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Archive for April 2009

iSOFT wins US$ 1.0 million deal for a hospital information system in Libya‏

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iSOFT, an IBA Health Group Company, today announced that its Middle East and Africa division won a two-year deal to implement its hospital information system and a LabCentre solution at Al Khadra Hospital in Tripoli, Libya. The agreement is worth A$ 1.4 million (US$ 1.0 million).

iSOFT’s Executive Chairman & CEO, Gary Cohen, said: “This deal opens a new market for us in Northern Africa and expands our global footprint to 37 countries. Together with our recent agreements in Honduras and Mexico, this deal demonstrates our growing international influence of iSOFT as one of the world’s biggest health IT companies. It also proves that there is an untapped stream of potential growth opportunities for businesses with a global outlook.”

iSOFT’s eHIS solution will be implemented at Al Khadra private hospital in two phases in partnership with Alshada Pharmaceutical & Medical Equipment in Tripoli. Al Khadra, with more than 580 beds and 700 staff, has been a pioneer in many surgical procedures in Libya, such as urology, endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery. eHIS will provide point-of-care access to patient medical records to inform clinical decisions and so speed diagnoses and improve the quality of care. Integrated with the iSOFT LabCentre laboratory information system, clinical staff can request pathology tests and review and analyse results online. Faster turnaround of pathology tests again helps doctors make timely clinical decisions and improve treatment.

Increased use of NT-proBNP could help curb India’s heart disease toll

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International Consensus Statement calls for routine screening for at-risk patients

The biomarker, NT-proBNP should be widely used in
both primary care, as well as the emergency department, to more accurately diagnose patients with heart failure, claims Dr Antoni Bayes-Genis, a renowned cardiologist from Barcelona, Spain. Indian cardiologists will hear first hand from Dr Bayes-Genis, who is also one of the authors of the International Consensus Statement on the use of NT-proBNP in the management of heart failure – an important issue given India will have the highest number of heart failure patients in the world by 2015.

The international panel of experts, including Dr. Bayes-Genis, Director of Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Unit in Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. Barcelona, recently released a set of recommendations on the use of NT-proBNP. These recommendations, which are being discussed in India by Dr. Bayes-Genis, were published in the American Journal of Cardiology. The panel concluded that NT-proBNP holds great promise as a routine screening tool in high risk populations, as well as a useful screening tool in the general population for detection of cardiac abnormalities and the prediction of future cardiovascular events, such as heart failure.

“By routinely testing people at-risk of developing heart disease for levels of NT-proBNP, doctors are able to diagnose the condition earlier and more accurately, which can have a significant impact on the long term health outcomes of patients. It enables the detection of even early stages of heart failure, a time in the disease process where there are generally no obvious symptoms”, said Dr. Bayes-Genis.

NT-proBNP is an inactive protein with a long half-life, thus it is more stable,, and remains in the blood stream longer than other markers., This makes NT-proBNP a more sensitive test for use in the early detection and management of congestive heart failure.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, is still the single most common cause of death worldwide. Unlike many conditions, heart failure is expected to continue to rise, due to ageing populations, the adoption of increasingly Westernised lifestyles and increased survival after other cardiovascular events. The incidence of heart failure in India is growing at a rate of 1.57million cases each year.

“Indians are more susceptible to heart failure, due to genetic pre-disposition as well as changes in dietary habits and lack of physical exercise. The NT-proBNP test can assist in the early diagnosis of heart failure which could reduce the incidence in the country,” said Dr Bhuwnesh Agrawal, Managing Director and Chairman of Roche Diagnostics, India.

As heart failure is a degenerative condition, it is not reversible and therefore an early and accurate diagnosis is crucial to ensure positive healthcare outcomes for patients. However, the condition is difficult to diagnose as early symptoms are non-specific and similar to those observed in many pulmonary disorders. As many as 50% of patients referred to cardiologists by general practitioners are initially misdiagnosed.

