Book your Lab Test online, with MediBuddy Infiniti

When you accidentally prick your finger and you look at a drop of your blood, does it ever occur to you that what holds your gaze is actually a vast library of vital health related information?  Blood tests and other such diagnostic tests are often the first step to assess the health of the body and help uncover the first signs of disease and ill-health. The findings from lab tests can help catch critical changes in the body before they begin to manifest themselves, such as cardiac issues, cancer, diabetes and more.

Most of us undergo routine diagnostic tests as part of a variety of health check programs. Often, our doctors advise us for certain lab tests to help zero in on a disease. While we understand the importance of these tests, most of us will postpone that visit to the diagnostic centre due to paucity of time, or maybe just for the fear of needle pricks and ominous-looking machines!

MediBuddy Infiniti helps you solve for the former, by providing a platform that lets you book your preferred lab test online, from the diagnostic centres and path labs you trust, at a date and time which is convenient to you!

Through the newly launched Lab Test service, MediBuddy Infiniti adds yet another service to its list of outpatient offerings! MediBuddy Infiniti is your Curated Network for Cashless Outpatient Services, where users can enjoy the convenience of booking their preferred service from Health Checks, Medicines, Consultation, Home Health Care, Tele Consultation, Second Opinion, Genome Study, and now Lab Tests too!

For your preferred Lab test, you get to avail attractive inaugural discounts, and also the additional advantage of making your booking completely cashless, based on your policy cover!

Go ahead; book your first Lab Test on MediBuddy Infiniti!

 
A lot more is coming soon, just for you! So stay tuned…

What you should know about Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery

Plan your bypass procedure with MediBuddy for a hassle-free hospitalization.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting sounds very complicated and is a bit of a mouthful, but can be explained in a rather simple manner. Let’s say, on your usual route to work, there is some road work happening that causes on-coming traffic to pile-up and come to a stand-still. The traffic police block this road and create an alternate route for vehicles to get around, and this helps you and other commuters get to work easily. This is essentially what a coronary bypass surgery is. During your bypass procedure, the diseased sections of your coronary arteries are bypassed with healthy artery or vein grafts to increase blood flow to the heart muscle tissue. Bypass typically requires open-chest surgery. However, there are several newer, less invasive techniques for bypass surgery that can be used instead of open-chest surgery, in some cases.

Not everyone with coronary artery disease needs bypass surgery. In some cases, an angioplasty procedure or even just lifestyle changes might be enough to treat heart diseases.

Bypass Surgery Risks

While the amount of time and number of bypasses required may differ due to the severity of the blockages, there are usually a few risks associated with a bypass surgery, such as heart attack, stroke, too much bleeding, etc.  Other risks include return of angina, problems from anesthesia and infections at the site of the chest incision. A few, particularly older people, suffer from memory loss and have trouble thinking clearly. However, these problems usually tend to improve over time.

Procedure

In most cases, bypass surgery is an open-chest surgery. You’ll receive anesthesia before the surgery. During the surgery, your chest will be open and your heart exposed. The surgeon removes a healthy blood vessel—often from the leg—and attaches (grafts) it to the blocked artery. The new blood vessel bypasses the blocked artery to increase blood flow to the heart. You may have to stay in the hospital for at least 3 to 8 days after the surgery, followed by 4 to 6 weeks of recovery time at home.

Advancements in Bypass Surgery

Recent advances in surgical techniques and equipment allow the surgeon to perform CABG in a less traumatic, “minimally invasive” manner. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) may include a smaller incision or may avoid the use of a heart-lung machine, or both.  Pioneering work is also being done to develop techniques that will allow surgeons to perform beating-heart bypass procedures through “keyhole” incisions. This technique requires special equipment and the heart keeps on pumping blood for the body.

Life after Bypass Surgery

The success of a bypass surgery also depends on you. You will need to stop smoking, eat right and get regular exercise after your surgery. These changes will help your bypass grafts last and stay open longer. They will also give you the best chance of living a longer, healthier life. If you are taking medicines for angina, lowering cholesterol, or to control blood pressure, be sure to take these every day or as per your doctor’s prescription.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting is a serious and life-altering procedure. If you find yourself having doubts and questions about the procedure, you can always book a Second Opinion Service on MediBuddy Infiniti and get an expert opinion from our team of world-class specialists. Read more.

It is also necessary to plan your bypass procedure in advance and make them cashless to help alleviate any inconvenience on the day of hospitalization. eCashless on MediBuddy helps you avail provisional pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization at your chosen network hospital ahead of the date of the procedure, in a quick and hassle-free manner. Learn more. And, if you happen to have your procedure at a non-network hospital, you can raise a reimbursement claim and track its status in real-time with MediBuddy. You can also search for hospitals within your insurer’s network and filter them by location, specialties, amenities, room types, etc., and pick one that best matches your needs. Learn more.

Post your bypass procedure, you can also schedule follow-up consultations with a specialist and order your medications online, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

Manage an Asthma Attack!

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A chronic inflammatory lung disease, asthma is identified by periodic attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. Though the exact cause is not known, allergens, tobacco smoke and chemical irritants are known asthma triggers.

Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) which works worldwide to reduce asthma prevalence is observing World Asthma Day on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.  The theme this year is, “It’s Time to Control Asthma.” A healthy diet, an active lifestyle and the right medications play a crucial role in keeping your asthma under control. 

Fast Facts:

  • About 235 million people currently suffer from asthma.
  • Asthma is the most common non-communicable disease among children. 

Attack Management

An asthma patient can have a flare-up of symptoms at any time. This sudden and severe worsening is called an asthma attack, and it can vary between mild, severe and life threatening. Take a look at the table below to recognize the symptoms and the control measures:

Mild/moderate symptoms Minor difficulty in breathing, may cough or wheeze, can talk & move around. First aid assistance
Severe symptoms Evident difficulty in breathing, may cough or wheeze, cannot speak a sentence in a breath, reliever medication not lasting as long as usual. 1. First aid assistance2. Take emergency medical help.
Life-threatening  symptoms Gasping for breath, no cough or wheeze, unable to speak properly, exhausted, no response to reliever medication. 1. First aid assistance2. Take emergency medical help.

First aid assistance

The standard asthma first aid procedure can be learnt by anyone and is safe for adults and kids. Stay calm and start the first aid once you recognize an asthma attack.

  1. Sit the person upright. Be calm, comforting and do not leave the patients alone.
  2. Provide 4 separate puffs of blue/grey reliever puffer.  Shake, put 1 puff into the spacer and give 4 breaths from the spacer.
  3. Wait for four minutes. Give 4 more separate puffs if there are no signs of improvement.
  4. Call an ambulance. Till it arrives, continue giving 4 separate puffs every 4 minutes.

Long-term asthma management

After asthma is diagnosed, the goal of long-term management is to reduce impairment and reduce risk by the following measures:

  • Prevention of chronic symptoms
  • Maintenance of normal lung function and activity levels
  • Prevention of exacerbation
  • Minimize need for emergency care and hospitalizations
  • Prevention of loss of lung function

Since there is no cure for asthma and the symptoms can be effectively controlled with treatment and management, it is important to take your medications as directed and avoid attack triggers.

Inhaled corticosteroids alone or in combination with long-acting beta-agonists (LABA), leukotriene modifiers and short-acting beta-agonists are some of the medicine classes currently used to provide symptomatic relief from asthma. Managing your asthma also includes smoking cessation, weight reduction and  allergen avoidance.

Try and stay away from these allergens:

  • Animal skin/saliva
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroach particles
  • Chemical irritants
  • Air pollutants
  • Mold
  • Pollen

Did You Know?

Asthma sufferers should be vaccinated annually as they are at an increased risk of developing complications from respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia.

Quit Smoking!

Tobacco-Web

Tobacco has killed more than 100 million people in the 20th century and is one of the biggest health challenges in the world today. Cigarette smoking is a major element in tobacco-related illnesses and causes one-third of all cancers, including 90 percent of lung cancer cases. The World No Tobacco day (WNTD) is organized on 31st May every year by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners who work worldwide to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Fast facts

  • Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year.
  • 1 in every 10 cigarettes and many tobacco products consumed worldwide are illegal.

