Nagaland: 10 Bed ICU project launched in 12 districts
Neiphiu Rio launching the 10 Bed ICU project

Kohima: 10BedICU project was virtually launched in 12 districts of Nagaland by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday at the Capital Cultural Centre in Kohima. 

Through the project, ICU wards with state-of-the-art medical equipment including a Hamilton ventilator, 5-para BPL monitor, ABG Analyser, syringe pump, and so on have been set up as part of the project. 

While launching the project, CM Rio informed that the project was a collaborative effort of the implementing agencies, state government and donors. The districts have also been connected with the Tele-ICU hub and Spoke infrastructure which was launched earlier during the day at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK).

Rio hoped that the state would make the best use of the new facilities in helping the general population get critical care in the best possible manner.

“Hoping that it would help us meet the challenges of providing such facilities in the State, we approached the eGovernment Foundation through Nachiketa Mor on May 31, 2021, and subsequently signed a quadripartite MoU with the eGov Foundation, Nirmaan Organisation and Karuna Trust,” Rio informed.

The CM also highlighted the insufficient specialist doctors and infrastructural deficiencies in the state and hoped that the project would address the difficulties through the tele-ICU Hub at NHAK and also by linking with resources outside Nagaland.

He also shared how through tele-ICU, specialist doctors at NHAK would monitor and provide critical care services remotely over high-speed internet connections in the other districts. 

Chairman of 10BedICU organization, Srikanth Nadhamuni, informed that the project was implemented in the state in a record time of less than a year. He recounted how the project was conceived when he was working from home in Mysore during the Delta wave of COVID-19 when the demand for ventilators increased. 

While addressing a press conference, Nadhamuni informed that the remaining four districts would also be covered in the days to come. He disclosed that equipment such as ventilators was imported from Switzerland. Tele Hub at NHAK, which connects with all District Hospitals, he said, was connected through cloud software and that Google has offered its software to Nagaland for free for a period of one year. 

During the launch, the Nagaland health minister assured that all the District Hospitals will be provided with high-speed internet connectivity to ensure that specialized services at NHAK are available in the districts. He said that the 10BedICU project was not just a measure against COVID-19 but a long-term investment in the State’s overall critical healthcare delivery. 

He also requested the eGov Foundation and other donors to implement the TeleHub project at CIHSR Dimapur.

Founder of Khosla Ventures, Vinod Khosla, who attended the launch online, said that the event was a precursor for better and cheaper healthcare. Khosla said that the only way for access to quality healthcare for the remote rural population is through the use of innovative technologies and standardized medical protocol.

Chairman of INFOSYS, Nandan Nilekani, also virtually shared that the project is a part of a long series of projects in India of creating Digital Public Goods, public goods for the society and the people using digital technology such as Aadhaar, DBT, UPI, and so on. He added that technology used properly for the benefit of people is the only that we can drive an equitable and inclusive society where everyone has access to education, health, and career advancement.

The 10BedICU Project is an innovative Public Private Partnership project between the Department of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of Nagaland, and 10BedICU partner NGOs (eGov Foundation and Karuna Trust) led by eGov Foundation. The project was launched in June 2021 as a response to the devastation caused by the COVID-19 second wave. The intervention has evolved from a relief project into a system-strengthening project. The Project tries to bridge the gaps in critical service delivery in India.

An MoU was signed on 21st July 2021, between the Department of Health & Family Welfare, the Government of Nagaland, and 10 Bed ICU partner NGOs (eGov Foundation and Karuna Trust). The 10 Bed ICU partner raises funds through donors in India and abroad to provide medical equipment, technology (software & hardware), and capacity building for medical and hospital staff. And the government provides the physical infrastructure, human resources, and other operational expenses to run the ICU units set up under the project.

To oversee the project, a Project Management Unit (PMU) with senior bureaucrats, including the Home Commissioner and Health Secretary, and members from 10 Bed NGO partners was constituted. In Nagaland, the Health Department also created a sub-committee consisting of senior officials from the Health Department to assist the PMU members and ensure speedy implementation.

HDFC Bank Parivartan funded the 10BedICU ward in Dimapur District Hospital, and Vinod Khosla supported the 10 Bed ICU wards in all the other districts. Vinod Khosla also funded the Tele-ICU Hub. Karuna Trust and Nagaland Gandhi Ashram are the field NGO partners of the project in Nagaland. Hamilton Medical Switzerland also donated one ventilator for every two ventilators procured. 

10BedICU is made possible by eGov Foundation’s CARE platform, a cloud-based open-source patient management tool, as well as smart capacity management software and patient management software. These form a Tele-ICU module that runs on Google Cloud’s secure, scalable and reliable infrastructure and can be seamlessly accessed in real-time by medical professionals at the Tele-ICU hub at NHAK and the connected spoke hospitals.

The 10BedICU is being implemented in 8 states, including Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Meghalaya. 200 ICU units have been set up across the project states. The Tele-ICU Hub and spoke model is showing promising signs of evolving into a transformational healthcare model, especially in resource constraints and remote locations.

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