diseases. It is also beneficial to reduce the burden of lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension etc which is India’s big emerging problem.
By adapting this preventive care by every single person will be an ideal base for health constitution 2023.
Along with focusing on new treatment, new infrastructure and low-cost medical availability, we all have to incorporate a “defence” or preventive care as part of our health system mentioned by Ayurved.

Renowned platforms like Nadi Tarangini will play a major role in understanding the base of the health constitution in 2023 which is needed.
Let’s pledge to adopt the Golden triangle of preventive health care mentioned by Ayurved. Let’s be part of the health constitution by maintaining good Quality Of Life by adapting Ayurved. Automatically this preventive care will reduce the burden on the curative health sector.

1. Awareness – Awareness about good preventive care for every system is very essential. Awareness about diseases, causative factors, medium of spread, vaccines etc should be provided through education, camps, seminars etc.
2. Early diagnosis – To avoid the burden of lifestyle disorders, non communicable disorders like cardiac disorders, cancer etc. Screening in a specific age group is very essential. It’s everyone’s responsibility to go for regular screening and take preventive care.
3. Adopting healthy lifestyle modifications – India is diabetes capital. Many lifestyle disorders are burdening our healthcare system. To cope up with it, let’s adopt the good lifestyle mentioned by Ayurved. Dinacharya, Ritucharya and lifestyle modifications including individual specific diet, exercise will help to reduce the upcoming burden.

Let’s redefine best goals related to individual health by adapting Ayurved. This will be the most essential approach in the health constitution 2023.


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Importance of understanding Agni in the diagnostic process

Digestive fire is the life of a human being. The process of digestive juices which is called as Pitta in Ayurveda plays an important role in the process of digestion and metabolism. Digestive fire work at the site of duodenum which is exactly behind the umbilicus. Pitta which is hot or ushna in nature with sharp/ tikshna properties and vata which is mobile/ Chala and light/ laghu enhances digestive fire.

In the science of Ayurveda, the root of all diseases is the vitiated digestive fire or Agni. And that is why Agni plays an important role in the diagnosis of any physical, physiological and psychological disorders. The Agni in a balanced state which shows proper hunger, digestion, nourishment of body tissues and mind is called Samagni. When the Agni is vitiated with the influence of Tridosha, Vata, Pitta and kapha it is diagnosed as Vishamagni, Tikshangni, and mandagni

Vishamagani shows a pattern of irregularities in appetite pattern, weak metabolism, poor nourishment of tissues and mind showing symptoms like bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, piles, etc.

Tikshnagni provokes Agni with excess heat and sharpness which results in excess hunger, burning in the chest, hyperacidity, acid reflux, headache, etc.
Mandagni is the weak digestive fire that results in indigestion, loss of appetite, laziness, weak metabolism, weakness, dullness, obesity, etc.

Digestive fire differs or predictable as per one’s Prakruti or body type. Vata predominant prakruti has irregular or vishamagni. Pitta predominant prakruti has tikshnagni and kapha predominant prakruti has mandagni.
To analyze and understand the exact state of digestive fire is key to accurate diagnosis of any disease. Once the digestive fire is corrected with proper Ayurveda based medicines, personalized diet, sleep and exercise will help to cure the disease easily.
Everyone should maintain their digestive fire in a balanced state I.e. samagni to gain health and a long life.

Vaidya. Tejaswini Sameer Bhale
Ayurvedacharya, PGPP, MBA, DYA
Prakruti Ayurveda and Panchakarma Clinic, Pune
Nadi Pariksha domain expertise
Nadi Tarangini, Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd. Pune


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How to choose a research topic?

I am assuming that the project guide and the area or domain of specialization (e.g. Data security / काया चिकित्सा / Machine leaning) is already decided. “Now what ?”

Research Step 1

For the word “research”, we always think about an apple falling on the head or the Eureka moment. Please understand that very few are capable of doing it at the bachelor level, and so I always recommend the students concentrating more on the “applications” related problem statements rather than the “theory or equations”. Now, there are two basic categories of applications-related research problems:

  • Manufacturing and service sectors have research needs on continuous basis. The expectations of standards of living create the category of demand-driven research.
  • The nature provides abundant opportunities while understanding it. These topics fall into the category of curiosity-driven research.

Talk to your friends, family members, distant relatives – even from different sectors — for understanding what is happening. E.g. sometimes the noise reduction algorithms in automobiles Tata-Nano-car’s engine are also useful in Nadi Tarangini‘s signal processing step. Keep your eyes and brains open with “whys and hows”. Few steps I recommend students to find a research topic are as follows.

[Spend approximately 2 days] First of all, talk to your guide, seniors, library if there is any un-finished work in the domain from the previous batches (typically last 5 years). Is there any future work mentioned in any of those previously submitted documents. If it is there, it’s the best and fastest way to find a topic.

Research Step 2

[Spend approximately 4 hours] Select journals (J) and international conferences (C) in your area. Different categories of J&C are:

  • Good J&Cs with high impact factor where leaders of the area publish work: These help to understand the current ongoing research across the world.
  • Popular J&Cs which have bigger audience: These are usually commercial and contain fast solutions to current topics

Also,

  • Find out if there are any “TED talks” in the area, usually videos impact more than texts.
  • Find out if there are any “Review articles” to understand all aspects of your area in short span of time.
Research Step 3

Once you select the J&Cs

3(a) [Spend approximately 6 hours] First read only the titles of 500 articles from last 5 years. Please do not read the articles yet. Once you read the titles, you will start realizing that you like L1 kind of titles.

3(b) [Spend approximately 2 days] Start reading abstracts (free on web) of only L1 articles. You will further realize that you like reading L2 type of abstract more.

3(c) [Spend approximately 2 days] Now go through introductions, findings and discussions of few of the articles from L2

Research Step 4

Please note that this step is not “literature survey”. This step is just to understand the overall research area of your domain and find your likes / dislikes.

4. When you read the above, try to tabulate

— What are the keywords

— What is the novelty

— What are the methods / technologies used

— What is the application

— What is the future scope

Research Step 5

In the table, highlight one point in every row. The problem statement for your research will be clear in your mind. Now split that “problem to be solved” into Who, What, Where, When, Why and How question-answers. Usually, the research topic title and scope will be confined to any 2 WH’s of the above 6.

Research Step 6

Make sure your research “solves” basic needs in the society. Discuss with guide, seniors and family to finalize the research scope and title.

Next step in the “Simple Steps of (College) Research” series will cover the topic of Literature Survey. Note that the objectives of the research will come after the literature survey. 


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