Dangers of cigarette smoking

  • On an average, smokers live 10 years lesser than non-smokers.
  • Smoking deprives you of some of your good cholesterol.
  • It temporarily raises your blood pressure and makes it more difficult to exercise.
  • Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke cause cancer of the lung, skin, liver, blood, kidney, prostate, oesophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, rectum, and myeloid leukaemia.
  • It increases the risk of chronic disorders, such as atherosclerosis which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke.
  • In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
  • In pregnant women, second-hand smoke causes low birth weight and can also cause sudden death in infants.

Get ready to quit smoking

Here are a few pointers to kick the habit:

A. Prepare to quit

  • Set a quit date within the next two weeks to quit smoking.
  • Tell your family and friends you are planning to quit so that they can support you.
  • If you take any medications, consult your doctor before quitting.
  • Be aware and plan for challenges such as withdrawal symptoms and uncontrollable craving to smoke.
  • Stay strong and remove things that remind you of smoking from your car, home or office.

 B. Quit day

1. Choose a method or combination of methods that will work best for you:

“Cold turkey”: Just stop smoking all at once on your Quit Day

Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you stop smoking completely

Smoke only part of each cigarette to help you count the number of puffs you take from each cigarette

2. Stay busy by changing your regular routine on your quit day

3. Throw away your cigarettes, lighters and ash trays. Avoid caffeine and don’t hang out with smokers

4. Eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest

5. Stay positive and vigilant

C. Decide if you need medications

If you are addicted to nicotine, medicines can help make your first few weeks easier. A nicotine replacement medicine (gum, spray, patch or inhaler) may help you stop smoking. Non-nicotine replacement medicines can help curb your withdrawal symptoms. Do not forget to consult your doctor for instructions on any medications.  

Health rewards after you quit

  • Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood stream drops to normal.
  • Within 3 months, your circulation and lung function improve.
  • After 9 months, you cough less and breathe easier.
  • After 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
  • After 5 years, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, and bladder are cut in half.
  • After 10 years, your likelihood of suffering lung cancer decreases by half, and your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s risk.

Did you know?

There are around 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, and at least 69 of them can cause cancer.

Sources:

  • World Health Organization. Accessed May 8, 2015.
  • Smokefree.gov. Accessed May 7, 2015.
  • American Heart Association. Accessed May 9, 2015.
  • National Cancer Institute. Accessed May 8, 2015.

Health Benefits of Blood Donation!

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Blood donation is a gift you give yourself as much as others. It is a simple, safe and healthy contribution for a reliable blood supply to support your community. World Blood Donor day is organized by World Health Organization (WHO) on 14th June every year to raise awareness on blood donation. It is also an attempt to encourage more people to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.

Fast Facts:

  • A single unit of blood can help save the lives of three people.
  • Only 62 countries have national blood supplies based on 100% voluntary unpaid blood donations.

Why should you donate blood?

You can safely donate blood once every 56 days.

  • Blood cannot be manufactured, and there is no substitute for human blood.
  • Currently, only one-tenth of our country’s blood requirement is met through donation.
  • About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood, every 2 seconds someone needs blood.
  • Sickle cell patients require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.

Benefits of donating blood:

Here’s how you benefit by donating blood:

Red blood cell (RBC) production is boosted: Donation of blood reduces the number of RBCs in the blood. The bone marrow immediately replenishes the lost cells; as a result your blood is refreshed every time you donate.

You get a free health screening: Every time you give blood, your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels are checked. Also, you get to know your blood type if you didn’t know it already.

Risk of heart disease is reduced: When you donate blood, you remove 225 to 250 mg of iron from your system, thus cutting your risk of heart disease. Menopausal women also can reduce their risk of heart disease as they are incapable of losing iron every month through menstruation.

You feel amazing: It is an act of kindness which is incomparable, especially when you realize that one hour of your time and 475 ml of blood has saved lives.

Some tips for an efficient donation:

If it is your first time, go prepared. Here are a few pointers:

  1. Get a good sleep before your donation.
  2. Eat a healthy meal.
  3. Wear clothes that can be raised above your elbows.
  4. Relax by listening to music or talking to other donors during the process.
  5. Take 4 extra glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol for 24 hours after the donation.
  6. After the process, remove the wrap bandage within the next hour but keep the strip bandage on for the next few hours.
  7. Avoid performing any strenuous activity for at least 24 hours.

Did you know?

Blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack and 33% less likely to suffer any type of cardiovascular event. 

Sources:

1. World Health Organization. Accessed May 18, 2015.

2. American Red Cross. Accessed May 28, 2015.

3. Blood Centers of the Pacific. Accessed May 27, 2015.

4. Nebraska Community Blood Blank. Accessed May 8, 2015.

ANYONE CAN HAVE A HEAT STROKE!

Sunstroke; Солнечный удар

 This summer is perhaps the hottest that India has seen in quite a while. Heat stroke are a frightening reality that we must all guard against; the very young and the old are especially susceptible.

Spot the Symptoms:

Heat stroke is a medical emergency; therefore, be on a lookout for these symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Signs of moderate to severe difficulty breathing
  • Fever of over 104°F
  • Headache
  • Confusion, severe restlessness or anxiety
  • Rapid breathing and racing heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

Prevent it: 

  • Stay adequately hydrated at all times (drink a minimum of 4 litres of fluid). Consume plenty of citrus fruits like oranges and lemon, which are an excellent source of electrolytes.
  • Wear light coloured and loose fitting clothes (cotton clothes are the best). Lighter colours reflect light so you will not feel the heat as much. Loose clothes allow easy circulation of air and help cool you down.
  • Take a cool shower. This improves blood circulation and helps you shake off the exhaustion you feel due to the heat.
  • Eat easily digestible foods and include a good amount of fresh fruits and raw veggies with high water content. Avoid spicy, oily and salty foods as these require more water to be digested.
  • Cover up using a sunscreen, hat, scarf or umbrella whenever you step out. These also protect your skin from sunburn, freckles and heat rashes.
  • Cut down on strenuous exercises; you may experience muscle pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs due to depletion of salt and water.
  • Do not leave your kids or pets in a closed car. Even with the air conditioner on, the temperature inside a car can rise dangerously in no time.
  • Summer is best enjoyed when you are healthy! Take these simple precautions and enjoy the season to its fullest!

Sources:

MayoClinic. Accessed June 6, 2015. NYC.gov. Accessed June 4, 2015. MedicineNet. Accessed June 8, 2015.

STOP DRUG ABUSE!

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Drug abuse is a consistent and patterned use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs, where the users end up harming themselves or others. It would be a mistake to view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem. Drug abuse should be recognised as a disease that impacts the brain. Thus, just willpower may not be able to stop the abuse.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is organised by United Nations on 26th June every year. The objective is to create a world free of drug abuse. Drug abuse can cause problems at work, home and school, leaving you isolated and feeling totally helpless.

The first step toward recovery from abuse involves admitting that you have a problem, which makes it easier for you to overcome the disease. The article that follows gives you valuable tips on how to get over your addiction and help yourself or a loved one.

Fast Facts:

  • About 230 million people use an illegal drug at least once a year. This represents about 1 in 20 persons between the ages of 15 and 64.
  • According to global estimates, there were between 99,000 and 253,000 deaths in 2010 as a result of illicit drug use.

Know the myths:

  1. You can overcome drug addiction by your willpower.
    Fact: Brain changes due to prolonged exposure to drugs result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. The sheer force of will is not enough to quit.
  2. Addiction is an incurable disease.
    Fact: Addiction impacts the brain, but the changes can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise and other treatments.
  3. You can’t force someone into treatment. They should be willing to take help.
    Addicts will benefit whether they volunteer for treatment or if they are pressurised by their family, employer or the legal system to receive treatment.
  4. To get better, addicts have to hit rock bottom.
    No, recovery is faster if treatment is started early. The longer the abuse continues, the stronger the addiction and the harder it is to treat.
  5. If treatment has failed once, there is no use trying again.
    There might be multiple setbacks during the long recovery process. A relapse doesn’t mean the treatment has failed but is a signal to get back on track by adjusting the treatment approach.

Spot the symptoms of drug abuse:

  •     Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  •     Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  •     Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  •     Deterioration of physical appearance or personal habits
  •     Unusual smells on breath, body or clothing
  •     Tremors slurred speech or impaired coordination
  •     Sudden mood swings, irritability or angry outbursts
  •     Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation or giddiness
  •     Lack of motivation and lethargy
  •     Being fearful, anxious or paranoid without reason
  •     Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

How to Help?