“The understanding of heart failure is still relatively low both among the public and healthcare professionals,” said Dr Bayes-Genis. “Yet early and accurate diagnosis can significantly impact treatment outcomes, and could moderate or even halt disease progression. Therefore it is important to fully utilise NT-proBNP and incorporate it into routine screening for at-risk patients. As NT-proBNP can detect even mild and moderate stages of the disease, it has been proven to be the most reliable and accurate marker to diagnose and assess a person’s risk of heart failure.”

NT-proBNP was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an objective marker for the diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure as well as the risk assessment in patients with acute coronary syndrome. It also offers strong prognostic value to help assess the increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with stable coronary artery disease.

In addition to its diagnostic and prognostic capabilities, NT-proBNP is being evaluated to guide treatment, to ensure patients receive the appropriate form and level of treatment, reducing cardiovascular event and ultimately improving patient management.

The potential benefit of regular NT-proBNP screening is particularly significant for at-risk population groups. High-risk patient groups include people suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, known coronary artery disease, or those aged 60 years and older among others.

“Regular screening of at-risk patients’ NT-proBNP levels can not only help save lives, but will also significantly reduce the patient’s cost burden. Medical and lifestyle interventions can be very effective treatment options for mild- to moderate heart failure. However, it is crucial that they are started early as the damage done to the heart in the severe stages of the disease is irreversible and ultimately fatal,” concluded Dr Bayes-Genis.

References for the article:

  1. Januzzi, JL. Comments from the International NT-proBNP Consensus Panel. Presented at: proCardio Symposium, Baveno, Italy. 2008.
  2. Mair, J. et al. The impact of cardiac natriuretic peptide determination on the diagnosis and management of heart failure. Clinical Chemistry & Laboratory Medicine 2001; 39: 571-588.
  3. Ordonez-Llanos, J. NT-proBNP: Analutical Considerations. In: NT-proBNP as a biomarker in cardiovascular diseases. Eds: Bayes-Genis, A. and Januzzi, JL. Thomson Reuters, 2008.
  4. Elin, RJ. et al. Laboratory and clinical aspects of B-type natriuretic peptides. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 2004; 128: 697-699.
  5. Pemberton, CJ. et al. Deconvolution analysis of cardiac natriuetic peptides during acute volume overload. Hypertension 2000; 36: 355-359.
  6. World Health Organisation. The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke. 2004. Accessed on 3 October 2008 at:
  7. Joint scientific symposium of ICMR and university of Minesota
  8. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health Data Fact Sheet: Congestive Heart Failure. September 1996.
  9. Roche Diagnostics. Data on File 2002.
  10. Roche Diagnostics. Elecsys proBNP – A novel approach for the management of heart failure.

    Piramal Healthcare honours the best interventional cardiologists in India

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    Piramal Healthcare Limited, one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies, awarded the ‘Piramal Knowledge Academy Best Intervention Award 2009‘ to four eminent interventional cardiologists at the National Intervention Council (NIC) on April 26, 2009 in Hyderabad. Around 500 interventional cardiologists attended the program. Dr. Sarat Chandra, Chairman, National Intervention Council was instrumental in integrating this award in NIC. He presided over the conference and headed the jury that chose the winners.

    Piramal Knowledge Academy supports the cause of the Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) Registry and is aimed at promoting unique Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) by interventional cardiologists. PTCA Registry is a mid-term scientific fiesta which is organised every year, where more than 100 pre-selected cases are shown and discussed for everyone’s benefit over the course of the three days of the Registry. Piramal Knowledge Academy will continue to honour and acknowledge the best angioplasty cases in the country every year.

    Piramal Knowledge Academy conducts a host of Advisory Panel Programmes, Skill Upgradation Programmes and Collaborative Educational Programmes with the medical fraternity. Dr. Swati Piramal, Director Communications & Strategic Alliances, Piramal Healthcare Limited said, “Piramal Knowledge Academy was conceptualized with the belief that sharing of knowledge with the medical fraternity is an imperative to alleviate the lives of the end patients and thereby the status of healthcare in India. It is our humble attempt at recognizing and felicitating stellar achievements in interventional cardiology.”

