Mumbai’s Tata hospital urges cancer patients to opt for e-consultation

Cancer patients being immunocompromised, are highly likely to get infected


Doctors at Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital are urging cancer patients to use the TMC Online—Navya option to seek expertise during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Navya Care is TMC's online consultation site that enables patients to seek second opinions regarding cancer treatment options available to them. This way, patients save a considerable amount of travel time and money by seeking help, especially in times of COVID-19 when social distancing, isolation and self-quarantine are being encouraged throughout the country. Navya Care is an online service, which provides expert opinions of doctors from Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) and other tertiary centres in the National Cancer Grid (NCG) to all cancer patients across India. A clinical informatics and cancer patient services company, Navya is founded by graduates from Harvard, MIT Sloan and Stanford universities and its services are offered in collaboration with TMH and NCG in urban, semi-urban and rural areas wherever there is sufficiently good internet access available.

Speaking to THE WEEK over the phone, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, deputy director, centre for cancer epidemiology at Tata Memorial Center said that in anyone who is immunologically weak, especially cancer patients, the chances of contracting the viral disease and the subsequent death is much higher. "Cancer patients are very highly pre-disposed to getting an infection. And therefore we are telling all our patients that unless it is an emergency do not visit TMH or any other cancer centre, because, waiting for two-three weeks won’t be consequential, unless it is an emergency. It is essential for patients to utilise the facilities of Navya and get answers to their queries from credible people at TMH and not visit the hospital in person." Dr Chaturvedi also spoke about the need to continue teaching students at the Center and for that, the online platform OmniCuris comes to the rescue.

"This is a good platform for our students to educate themselves. But we as doctors are going to the hospital every single day because we need to make arrangements to make sure our facilities are equipped to handle the burden of COVID-19 patients if such a situation must arise."

Founded in 2009, Navya's patented system uses clinical informatics, predictive analytics and machine learning technologies to empower every cancer patient, caregiver and physician with timely, personalized, and affordable treatment plans based on clinical evidence and backed by leading oncologists consensus-driven, real-time expertise. It has helped over 50,000 patients from 74 countries better their outcomes and maximize their chances of cure with expert-designed treatment plans that enable them to make informed choices about their health.

Given that Tata Memorial Center receives a footfall of over 70,000 cancer patients every year, it is advising cancer patients and their families to avoid unnecessary travel to the hospital and to postpone any OPD appointments at this time. “We believe that patients with cancer might be at an increased risk of COVID-19 because they are immunocompromised. This is why we are strongly advising cancer patients or their caregivers from undertaking any and all nonessential travel to Tata Memorial Center. Tele-health has never played a more important role in saving lives,” said Padma Shri Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Center. TMC Online-- Navya enables cancer patients, caregivers, and physicians to access expert treatment plans, second opinions, advice on next-line therapy, maintenance regimens online in 24 hours from the safety of their homes.

“Navya aims to bridge the gap between cancer patients or caregivers and world-class oncologists amid this crisis, assuring peace of mind and alleviating unnecessary panic. Cancer patients and their caregivers can get their treatment plans online through TMC Online--Navya from the same expert oncologists they are queuing to meet but from the safety and comfort of their homes,” said Gitika Srivastava, Founder of Navya.


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