Talk to the person about your concerns and offer your help and support without being judgmental. Be prepared for excuses and denial by listing specific examples. Don’t blame yourself if you are unable to convince the person to get help. Do not shield the abuser from the consequences of his habit. Do not punish, threaten, bribe or preach. Hiding or throwing out drugs, arguing or pleading with addicts when they are high is pointless.

Treatment and Recovery:

  • Explore your treatment choices. You can opt for a medically supervised detox or a stint in rehab.
  • In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers and counsellors offer addiction treatment services.
  • Reach out to your close friends and family members for support. Join a recovery support group and attend meetings regularly.
  • Once you have recovered, try to find ways to cope with stress and avoid the triggers that led you to abuse. Keep cravings in check through medication, meditation and exercise.
  • If you relapse, get in touch with your sponsor or support group immediately and get back into treatment.

Say no to drugs the first time. Build a meaningful drug-free life!

Did you know?

Heroin was once successfully marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough suppressant in 1898, a time when tuberculosis and pneumonia were the leading causes of death. Thankfully, it fell out of favour shortly after the negative health effects became apparent.

Sources:

  1. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Accessed June 11, 2015.
  2. World Health Organization. Accessed June 11, 2015.
  3. HelpGuide.Org. Accessed June 12, 2015.

International Self Care Day

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The phrase “prevention is better than cure” highlights the importance of self-care. The World Self-Medication Industry, an NGO, in association with World Health Organization celebrates 24th of July as International Self-Care day. The objective of this endeavour is to raise the profile of healthy lifestyle self-care programmes around the world.

Fast Facts:

  • Around 80% of premature heart diseases, stroke and diabetes may be prevented and managed by responsible self-care.
  • In total, there are over 100,000 non-prescription medicines available worldwide for patients and consumers.

Why Self Care?

Healthy people have a duty to maintain their own health through self care. The incorporation of healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, healthy eating and responsible self-medication in your daily life can reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Long-term conditions can be managed efficiently with people taking care of themselves better and taking their medications appropriately.

Tips for self-care:

As an individual, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle, use health resources only when needed and practice self-care. Take a look at few ways by which you can take good care of yourself:

1. Eat healthy: Try to maintain a balanced diet, including nourishing food and adequate fluid intake.

2. Maintain body hygiene: Wash your hands, take a bath, brush your teeth regularly and keep yourself clean to ward off germs and diseases.

3. Get care when you are sick: Get medical help when you are unwell. Take proper precautions and medication as advised to prevent others from risk.

 4. Get rest: Ensure adequate sleep so that your body is rested and functions efficiently. 

5. Say no to drugs: Stay away from illicit drugs or any kind of substance abuse.

6. Monitor your health: Go for regular health check-ups and take precautionary vaccinations. Follow basic guidelines while self-medicating and use certified self-care products only.

Guidelines for safe self-medication:

Some medicines do not require a prescription, but you should be responsible in the use of over-the-counter medication by following these instructions:

  • Medicines should be of proven safety and good quality.
  • Before attempting to self-medicate, determine whether your condition and symptoms can be managed through self-care or if expert advice and medical treatment from a healthcare professional is needed.
  • Be extra cautious if pregnant women, the elderly or children are involved.
  • Always comply with the directions for dosage and duration of use on the product packaging and enclosed leaflets.
  • Consult healthcare professionals to obtain as much information as possible to ensure safe and responsible self-medication.

Did you know?

International Self-Care Day is observed on July 24 to reiterate the fact that the benefits of self-care should be felt 24 hours a day, seven days a week or 24/7.

Sources:

  1. International Self Care Foundation. Accessed June 25, 2015.
  2. Self Care Forum. Accessed June 25, 2015.
  3. The Way to Happiness. Accessed June 26, 2015.
  4. Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa. Accessed June 26, 2015.

Technology brings Healthcare One Step Closer to You

Technological breakthroughs are truly revolutionizing healthcare industry!

Nina had to schedule a knee surgery for an accident that she had over a year ago. She scheduled an appointment at the same hospital that she was admitted at after the accident. She carried all her X-rays and medical documents along with her, but was surprised to see that the doctor already had her medical records with him. Not just that, her surgery, post-surgery care and discharge was so quick and hassle-free, it was almost like her doctors had tailor-made the procedure to suit her needs exactly. This was made possible because of Health Information Technology (HIT), which manages, stores, transmits data across sectors and enables specialists to view and access medical records anytime. Health information technology has the potential to improve the health of individuals and the performance of providers, thereby yielding improved treatment quality, cost savings, and greater engagement by patients in their own healthcare.

When you think of technology affecting healthcare, you are most likely to think of advanced diagnostic tools or other cutting-edge remote medical procedures. What we don’t realize is that the same kind of technology and analytics that we use to organize our day-to-day lives or track multiple projects can also be used on a much larger scale in the healthcare industry! The healthcare sector is leveraging technology by the day to ensure an exceptional journey for customers. Technology makes healthcare and health care benefits accessible, efficient, easy-to-track and less expensive for everyone.

Breaking the Boundaries of Healthcare

Medi Assist, India’s largest TPA, currently serves over 15% of the Indian population. By way of our technology, sustained partnerships and human touch, we aim to cover a billion lives. Managing and processing claims for so many members has given us access to a vast amount of patient information. This information is invaluable to insurers as they can re-design their policies on the basis of the total costs, non-medical expenses and the benefits that are most used by the insured. This data can also be used by corporates when budgeting and planning for corporate health insurance policies and by governments for public health schemes.

We make all this and more possible through our award-winning platform, MediBuddy, which is at the forefront of all our technological initiatives. At the core, MediBuddy is a self-help tool that enables you to make independent decisions. Available as a portal and also as an app, MediBuddy puts healthcare where you spend the most amount of time – online! In addition to being able to manage your claims and plan your cashless hospitalization with eCashless, you can also access a range of health and wellness services, at your fingertips. Infiniti, on MediBuddy, enables customers to choose health check packages at convenient locations, order medicines to their door-step, book consultations with trusted specialists, and many more things.

At Medi Assist, we are constantly trying to use technology to innovate our health benefits administration services and healthcare offerings, so our members can have a delightful experience and lasting wellness!

So, what are you waiting for? Come on-board MediBuddy today and access a world of technology-empowered health services, at your fingertips

Leave no Room for Doubt

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Ensure that your Customers Choose you !

In this tech-age, our members are increasingly choosing the most convenient way to plan their hospitalization; through our revolutionary eCashless service on the MediBuddy portal and app, where your customers are able to get a provisional pre-authorization even before stepping into your hospital. And on this platform, they get the flexibility to pick their network hospital based on their location, room type requirement and any other amenities that they feel are important to them.

Your hospital fits the requirements of your customers perfectly, and you may be just in their vicinity. But unless you showcase it to them, they would have no knowledge of the same.

Your endeavor must therefore be to present yourself on eCashless while your customer is making his choice. A sure shot manner, in which you can achieve this, is by completing your profile on MediBuddy+.

Simply update the following information:

Location

When a customer chooses an eCashless hospitalization, a GPS enabled search helps to identify their location and give search results corresponding to the nearest hospitals that fall within the insurer network. If you are within reach, you must update your location in order to be seen on their eCashless page.

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Rooms section on MediBuddy+ 

Your customers will be able to choose a room at your hospital based on:

  • The type of room and room rent
  • The number of beds available per room, and
  • The amenities available in the room.

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By making all of the above information available upfront, you make it convenient for your customer to choose your hospital over others! 
Update your MediBuddy+ profile page today!

Log into hospital.medibuddy.in today!

For any queries, please write to hospital.medibuddy@mediassistindia.com.

Thrill your customers with all the information they seek!

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All customers are unique, and have their own set of requirements for out-patient services such as medical tests, consultations and health checks. When it comes to making a choice of a health check package or a specialist, customers grade their preferences on different parameters; such as the list of tests in a package, rates and prices, doctor’s credentials, slot availability and so on….

In the universe of choices available today to Medi Assist members, you have the advantage of having qualified doctors on panel and health check packages at discounted tariffs, and MediBuddy+ lets you showcase this advantage on MediBuddy Infiniti, which is where our members are searching for you.

MediBuddy Infiniti is your curated network for outpatient services, where your potential customers get all the information they seek on one single platform. To be chosen by them, you must feature on that page where they are looking for you on MediBuddy Infiniti, which gets updated only when you complete your profile on MediBuddy+.