    The winners of the prestigious award this year are:

    • Dr. Navneet Singh from AIIMS, Delhi for his unusual case of CoArc dilatation,
    • Dr. Bhanu from J.J. Medical College, Mumbai for her case on ballooning and stenting in peripheral and pulmonary artery stenosis,
    • Dr. Pankaj Jariwalla from Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad for his case on left systemic artery to pulmonary vein AV valve formation, closed by vascular plug & coil embolisation and
    • Dr. Harikrishna from Shri Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences, Trivandrum for Ductal stenting in a neonate. The winners were honoured with a monetary award of Rs. 20,000, a certificate and an annual print subscription to an international health journal of repute.

    The medical fraternity unreservedly appreciated this initiative from Piramal Healthcare. “It is a great honour for me to receive this award,” said Dr. Harikrishnan.

    Accentium Web Pvt. Ltd – the one stop for many online solutions

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    In India, the years 2007-08 made most of us sit up and take notice of the social media (Please correct me if I am wrong). Although the concept of blogging had been around for a couple of years, most of us became aware of its importance only when many newspapers covered reports about famous personalities blogging. The recent buzz is the prime ministerial candidate for BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has gone the Barrack Obama way by engaging in massive online campaigning as well online advertising(even on a matrimonial site). We have to wait and watch to see the effect as the estimated percentage of internet users in India is relatively less compared to the United States of America.

    The Internet has definitely changed the way we are leading our lives – be it work, shopping, banking or even the way we live. From just sending/receiving emails and browsing for information besides gaming, internet has come a long way. Today we see a massive usage of the internet space in the form of company websites, social networking, blogging, forums and online marketing, etc. It is definitely the medium to be reckoned with. According to Mr. Vivek Pahwa, CEO of Accentium Web Pvt. Ltd. and winner of Asia’s Best Young Entrepreneur Award 2008, “We can definitely see this medium developing rapidly in the next 20 years.”

    For those who don’t know (I presume most of the people who view my blog are laypersons and not necessarily experts), Accentium Web Pvt. Ltd, has been behind some of the leading websites as follows:-

    • It is the one of its kind and just a click away. The website was started because it was felt that not much was done for people who wanted to remarry by a regular matrimonial site. The website offers valuable alternative to people looking for second marriage. The website offers various user friendly features like free registration, horoscope matching, live chat, etc., besides free online marriage counselling sessions for all its registered members. Currently there are approximately 100,000 members registered on the website. Interestingly, even people, who have never married before, have visited the site and become members.
    • India’s No. 2 automobile portal is your one stop for all car buying needs – from researching which car to buy by comparing various cars on price, technical specifications, etc to helping you do a test drive at your doorstep. The site also helps you contact dealers closest to you. You can book the car through; get the best car loan through them. Even the major paperwork related to car can be done through The website lets you do everything in one place – at your home.
    • Today the way people conduct their business has changed with the wide use of internet. Many businesses have websites that allow people to conduct business online. Online marketing and online advertising have been gaining impetus in the recent years. In fact, it is considered complimentary to advertising in other modes of media such as TV and print. The benefits are many and include wider reach of audience via internet, cost effective, etc. offers complete digital marketing and branding solutions and services which include Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Optimization and Web design/development.
    • Accentium is launching a new website – on May 1st. The website will serve as an information, comparison and application provider for all kinds of financial products. It will enable users to review various products like different types of loans, insurance products, and credit cards – compare across various banks, read reviews on banks and also apply for a loan/credit card/any other financial product on the site itself. has been incorporated into to ensure you get the car loan that is suitable for your needs.

    And the brain behind the organisation – Mr. Vivek Pahwa, who hopes to grow the current businesses bigger and also get into new ventures that are innovative and scalable.

    For more details about the company visit

    You can also visit the following sites:

    ‘Thin is in’ this summer at Lenovo

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    Lenovo recently introduced its range of slimmest entertainment PCs in India yet – the very sleek, Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 all-in-one desktop and the super slim Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 notebook1. The two products are not only the thinnest in their respective categories, but are loaded with some game-changing features, not seen in the Indian market.  

