Tech for the New Normal


The New Normal has brought the focus on prevention and early assessment of potential health issues. This is where technological advancement comes in. According to Ganesh Prasad, MD & CEO of Genworks , his company's focus is to provide such technology to every physician across India and build awareness about these solutions.

Ganesh Prasad, MD & CEO, Genworks Ganesh Prasad, MD & CEO, Genworks

Genworks Health is a Wipro GE invested company with direct presence in 27 states and 120 locations. Genworks was launched to make affordable careaccessible in all the 635 districts of the country where access to health care technology and training is minimal.

In this series, we will be talking about innovative solutions that are transforming health care. New born care is a key area and neonatal jaundice is a cause for concern there. It is a common condition in new-borns, affecting 50-60 per cent of full-term babies and 80 per cent of those born prematurely.

Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia (NNH) is a significant cause of neonatal morbidity, prolongation of hospital stay and re-admissions, which in turn increases the chances of sepsis and mortality in the newborn period. Hyperbilirubinemia is recognised as clinical jaundice in approximately 20-50 per cent of full term and 80 per cent of preterm neonates. In India, a child is born every second, leading to 27 million births a year. Almost 3.5 million of these births are pre-mature and at high health risks and mortality.

Risk of readmission of neonates to hospitals during COVID: Hyperbilirubinemia (NNH) is a significant cause for hospital re-admission and long hospital stay for neonates. About 12-13 per cent of new-borns discharged early or in 72 hours of birth with mild jaundice can develop subsequent moderate to severe hyperbilirubinemia, requiring readmissions, exposing neonates to further risk of COVID. Measuring neonatal jaundice using needles increases the risk of infections. Screening every newborn using a non-invasive and non-touch method offers significant safety for newborns.

Current practice : Visual assessment has been the traditional way of estimating bilirubin levels in babies. They are subjective and also influenced by the baby’s complexion, hence lacking in accuracy. Visual assessment screening often requires testing of the baby’s blood. These invasive testings are painful, time consuming and also dependent on the skill of the phlebotomist in sampling the babies. There has always been a need for a better non-invasive screening.

These requirements are now met by the transcutaneous bilirubin meter. They are easy to carry, simple to use, and quick to report the bilirubin values. They have increased screening accuracy and reduced painful sampling. "Transcutaneous bilirubin meter is a definite milestone in improving Neonatal care.” Said Dr Shobana Rajendran, consultant neonatologist, Rainbow Children's Hospital. She added that the device is particularly useful in times such as these when the baby and mother is discharged within three days and it is very important to check for jaundice before discharge.

How technology is making an impact : “We want to remove this 'pain and delay' and welcome children to a pain-free life with our invention – BilliCare – a non-invasive, accurate transcutaneous bilirubin meter for instant results. And we are pleased to have a great partner in GenWorks Health who can accelerate the reach and adoption of this innovation to every new born care provider in the country,” Said Danny Harel, CCO of Mennen Medical, Israel.

BilliCare from Mennen Medical is an LED based, easy, non-invasive technology that allows simple clipping of the probe on the ear of the baby to obtain accurate results. Billicare saves the new-born from puncturing the skin and resultant risks. LED technology transmits light at different wavelengths through the outer ear and the light absorption is calculated and displayed using an accurate software algorithm developed by Mennen Medical. This is easy on the baby and does not create any stress or pressure during the exam. LED technology can provide accurate diagnosis and is easy to operate with very less skill or training and BilliCare is a portable, wireless, battery operated device.

"At GenWorks, we are committed to bringing innovations that can aid healthy pregnancy, birthing, monitoring and treatment of new-borns & mothers. We have an array of technologies for the newborn care. We are pleased to partner with Mennen Medical and enhance our arsenal with their innovation, BilliCare,” said S. Ganesh Prasad, director, GenWorks Health.

Treatment: Once we identify the problem, the levels of jaundice treatment can be planned easily. Phototherapy is a common and highly effective method of treatment that uses light to break down bilirubin in newborn’s body. GenWorks has a series of LED based phototherapy solutions from GE that can help break down the bilirubin in the newborn and efficiently treat jaundice avoiding any complication.