Update the Health Checks Section:
Simply populate the Health Checks page with the following details:

  • The type of health package available and its price
  • The tests and consultations covered in the package, and
  • Any necessary instructions that need to be followed

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Update the Doctor’s Section:

Add the following details regarding your specialist doctors:

  • Qualifications and experience of the doctor
  • Area of core specialization
  • Consultation fees
  • Availability

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Update the sections on Health Checks and Doctors on your profile page today to help your customers make a swift choice, at YOUR hospital!

Log into hospital.medibuddy.in today!

For any queries, please write to hospital.medibuddy@mediassistindia.com.

This Little Tiger can be Injurious to your Health!

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The Asian Tiger mosquito is  a carrier of the dangerous Dengue Fever and inflicts painful bites on humans. Dengue is a viral disease which can affect anyone but is likely to be more serious in people with compromised immune systems. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of the viral illness which can be life-threatening. The best way to protect oneself from dengue is to avoid mosquito bites and keep mosquito population down.

Fast Facts:

  • According to the recent reports of World Health Organization (WHO), around 50 to100 million dengue infections occur worldwide every year.
  • There is no specific treatment for severe dengue but early detection and access to proper medical care reduces fatality rates below 1%.

Rush to your doctor if you observe these symptoms:

The initial symptoms of dengue are chills, headache, pain behind the eyes, and, muscle and joint pain. Temperature rises quickly (up to 104 deg. F) and there is a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. Reddened eyes and pale pink rashes on the body are observed. Mild bleeding (from nose or gums, easy bruising) is another symptom of this condition. In severe cases persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, respiratory distress, plasma leaking, and fluid accumulation may develop.

Follow these measures to protect yourself against dengue:

Since, there is no vaccine or specific medication to treat a dengue infection, controlling the transmission of dengue virus is the most important step. Ensure a mosquito free environment by practicing these methods:

  • Wear protective clothing when outdoors. Cover up with long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, tucked into socks and a hat if thin-haired.
  • Use effective insect repellents on skin and on clothing and reapply at regular intervals as prescribed.
  • Arrange for undamaged, impregnated bed-nets to be used in sleeping areas not properly screened or air-conditioned.
  • Make sure windows and door screens are secure and without holes. If available, use air-conditioning.
  • Keep water containers covered and clean up old tires, cans, and barrels as standing water are breeding place for the mosquitoes.

Treatment Measures:

There is no specific medication for dengue treatment. The remedy is concerned with relief of the symptoms. Rest and fluid intake for hydration is important. Doctor’s supervision is important while taking medicines to relieve pain so that bleeding conditions are not worsened.

How is dengue different from Chikungunya?

The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes, which causes Dengue, also causes another viral disease called Chikungunya and a person can be infected with both diseases simultaneously. Both of these diseases have identical symptoms but dengue is more common and more fatal than Chikungunya. There are some differences between these two diseases as listed below but a diagnostic test is essential for identifying whether it’s a dengue or a Chikungunya virus infecting the patient.

Type

Dengue

Chikungunya

Duration of disease Incubation period of 4–7 days (range: 3–14 days) and disease duration vary from 4 to 7 weeks. Incubation period 3–7 days (range: 2–12 days) and disease duration varies from one to two weeks. Symptoms such as joint pain may persist for a long time.
Joint and muscle pain Muscle pain on the back, arms and legs. Joint pain on knees and shoulders. Joint pains on hands and feet. Swelling is present and the pain is high in the morning.
Skin rashes Rashes usually limited to face and limbs. Rashes on trunk, limbs, face, palms and feet.
Possible complications Life-threatening complications such as shock, breathing difficulty and heavy bleeding can occur. Up to 10% of patients develop chronic joint pain. Neurological damage can rarely occur.

Did you know?

Dengue is a threat to about half of the world’s population. An effective mosquito control measure is the only method to prevent dengue fever!!

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed July 13, 2015.
  2. MedicineNet.com. Accessed July 14, 2015.
  3. Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Accessed Seo 22, 2016.
Hepatitis_Website

Prevent hepatitis…Act now!

26-year old Neeta was experiencing nausea, fatigue and abdominal pain. She had a young baby to take care of and worked for two-three shifts twice a week. She, therefore, assumed that the tiredness maybe because of her lifestyle. With time she was not able to tolerate most of the food items and went to see a doctor. She was diagnosed with hepatitis B but even after treatment she continued to suffer disabling fatigue and relapses. Eventually, she found a specialist who reassured her of her recovery and this motivated her to learn more about hepatitis B and spread awareness. She worked to keep her hopes and dreams can remain intact, despite the chronic infection, and is today leading a normal life.

World Hepatitis Day, organised by World Health Organization (WHO), is celebrated on July 28th every year to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, and to call for access to treatment, better prevention programs and government action.

Fast Facts:

  • Viral hepatitis is caused by 5 distinct hepatitis viruses.
  • Infection from these viruses results in approximately 1.45 million deaths each year.

Hepatitis causes injury to the liver with inflammation of the liver cells. The most common forms are hepatitis A, B, and C. It is important for everyone to be aware of hepatitis and to learn how they can protect themselves from being infected.

Points to ponder:

The five main types of hepatitis are caused by viruses.

  • Hepatitis A is caused by consuming contaminated food or water and is highly contagious
  • Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease spread through infected blood and bodily fluids, and an infected mother can pass the virus     to her baby during her pregnancy.
  • Hepatitis C is commonly spread via direct contact with the blood of a person who has the disease.
  • A person can only become infected with hepatitis D if they are already infected with hepatitis B.
  • A person can become infected with the hepatitis E virus (HEV) by drinking contaminated water.
  • Hepatitis G is another type of hepatitis caused by a specific virus (HGV).
  • The initial symptoms of hepatitis are similar to those of flu.

Common symptoms to look out for:

Hepatitis can cause mild symptoms or none at all. Fatigue, nausea, poor appetite, belly pain, a mild fever, or yellow skin or eyes (jaundice) can be symptoms of hepatitis A, B, and C. Once the patient gets worse, there are other indicators depending on the type of hepatitis.

Treatment and Prevention:

If a test says you have viral hepatitis, you can take steps to protect the ones you love.

  • For hepatitis A, there is no specific treatment. Abstain from alcohol and drugs during the recovery. Prevention measures include washing hands frequently, consuming cooked food, and not eating/drinking at places where you are unsure of local sanitation.
  • For hepatitis B, take a high protein and carbohydrate diet and rest. Doctors can prescribe anti-viral agents if the condition is severe. Ask your family members to get a hepatitis B vaccine. Prevention measures include practising safe intercourse and allowing well-sterilised syringes, tattoo etc. to get into your skin.
  • For hepatitis C, adding vitamin B12 to standard anti-viral treatment can improve the recovery significantly. Prevention measures include avoiding alcohol, covering open wounds, and not sharing drug equipment.

Avoid sharing nail clippers, razors, or toothbrushes.

Hepatitis D or E do not have any effective treatment yet. Prevention of Hepatitis D can be achieved by practising measures for Hepatitis B prevention.

Did you know?

Globally, around 250 million people are affected by hepatitis C and 300 million people are estimated to be hepatitis B carriers. Blood tests can determine the type of viral hepatitis if you are infected from any. If the infection is diagnosed, monitored, and treated, you can stay one step ahead of the virus.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed July 24, 2015.
  2. World Hepatitis Day.Org. Accessed July 23, 2015.
  3. Medical News Today. Accessed July 24, 2015.

Don’t remain an Option for your Potential Customers, Become their Choice!

mb_announcement_banner_3

Hospitalization is an important decision for your customers. Be it for themselves, or for their loved ones, they are riddled with apprehensions and queries.

Screenshot of Hospital Profile page.

Screenshot of Hospital Profile page.

They begin their search with a range of parameters in mind, so that they are able to zero in on the best hospital that caters to their needs.

Even if your hospital has all the amenities that a customer is looking for, how do you make sure that you figure in their list? This is where your profile page on MediBuddy+ can help you!

Also, more and more Medi Assist members are choosing eCashlessfor the convenience and simplicity which they experience when opting for a planned hospitalization. For your hospital to be chosen by such customers, you must feature on that page where they are searching for you, which gets updated only when you update your profile on MediBuddy+.

With a completed profile page, you are able to provide your customers with all the information they are looking for at that critical moment when they are making a choice, so that they choose you over others.

A detailed profile page can help you showcase, everything that a potential customer would want to know before they make their final choice.