     “At Lenovo, we always keep pushing the limits of good design, balancing form and function, as exhibited in our Lenovo IdeaPad Y650, the super-thin and light 16-inch laptop and Lenovo IdeaCentre A600, the slimmest and fully loaded all-in-one desktop. This unique blend of design and engineering sets us apart from competitors and gives consumers a new kind of entertainment and computing experience.” Ramprasad L, Vice President,
    Transactional Consumer Sales, Lenovo India said.

     Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 Desktop – India’s first all-in-one with game-changing features including motion sensor gaming and VOIP call via remote

    Lenovo brings consumers the next generation of desktop computing with the IdeaCentre A600 – Lenovo’s first all-in-one desktop. The new, sleek IdeaCentre A600 all-in-one features a 21.5-inch frameless screen, and provides discerning space-conscious and style-conscious users a modern design that measures only one inch at its slimmest point, making it one of the slimmest all-in-one desktop PCs2.

     Unlike other all-in-one products in the market, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 features a 4-in-1 optional remote which enables four unique features:

    • It is the only PC in the market to introduce ‘motion sensor’ gaming feature
    • Lenovo 4-in-1 remote control can also be used as a VOIP handset to make and receive phone calls over the Internet.
    • The remote also serves as a media center/TV remote, and with Microsoft Vista Media Center users can use the controller to operate DVDs, movies and TV
    • The remote also functions as an “air mouse” so it can be used to operate the cursor on the screen.

     For the entertainment enthusiast, the all-in-one offers a 16:9 aspect ratio screen with full HD resolution delivering outstanding image quality while the integrated speaker system with bass sub-woofer and Dolby® Home Theater™ audio certification completes the home cinema experience. Users can also take advantage of the TV tuner for watching and recording their favorite TV.

     At the core of the all-in-one is a powerful desktop computer with choices of Intel® Core™2 Duo processors, optional ATI Radeon™ graphics card technology with DirectX10 support, up to 4GB of fast DDR3 memory for improved multitasking and up to 1TB (1,000GB) of hard drive space for storing hundreds of videos, music and other documents. Equipped with the latest high-performance mobile processor technology, the all-in-one runs whisper-quiet even when performing intensive tasks.

     Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 Notebook – Slimmest-Lightest 16-inch-laptop packed with entertainment features!

    Lenovo delivers its first 16-inch widescreen laptop with the Lenovo IdeaPad Y650, the thinnest and lightest 16-inch laptops in the market today1. In fact, the laptop weighs less than many 15-inch laptops, providing users with an additional inch of screen space without compromising on mobility.

    • Making use of advanced materials like carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), Lenovo has engineered the laptop down to a slender one-inch at its thinnest point with a weight of just 2.55 kg.
    • The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 has been designed in a modern soft black design with an interlocked hexagon pattern on the top cover along with a discrete copper accent around the perimeter of the laptop.
    • The machine also features touch-sensitive controls and ambient light sensor technology – a sensor on the PC’s cover automatically detects changes in the environment’s light to help protect against eye strain.
    • The keyboard is similar to the ThinkPad keyboard and has bevel sides.
    • The notebook is a multimedia powerhouse with integrated Nvidia GT105M with CUDA acceleration graphics processor supporting high-definition graphics bringing images to life with vibrant colors and 16:9 format viewing experience.
    • The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 uses JBL Speakers along with Dolby® Home Theater™ providing users a legendary audio experience.  
    • OneKey theater software gives users an easy option to switch the PC display and sound effect from normal to movie mode.
    • Users also benefit from longer battery life with LED backlight technology which minimizes energy consumption.
    • The laptop can support BluRay Rambo and comes with a built-in TV Tuner. 

    Pricing and Availability

     The Lenovo IdeaPad Y650 notebook is available at a MRP of Rs. 103,990 (inclusive of all taxes) and the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 all-in-one desktop is available at a MRP of Rs. 69,500
    (inclusive of all taxes).
    The range is available at all Lenovo outlets in India from April 15, 2009.

    For more information see 


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    A. O. Smith Corporation, the parent company of A. O. Smith India Water Heating Private Limited, a global leader in applying innovative technology and energy-efficient solutions to water heating products marketed worldwide, has bagged the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award. This is the second time A. O. Smith has received the award in four years.

