How to Keep the Doctor Away: Advice from Healthcare Professionals

An interesting panel discussion at a summit for entrepreneurs threw up basic regimen that can go a long way to prevent disease

Take every opportunity to exercise. Even opting for the stairs instead of taking the elevator can make a positive impact on health.
Take every opportunity to exercise. Even opting for the stairs instead of taking the elevator can make a positive impact on health.

Speaking on the sidelines of the TiE Global Summit III, panellists of the ‘Health For All: A Billion Person Opportunity’ spoke up about the need of the hour—preventive healthcare.

“The first step is prevention of sickness,” said Dr Abha Agrawal. “Two of the predominant diseases we are dealing with today are vascular disease (such as stroke and paralytic attack) and road accidents, and both can be prevented with proper initiative.”

The practicing physician and founder of A4 Clinics works to bring down the number of unnecessary disability in India through advanced robotic and technology-based rehabilitation and care.

“My advice to everyone is to increase their physical activity, no matter how little, it benefits in the long term,” she said. “The evidence for the benefits of physical activity is so overwhelming. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reinforces this. Any amount of physical activity is healthful. You make a commitment to walk everyday knowing you won’t keep the promise, then one day you get a half hour to exercise but don’t, thinking it won’t matter. You are wrong. Take every chance to move.”

Regretting the lack of investment in health by most people who tend to spend only when ill, Sandeep Sinha, chair of the panel and co-founder and managing partner of Lumis Partners, shared how preventive healthcare was restricted to only a small percentage of the population. “Only those who are very progressive and think ahead are practising this,” he said.

“I believe in the second half of the word healthcare,” Gramin Health Care founder and chairman Ajoy Khandheria added. So Gramin Health Care focuses on primary healthcare in rural India and is working to “capture the health records of the whole family, over the next three to four years,” to monitor any signs of illness.

“Poor people deserve to get healthcare, at their home, at a price they can afford!” That is why, added the entrepreneur evangelist, “I’m a big fan of Ayushman Bharat (India’s National Health Protection Scheme for over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families—50 crore beneficiaries—providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation).”

“My wellness mantra is to focus on the preventive so that one does not have to resort to the restorative. Eat right and work out regularly, keep it simple,” advised Sinha.

The other musts, according to Dr Agrawal, are: “Healthy diet and positive thinking, which is scientifically proven to improve productivity and well-being.”

“Constant digital distraction is impacting our focus and attention negatively. Technology is neither good nor bad, but it is not neutral, if you don’t control it, soon it will start controlling you,” she added.

The doctor leads a fairly disciplined life. “Of course I’m connected. I use a technique. If I turn my phone on, it is for a definite purpose, even if it is to check social media for a specific amount of time.”

Co-founder and CEO of SigTuple Rohit Pandey has another approach that fits his business model of modern diagnostic methods that uses AI in pathology. “In order to prevent disease,” Panday said, “you have to get yourself checked periodically, it is necessary for both preventive and curative care.” Diagnostic data is the only source of truth in the healthcare industry, he added.

Though his 17-hour days don’t allow him much time to thrive, Pandey takes care to have a balanced diet comprising less sugar and minimal carbohydrates. “Only as much as the body can digest. And yes, I take the stairs whenever possible.”

The TiE Global Summit claims to be the largest global entrepreneurial leadership summit that brings together the TiE community of entrepreneurs from across the globe. In its third edition, the event went a step ahead by becoming more inclusive and adding sign language to relay the talks being delivered besides an exclusive women’s forum.

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