  • Showcase the health packages available to your customers along with package prices
  • Update your doctors’ profiles
  • Showcase the facilities and amenities available at your hospital
  • Upload photos of your room types available to your customers
  • Update your location, so that customers can find you easily through a quick network hospital search

Don’t lose out on the chance to turn up at the top of your customer’s list. Complete your MediBuddy+ profile page today!

Log into hospital.medibuddy.in to update your details today!

For any queries, please write to hospital.medibuddy@mediassistindia.com.

Breast Milk: The Ultimate Gift from You to Your Baby

World Breastfeeding Awareness Week, coordinated by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is celebrated every year from 1st to 7th August in more than 170 countries. Supported by WHO and UNICEF, it aims to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. This year the week focuses on global action to encourage women to take up breastfeeding in parallel with their work.

According to WHO, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months. If breastfeeding, in addition to intake of appropriate solid foods is continued for 24 months and beyond, it can provide important health benefits to both mother and child.

Why is breast milk important for your baby?

  1. It reduces the risk of gastrointestinal illness, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, some childhood cancers, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and cot death.
  2. It supplies all the necessary nutrients in the proper proportions.
  3. It is easily digested and breast-fed babies are rarely constipated and less likely to get diarrhoea.
  4. It is the perfect food to promote healthy growth and development in babies.

How is feeding breast milk important to you?

  1. It reduces the risk of mothers with gestational diabetes developing Type 2 diabetes.
  2.  The risk of ailments such as osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, and pre-menopausal breast cancer is reduced.
  3. It assists the uterus return to its pre-pregnant state faster.

Some Useful Tips:

  • Breastfeed soon after birth and as frequently as 8 to 12 times in a 24 hour period.
  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin.
  • Some newborns may need to be awakened every few hours to make sure they feed enough.
  • Do not give a pacifier or bottle until breastfeeding is well established..
  • Babies tend to swallow air along with their feed. Burp the baby, by supporting your baby’s head and back while gently patting the back with your other hand.

Breastfeeding is natural but not necessarily easy. It might seem like a lot to watch out for. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you need any support.

SOURCES:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed July 30, 2015.
  2. Queensland Health. Accessed July 31, 2015.
  3. World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Accessed July 30, 2015.
  4. New York State Department of Health. Accessed July 31, 2015.

Understanding Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's-Web

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, a disease that affects the brain. Problems with memory, thinking and behaviour are the common symptoms of AD. Most people who develop AD do so after the age of 65, but people under this age can also become a victim.

Physical activity, proper diet, cardiovascular and diabetes treatments, antioxidants, and cognitive training can help to slow the progress of the early-onset of AD. Regular check-ups, professional counselling, sharing the experience of the disease can offer a meaningful and productive life to the patients.

Fast facts:

  • About 5 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease have the early-onset form.
  • Around 44 million people worldwide are believed to be living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other dementias.

Observe these Alarming Signs:

The most common early symptom of AD is difficulty in remembering newly learned information and memory lapses. These symptoms are generally mild to start with, but worsen over time and start to interfere with daily life.

  • Personality changes, such as harshness and indifference
  • Frequent lapses of memory, especially of recent memories
  • Forgetting appointments or the names of colleagues at work
  • Getting lost en route to a familiar place
  • Struggling to learn new things and adapting to changes at home or at work
  • Becoming confused about familiar tasks such as handling money or placing a call
  • Difficulty finding words
  • Unsettling moments of disorientation in previously familiar places
  • Difficulty with voluntary movements, physical coordination
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyed previously
  • Withdrawing from social contact; depression
  • Mood swings, paranoia and fearfulness

Help a loved one:

1. Short-term memory loss – Encourage the person to use a notebook or Smartphone to create a to-do list each morning and carry it with him or her. Keep their daily use items in easy to remember places. Avoid asking questions that challenge their short-term memory.

2. Language problems – Your loved one may have difficulty recalling words. Instead of getting anxious, be patient and supply the word or gently tell them that you can come back to it later. Encourage social interaction even if your loved one has problems in keeping up with a conversation.

3. Inability to comprehend – In case the patient fails to understand you, make sure to speak slowly so that he/she gets more time to process. Also find a different way to say the same thing by trying a simpler statement with fewer words. Remember, the patient responds to your facial expression, the tone of voice, and body language as much as the words you choose.

4. Depression – Symptoms of depression such as withdrawal, turmoil, and changes in sleeping patterns are common among early stage Alzheimer’s patients. Boost the patient’s outlook by making him feel safe and supported. Depression can also be treated by creating a calm environment and providing opportunities for your loved one to open up and talk about his or her fears and other emotions.

Did you know?

According to an observational study, people who are obese in their thirties are three times more likely to get dementia when compared to healthy people.

 Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Aug 30, 2015.
  2. Alzheimer’s Society. Accessed Aug 31, 2015.
  3. Alzheimer’s Association. Accessed Aug 31, 2015.

Take the road to a healthy heart!

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) describe all the diseases of the heart and circulation and include coronary heart disease (heart attacks), high blood pressure (hypertension), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), peripheral artery disease, rheumatic, congenital heart disease and heart failure. World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29th every year and the theme for this year is creating heart-healthy environments.

Fast facts:

  • Every year, an estimated 17 million people die of CVDs, particularly heart attacks and strokes
  • Control over tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol can help to avoid CVD.

Never ignore the symptoms of coronary heart disease:

Coronary heart diseases have two major symptoms: Heart attack and chest pain. An uncomfortable feeling similar to indigestion or heartburn, or heaviness in the chest occurs when coronary arteries become partially blocked. But when arteries become completely blocked, heart attack or myocardial infarction occurs. The discomfort is move severe and pain travels from the chest to arms, jaw, back, neck and abdomen. Nausea, light-headedness, breathlessness, sweating are other symptoms which might accompany chest pain.

Boost your cardiovascular fitness:

Getting regular physical activity can keep your heart healthy. According to the experts, moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week is recommended for optimum heart health. We are listing out a few types of exercises which will improve the fitness of your heart and ward off any kind of CVD:

1. Brisk Walking: It is one of the best aerobic exercises for your heart. Walk at a fast pace to achieve a moderate intensity level to use large muscles in a continuous, rhythmical manner.

2. Climbing Stairs: This can be done at home, gym or on a stair machine. The aim is to reach between 50 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate can be found out by subtracting your age from 220.

3. Running: To get started, begin with a brisk walk and add 1 to 2 minutes of running every 5 minutes of walking. A beneficial schedule is running less than 32 km per week in runs of 30 to 45 minutes over three or four days.

4. Bike Riding: Either a road bike or pedalling at home on a stationary bike is a low impact, easy on the joints exercise. Make sure that the position of the seat and pedals are properly adjusted to prevent any injury.

5. Swimming: Two and a half hours of swimming per week will give you all the aerobic heart health benefits you need. It raises your heart rate and the water provides multi-directional resistance that will improve your muscular strength. It is also beneficial for those with joint conditions.

6. Spinning on an Elliptical Training Machine: Found in most fitness centres, it gives you both an upper- and lower-body workout at once. The leg motion is similar to running and cycling and the rhythmic arm movements get blood flowing to your back and shoulder muscles.

7. Dancing: Dancing can range from high impact to low impact depending on your ability and preference but a good aerobic beat is about 120 to 135 beats per minute. Zumba is good form of aerobic dancing.

8. Water Aerobics: This offers heart-health benefits of a good aerobic exercise. Water exercises have been shown to improve the use of joints in people with arthritis without worsening symptoms.

9. Strength Training: Increasing muscle mass improves heart and lung function and averts heart disease and other conditions before they set in. Strength training helps people with heart disease to develop bodily strength and improve their endurance. It also helps in attaining long-lasting drop in blood pressure.

10. Circuit Training: This stretches the arteries and improves the elasticity for better cardiovascular fitness. Opting for minimal rest periods and alternating between upper and lower body exercises is the ideal way to get maximum results. For e.g., for every three minutes of cardio, do one strength training exercise.

Did you know?

According to a study, eating fruit every day can lower risk of heart disease by up to 40%. The researchers found that people with regular intake of fruits in their diet also had much lower blood pressure compared to the people who never ate fruit.

Sources:

  1. World Heart Organization. Accessed Sep 13, 2015.
  2. World Heart Federation. Accessed Sep 14, 2015.
  3. National Health Service. Accessed May 9, 2015.
  4. European Society of Cardiology. Accessed May 8, 2015.

Keep your heart healthy!