    Based on its recent analysis of the North American water heater market, Frost & Sullivan presented A. O. Smith Corporation with the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award for its distinctive commitment to delivering innovation in product design and efficiency.

    Commenting on the achievement, David Warren, Vice-President (International), A. O. Smith Water Products, said, “It is an honour for A. O. Smith to be recognised by Frost & Sullivan for our dedication to innovation twice within four years. The recognition reinforces A. O. Smith’s promise to deliver innovative technology and energy efficient water heating products not only in America but across the globe.”

    Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jorge Moreno said “The Company scored highest on services, availability of spare parts, product range and features, and energy efficiency, which were classified as the most critical success factors for contractors and end-users alike. Also, the A. O. Smith brand is highly recognized, which tends to play an important part in the purchasing decisions of end-users and therefore the installers and contractors as well.”

    Tamal Chaudhuri, National Sales & Marketing Manager, A. O. Smith India Water Heating Private Limited commented, “Overall, A. O. Smith’s vision and sound understanding of the industry have enabled it to introduce new products that are more efficient and with original design features. This is especially true in case of our India Operations. A. O. Smith products available in India are a result of extensive research conducted to identify what the Indian consumers need. The products have been tailored to answer the differentiated India market and conditions. In recognition of these factors the company is the deserving recipient of the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award. We have always strived to apply innovative technology to make our products not only energy efficient but superior in performance.” The award lauds innovation shown by launching a broad line of emerging products and technologies.

    A. O. Smith is the first US water heater business to enter the India market and is supplying premium quality residential and commercial water heaters to the markets. The company conducted comprehensive research before entering the market including consumer focus groups and qualitative studies.

    The result was the premium eco-friendly top quality electrical water heaters. Dual glass coated heating elements in the water heaters reduce electricity bills, increase the life of the heating element and heat water faster, thus proving to be a product that offers value for money and efficiently conserves energy.

    Adding further, Tamal Chaudhuri said, “No other water heater company in the world has the resources that A. O. Smith brings to the Indian market. We offer a portfolio of the best-known and most widely respected water heater brands in the world. Our facility under construction at Harohalli, Bengaluru, will manufacture water heating products specially customized for India market and ecological conditions. We would like to emphasise that India is a priority.”

    Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

    A. O. Smith will help educate and influence consumers, retailers, architects and contractors that the implementation of high-efficiency products will reduce life-time operating costs and energy costs.

    From manufacturing to installation, A. O. Smith is dedicated to bringing innovative products and services to the market. The company’s vision and understanding of the industry have enabled it to introduce new products that are more efficient, less costly to produce, and offer original design features.

    Mumbai High Court Order Against Firms Selling Counterfeits of Piramal Healthcare’s Esgipyrin

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    Piramal Healthcare Ltd. obtained a common ex-parte ad-interim order from the Mumbai High Court on Thursday, April 9, 2009 restraining four companies from using trademarks similar to its product Esgipyrin. Piramal Healthcare is a registered proprietor of the mark ‘Esgipyrin’ and the company has been using the trademark since 1974.

    The four companies that have been restrained via this order are:

    • Endolabs Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., for their trademark Easipyrin
    • Endolabs Lifescience, for their trademark Elgipyrin
    • Spachem Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., for their trademark Zypyrine
    • Endolabs Ltd., for their trademark Agepyrine

    The order states that the companies have introduced the infringing products for the same ailment as countered by Piramal’s Esgipyrin and that it has been prima facie seen that the product is deceptively similar to that of the original product. The order further goes on to state that the companies have been engaged in a deliberate, dishonest and fraudulent act of counterfeiting and are passing off their products as that from Piramal Healthcare.

    A counterfeit drug is a medication or pharmaceutical product which is produced and sold with the intent to deceptively represent its origin, authenticity or effectiveness. The prevalence of counterfeit drugs appears constantly to be on the rise and these drugs are a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and loss of public confidence in medicines, the manufacturers and the overall health structures.

    Written by sreelakshmi

    15 April, 2009 at 5:38 pm