The hardest working organ in our body is our heart! It pumps over 5 litres of blood throughout the body every minute. It is a part of our cardiovascular system (CVS) which also consists of blood vessels and blood. World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29th every year with the aim to create awareness to prevent heart diseases by making heart-healthy choices.

MAJOR FUNCTIONS OF OUR CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM:

  • Transports gases, hormones and nutrients around the body
  • Removes the waste products of metabolism
  • Protects the body against infection
  • Helps regulate and maintain body temperature
  • Maintains fluid balance within the body

WHAT INCREASES YOUR RISK OF GETTING A CVD?

Diseases concerning heart and blood vessels come under a common term, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and include coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke.

Smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, regular alcohol intake, obesity, diabetes, family history of heart disease, and age are some major risk factors that increase your likelihood of getting a cardiovascular disease.

Unhealthy diet, amount of your alcohol intake and stress levels may also influence your risk of getting a heart disease.

CONTROL RISK FACTORS TO PREVENT HEART AILMENTS:

To reduce your risk of heart disease you should try to control the risk factors by making lifestyle changes. If you have any type of CVD, you can prevent it from getting worse by following a healthy lifestyle.

1. Watch what you eat:

A healthy diet is a must to lower your risk of CVD. Healthy food choices should be practised. Follow these diet tips:

  • Choose the quantity and quality of the food you eat. Take larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium, refined, processed or fast foods.
  • Consume fibre-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to protect against CVD.
  • Limit or avoid your usage of saturated fat (red meat, dairy products, coconut oil) and trans fat (deep fried, packaged snack foods, bakery products).
  • Consume healthy fats from plant-based sources, such as avocado, nuts, olives and olive oil
  • Several servings of fish like Salmon or mackerel in a week can decrease your risk of heart attack.

2. Quit Smoking

Chemicals in tobacco can damage your circulatory system and increase your blood pressure. Passive smoking is no safe and increases the risk of heart disease as well. Quitting smoking will reap the following health rewards:

  • Within 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • When you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops almost to that of a non-smoker in about 5 years.
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s risk.

3. Get physically active

A 60-minute moderate intensity physical activity per week can be good for your heart health and lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases. You can try out various activities at home or work:

  • A 30-minute brisk walk per day is one of most effective form of physical activity for a good heart health.
  • Two and a half hours of swimming per week can give you all the aerobic heart health benefits you need and also keep your blood pressure normal.
  • Strength training under supervision can help in increasing muscle mass which improves heart and lung function and reduce chances of heart disease and other conditions before they set in.

4. Aim for a healthy weight

Being overweight can increase the risk high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes which are direct risk factors for CVD. Maintaining a BMI (Body Mass Index) below 25 and keeping your waist circumference normal is the best way to stay physically fit.

  • If you are overweight, a 5 to 10 percent weight reduction can help in reducing your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Men should aim to keep their waist circumference below 40 inches and women below 35 inches.
  • Reduction in calorie intake by eating smaller portions and choosing low-calorie foods along with an increase in physical activity can help you in weight reduction.

5. Get a good sleep

Lack of a quality sleep can increase the risk of high BP, heart attack and obesity. Try to get between six to eight hours of sleep each night.

  • Make a sleep schedule, stick to it and try out ways which help you sleep easier.
  • If you snore loudly or wake up several times while sleeping or gasp for air in your sleep or get up with a headache, sore throat or dry mouth, immediately consult your doctor.

Work towards a healthy lifestyle by following these tips. Also, try to keep yourself stress-free and go for regular health screenings to know your cholesterol levels, diabetes and blood pressure health. This heart day, take the first step to please your heart and get rewarded with a healthy and disease-free body.

SOURCES:

1. World Health Federation. Accessed Sep 28, 2015

2. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 25, 2015

3. Nation Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed Sep 28, 2015

Secure your Sight!

Sight-Web

As much as eating healthy and staying physically fit is important, taking good care of your eyes is also very essential.World Sight Day (WSD) is held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This is an annual event organised by WHO (World Health Organization) every year with a goal to reduce avoidable visual impairment.

Fast facts:

  • Worldwide, approximately 285 million people live with low vision and blindness and every five seconds one person in the world goes blind.
  • Around 80% cases of visual impairment are treatable (60%) and/or preventable (20%) .

Stay aware of Common Eye Problems:

Eye problems can range from minor issues to serious problems which can lead to permanent loss of vision.

Information on common eye problems, precautionary measures to avoid these and regular eye check-ups can can help to ensure that your eyesight is protected.

  • Eye infection, dry eyes and eye inflammation can cause scratchy and watery eyes and you should go for an eye examination from a specialist to determine the cause and treat the symptoms.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis causes watery, red, itchy eyes with a discharge and needs immediate medical attention.
  • Cataract, the leading cause of blindness, clouds the lens of the eyes and leads to blurred/double vision, poor night vision, dull colors, glare problems and can be treated by a surgery.
  • Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve which leads to vision loss, but early treatment can protect your eyes before permanent damage occurs.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes progressively damaging the blood vessels of the retina and causes blindness in adults.

Other common problems include refractive errors, retinal disorders and symptoms like pain, double vision, fluid coming from the eye, and inflammation, which need immediate attention.

The only way you can deal with eye problems is by not ignoring the symptoms and seeking an opinion from a professional right away.

Protect Your Vision:

Follow these simple guidelines to keep your eyes healthy:

  • Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam regularly to check for common eye problems. If you are 40 or above, it’s all the more important to get your baseline evaluation even without symptoms.
  • Know your family’s eye health history as many conditions are hereditary.
  • Include dark leafy greens such as spinach, colorful fruits like carrots which are high in antioxidants, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna in your diet.
  • Quit smoking.
  • While playing sports, doing activities around the home or at work wear protective eye gear.
  • When you go out, protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiations by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99% of these harmful rays.
  • If you use contact lenses, practice hygiene to prevent infection.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly (everyday walking) to prevent certain age-related eye conditions.

Did you know?

According to a new study, toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the delicate surface and the internal structure of the eye and increases the risk of vision loss for a smoker by 4 times when compared to a non-smoker.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 30, 2015.
  2. Medline Plus. Accessed Sep 29, 2015.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sep 30, 2015.

Let’s talk openly about mental illness!

“Happiness is a state of mind”, goes the saying. This underlines the direct connect between mental health and happiness. While there is growing awareness about maintaining good physical health, we are often hesitant to talk about mental health. Mental health management is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, caring for the brain, the most complex organ that makes us humans the supreme race on this planet is a matter of great pride! World Mental Health Day, observed every year on the 10th of October, is an initiative of the World Federation of Mental Health and the World Health Organization to raise awareness on mental health issues.

Fast Facts:

  • Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental problems.
  • Worldwide, over 800,000 people commit suicide every year.

Battling the biggest barrier to mental health – social stigma

When an illness is associated with a stigma, it aggravates the pain and agony felt by the patients and their families. The fear of social isolation drives people to hide their condition; they don’t seek timely medical help. Family members too don’t discuss these issues in the open; many remain in a state of denial until it is too late. To remove the stigma associated with mental illnesses, it is important for us to talk openly about mental health and actively support people around us with mental health conditions. The Mental Health First Aid Action Plan was developed to guide people to recognize and assist people who are developing mental health problems or are in a mental health crisis situation. Here is how you can help people with mental health issues:

1. Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis. : Approach the person with care, make the meeting comfortable and assist them as necessary. Always respect the person’s privacy and confidentiality.

2. Listen non-judgmentally: Listen to their distressing emotions and thoughts empathetically before offering guidance.

3. Give support and information: Timely information about their condition, emotional support along with the hope of recovery and practical help with tasks can go a long way in making the person feel more comfortable with their situation.

4. Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help: Explain options like medication, counseling or psychological therapy. Assistance with vocational and educational goals, income or accommodation can also aid treatment / recovery.

5. Encourage other supports: Encourage the person to use self-help strategies and actively seek support from friends, family, and people who have recovered from similar health challenges.

Mental Well-being ought to be on Your Mind:

While empathy and compassion towards those suffering from mental health illnesses are important, awareness about your own mental wellness is critical. Given the high-stress environment we live and work in, we cannot afford to be complacent about our mental well-being. Here are some simple tips to keep your mind active and happy:

  • Connect with people around you and try to build relationships with them.
  • Exercise your mind as consciously as you exercise your body.
  • Keep learning and increase your skill sets – take a course on a new subject, learn a new game or acquire a new hobby.
  • Be kind and giving to others – a smile, some words of gratitude or a small act of kindness can work extremely well to improve your mental wellbeing.
  • Take time off for mental relaxation. Consider activities like meditation to calm your mind.
  • Pay attention to your feelings, thoughts and the way you respond to the world around you. This will help you identify potential challenges / symptoms early on.

And importantly, do not ever hesitate to seek help from family, friends or professionals in case of need. Change your mind about the way you think about mental health, and spread the word!

Did you know?

Mental disorders increase the risk of getting ill from other diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 7, 2016.
  2. World Federation for Mental Health. Accessed Oct 5, 2015.
  3. Mental Health Foundation. Accessed Oct 6, 2015.

Manage arthritis: Live better!

The biggest misconception today in the society is about bones being made up of dead tissues. This is not true at all since they are as alive as other organs in our body. They are made up of cells, nerves, blood vessels and pain receptors and they can pain, a lot! If you have conditions such as stress fractures, certain cancers, arthritis, osteoporosis your bone can ache deep inside or hurt sharply on the surface.

World Arthritis Day was established by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and is celebrated each year on 12th October to work toward increasing awareness of arthritis and other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) worldwide. where efforts are taken to encourage people with RMDs, their families, and the general population to catch every opportunity to take action and make a difference to the quality of life of people with RMD.

Limitations in Activities:

A person suffering from arthritis has difficulty in walking even for half a kilometer, climbing, bending, kneeling, climbing stairs, lifting or pushing a heavy object, or grasping small objects. They also face difficulty in standing or sitting for more than two hours at a stretch. Incapability to participate in social activities and emotional challenges are other worries.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

These lifestyle tips can greatly reduce your risk of developing some RMDs and also manage the existing condition better:

  • Stop smoking as it affects your immune system and also increases the amount of pain you feel.
  • Stress can lead to mental tension which makes the pain worse and should be managed.
  • Get enough quality sleep for your mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Keep your alcohol intake in check.
  • Reduce the level sugars by cutting down on soft drinks, cereals, ready meals and processed foods.
  • Salt can cause a number of health conditions and adults should limit themselves to 5-6g a day.

Interesting Work-out Tips

If your joint hurts and you are not too eager on exercising, remember that exercise not only keeps those joints strong and flexible, it also promises pain relief for a host of conditions, osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia.

Keep your arthritis under control with these tips:

  1. Water Walking: Walking in waist-deep water lessens the weight on joints by 50 percent compared to that of walking on land.
  1. Water Aerobics: This is usually done in chest-deep water, lessening the impact on your joints by 75 percent compared with traditional aerobics.
  1. Swimming: It will work all of your muscle groups and builds cardiovascular endurance but choose a stroke that is most comfortable for your joints.
  1. Golf: It works your upper back, legs, shoulders, wrists, and hands.
  1. Muscle strengthening activities: Do exercises that work all the major muscle groups of the body because strong muscles take some of the pressure off the joints.
  1. Balance activities: To prevent the risk of falling, practice backward walking, side stepping, heel and toe walking, standing on 1 foot for at least 3 days a week.

Get off that couch and feel excited to move. Work your way to keep the complications of arthritis at bay!

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 6, 2015.
  2. Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. Accessed Oct 5, 2015.
  3. World Arthritis Day. Accessed Oct 5, 2015.

Show some Love. Care for your Body. Fight Obesity.

Tarun, ace batsmen of his university team and a voracious eater, recounts how he could win any food competition hands down. Over the years, work took precedence and Tarun couldn’t make any time for physical exercise. The voracious appetite continued unchecked, though. Work pressure and constant travel made life more stressful and worsened his eating habits. And today, Tarun can barely recognize that ace batsman of the yore in him. An obese young man stares back at him in the mirror.

Obesity is not being just fat. Obesity increases blood pressure and cholesterol levels; it can cause blood clots, gallstones, osteoarthritis, gout, some cancers and type 2 diabetes; and often, it takes away a person’s self-confidence and self-worth, resulting in isolation and depression.

India has secured the dubious distinction of having the third largest number of obese people in the world – after US and China – as per a study published in the medical journal, Lancet. Alarmingly, one in every five adult Indians is either overweight or obese. Isn’t it time we gave obesity some serious thought?

Let’s begin by observing the World Obesity Day on 21st October.

Fast facts:

  • At least 2.8 million people each year die as a result of being overweight or obese.
  • Around 60 to 85% of people in the world lead sedentary lifestyles, with serious implications for their future health.
  • The cases of obesity recorded by the WHO has doubled between 1984 and 2014.

What is Obesity?

Simply put, obesity is excessive fat accumulation or weight more than normal for a given height. Medically, weight in relation to height can be measured with “Body Mass Index” or BMI (weight in kilograms divided by the square of his/her height in meters). World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies:

  • persons with BMI of 25 or greater as ‘overweight’ and
  • persons with BMI of 30 or more as ‘obese’.

Impact of Obesity:

Obesity has been long classified as a medical condition that has serious health impact:

  • High blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes
  • Diabetes- insulin resistance
  • Osteoarthritis- disabling degenerative diseases of the joints
  • Increased risk of fractures
  • Respiratory issues like breathing trouble
  • Depression
  • Cancers like breast, colon, endometrial.

Causes of Obesity:

Once restricted to only first world countries, obesity is on a rise in developing nations particularly in urban settings. With 30 million Indians categorized as obese, and the number rising every day, understanding the causes of this global epidemic is critical:

  • Higher consumption of food than needed by our bodies and sedentary lifestyle.
  • Lifestyle factors like stress, lack of sleep and boredom.
  • Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS); medicines to treat ailments like a seizure, depression, etc.
  • A family history of obesity.

Fighting Obesity:

Tackling obesity is not too tough; all it really needs is determination and long-term commitment to the cause of healthy living. A healthy lifestyle is important to managing weight and staying fit.

Healthy food:

Though there are many of us who would jump to a fancy diet regime at the very mention of the word “weight loss”, it is important to note that traditional Indian food is one of the healthiest choices we can make. Everyday Indian meals have all the macro and micronutrients in balance. Here are some tips to eating healthy:

  • Avoid fried, processed and junk food.
  • Limit intake of fat, sugar and salt.
  • Include fiber or roughage in your diet from salad; whole foods like whole weight grains like wheat and bajra; and whole fruits instead of juices.
  • Avoid starvation diets at all costs.

Food portion size:

No food type is evil if consumed in small portion sizes (unless forbidden by an underlying medical condition).

  • Eat in proportion to the physical activity. Energy from food intake should be equal to the energy expended by the body via activity.
  • Maintain balanced diet with small portion sizes.

Work out every day:

Keep your body active. Even if you cannot make time for regimented exercise, make some simple choices in your daily life:

  • Limit time spent at your desk, in front of computers and television.
  • Walk whenever possible.
  • Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  • Encourage activity during family time that everyone enjoys.
  • Plan an activity regime for yourself to start with until it becomes part of your lifestyle.

Do remember to check with a doctor in case of existing medical conditions for approved list of activity.

Don’t ignore your emotional wellbeing:

Body response to emotional health is very powerful. Stress and depression may lead to excessive weight gain, which in turn can lead to further stress and depression. It is a vicious cycle! Managing stress would be a personal choice of either:

  • Learning to deal with existing stress.
  • Avoiding the situations that lead to stress, if possible.
  • Seeking family or professional help, if and when necessary.

Track your weight and BMI:

Prevention and control of fat gain are much easier than subjecting oneself to weight loss plans.

  • Weigh yourself, preferably at the same time weekly, fortnightly or monthly to track your weight on a regular basis. Early morning is the best time to weigh yourself.
  • Watch your BMI and take necessary steps, such as diet control or exercise, to keep yourself in the recommended range.
  • Parents should help their children make healthy food choices and maintain an active life; childhood habits go a long way in determining their lifestyle.

Obesity is easily preventable. Let’s observe this World Obesity Day by pledging to make healthy choices and prevent obesity.

Did you know?

Even a modest weight loss of 5%-10% of initial weight and the long-term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health benefits by lowering blood pressure, risks of diabetes and heart disease.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 12, 2015.
  2. Medline Plus. Accessed Oct 12, 2015.
  3. National Institute of Health, Us Department Of Health And Human Services. Accessed Oct 14, 2015.
  4. India Today. Accessed Oct 14, 2015.
  5. BBC. Accessed Oct 13, 2015.

Cholecystectomy – Treat your Gallstones!

The procedure, risks and recovery of a Cholecystectomy surgery.

Don’t let the complicated name scare you! Cholecystectomy is a rather common surgery that only carries a small risk of complications. Your gallbladder stores any excess bile that your liver makes and releases it when you eat a meal rich in fats, to help digest it. Sometimes, stones develop in the gallbladder and block the flow of bile from the liver. Cholecystectomy, which involves removal of the gallbladder, may be necessary if you experience pain from these gallstones.  In most cases, you will be discharged on the same day of the procedure. Before the surgeon removes the gallbladder, you may have a special X-ray procedure, called intra-operative cholangiography, which shows the anatomy of the bile ducts.

Post removal of your gallbladder, bile will flow from the liver (where it is made) through the common bile duct and into the small intestine.  Because the gallbladder has been removed, the body can no longer store bile between meals.  But, for most people, this has little or no effect on digestion. The gallbladder is one organ that you can live without, with no problem!

Cholecystectomy Procedure

Gallbladder surgery can be done through both the laparoscopic and open methods, with the laparoscopic approach being the more common of the two.  If open surgery is used, the gallbladder is removed through one large incision. This requires a longer hospital stay and more discomfort during the post-operative period, as compared to the laparoscopic surgery. In a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon inflates your abdomen with air or carbon dioxide in order to see clearly and then inserts a laparoscope, a slender instrument that enables the surgeon to examine the area, into one incision near the belly button. The surgeon then uses a video monitor as a guide while inserting surgical instruments into the other incisions to remove your gallbladder. Sometimes, the surgeon might need to switch to the open method from laparoscopic if he encounters problems during the laparoscopic approach.

Your doctor will choose the approach that best suits your specific condition. But, make sure to get all your doubts clarified from your doctor before you leave for the hospital.

Recovery after Cholecystectomy

You may have gallbladder surgery as an outpatient, or you may stay for 1 or 2 days in the hospital.  Most people can return to their normal activities in 7 to 10 days. People who have laparoscopic gallbladder surgery are sore for about a week, but in 2 to 3 weeks they have much less discomfort. No special diets or other precautions are needed after surgery.

After an open surgery, you will have to stay for 3 to 5 days in the hospital, and your recovery time will be longer. Typically, it takes 6 weeks to recover fully from the effects of an open surgery.

Since cholecystectomy is a planned procedure, why not use eCashless on MediBuddy to make your hospitalization cashless and hassle-free? With eCashless, you can avail provisional pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization at your chosen network hospital, right from the comfort of your home? Learn more. And, if you happen to have your procedure at a non-network hospital, you can raise a reimbursement claim and track its status in real-time with MediBuddy. You can also search for hospitals within your insurer’s network and filter them by location, specialties, amenities, room types, etc., and pick one that best matches your needs. Learn more.

Post your procedure, you can also schedule follow-up
consultations with a specialist and order medicines online,
with MediBuddy Infiniti! 

Planned hospitalization made easy with eCashless

Are you in the process of planning a hospitalization? Today, anything from ordering a meal from your favourite restaurant to booking a cab can be achieved with just a few clicks on your smartphone. When technology has made almost every single service so easily accessible, why should only healthcare take a backseat?

The agony of leaving your ailing relatives unattended while you wait at the hospital insurance desk makes the whole process of cashless hospitalization seem like a huge hassle. This apart, there is also a lot of anxiety about the estimated cost of treatment, availability of a preferred room type and the out-of-pocket expenses your family would have to incur. Book an eCashless request on MediBuddy, and get everything you need – provisional preauthorization and the estimated cost of treatment at your chosen network hospital – ahead of your planned hospitalization.

To avail eCashless, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

1. Click the eCashless tile on MediBuddy and request for preauthorization at least 48 hours prior to your hospitalization. If you’ve pre-planned your hospitalization, why just stop at deciding the date? You can search for hospitals within your insurer’s network and filter them by location, specialties, amenities, room types, etc., and pick one that best matches your needs!

2. Receive a secure passcode confirming your provisional approval.

3. Present your passcode and your e-card at the hospital insurance desk on the date of admission.

4. Your network hospital will validate your passcode and give you the preauthorization approval letter instantly. Sign and submit the form along with a valid photo ID proof. And you are well on your way to a quick and easy cashless admission at the hospital.

5. Get green channelled into the allocated room for a hassle-free cashless treatment. With no worry on your mind, you can relax on the day of admission and focus on the one thing that you need to – a quick and speedy recovery.

Also, now you have the added advantage of managing your claims online and in real-time, with MediBuddy. There’s no need to make repeated phone calls to your TPA; start tracking your claims from anywhere, anytime with MediBuddy.

So, what are you waiting for? Raise an eCashless request with just a couple of clicks on MediBuddy, from the comfort of your home, and make the most of your health insurance policy benefits!

Track your Claims with the Click of a Button

If you have recently undergone hospitalization at a non-network hospital and are covered under a group/individual health insurance policy, you must have raised a reimbursement claim for your hospitalization expenses. Tracking claims in the traditional way can be extremely exasperating as you might have to spend significant time and effort calling up your contact centre or TPA to know the status of your claim.

Why go through all that unnecessary hassle when you have a simpler, smarter and more efficient way to track your claims? Medi Assist makes you self-reliant, giving you the power to track claims – anytime, anywhere, and in real-time using a range of channels.

Here are some quick ways in which you can track your claims:

1. Navigate to track.medibuddy.in

You can track your claims through our website by letting us know a few details related to your policy number, employee code, etc.

2. Click the Claims tile on your MediBuddy app

Download the MediBuddy app on your smart phone, click the ‘Claims’ tile and start tracking your claims, in real-time!

3. Explore MediBuddy on medibuddy.in

You can also navigate to the MediBuddy portal to track your claims instantly.

4. Drop us a message:

SMS ‘CLAIMS (Claim Number)’ to +91 96631 49992.

We understand that the information on the status of your claims is critical to you, and your needs are important to us! Sign up on MediBuddy to help us serve you better!

Love your bones: Make them break-free!

Did you know that osteoporosis; a bone disease has caused more disabilities than many cancers and chronic conditions? A decrease in bone density and reduction in bone quality can increase your risk of fractures. Fracture rates have gone up three fold (over the last 30 years) in Asia and India tops this chart!

World Osteoporosis Day is observed every year on October 20 and is organized by International Osteoporosis Foundation to raise awareness on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease worldwide. Osteoporosis causes a reduction in the density and quality of the bones, which increases the risk of fractures.

Are you at risk?

Being aged above 50 years, menopause, family history of osteoporosis, being underweight or thin, deficiency of vitamin D and calcium, inactive lifestyle, smoking and too much alcohol, high protein, caffeine and sodium intake are some risk factors which can expose you to developing osteoporosis.

Protect your bones while you can:

Although we cannot do anything about some of these risk factors, lifestyle and diet are modifiable and can help in reducing the risk of osteoporosis and strengthen our bones.

1. Exercise Regularly: Practise moderate impact weight-bearing exercises like jogging, hiking, brisk walking and high impact weight-bearing like rope skipping, racquet sports for at least 30 minutes, 3-5 days per week.

2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of fracture.

3. Consume Bone Healthy Nutrients: Regular intake of dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, some vegetables like broccoli, apricots, fish like sardines keep your calcium and protein levels to maintain a good bone health. Vitamin D is another important nutrient obtained from sunlight and some foods like egg yolk, salmon, and tuna.

Since nutrition is an important “modifiable” factor in the development and maintenance of bone mass and in the prevention of osteoporosis, we list here some dietary modifications which are advised for healthy and strong bones:

  • Dairy foods: Dairy foods are an excellent source of several essential nutrients that work together to help protect bones, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, proteins, and vitamin D. Three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese every day as part of an overall healthy diet is ideal for bone health and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Vegetables: Getting enough calcium is necessary for stronger bones. Vegetables that are rich in calcium include green leafy vegetables, mustard greens, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppermint leaves, and garlic.
  • Pulses and cereals: Pulses and cereals are also essential for bone health as these are rich sources of minerals and proteins. These include soy foods, green beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, baked beans, and sesame seeds.
  • Salt: Salt speeds up the body’s loss of calcium. The recommended limit of salt consumption is 6 g/day, which is just a teaspoonful. Crisps, cheese, cooking sauces and processed foods such as pies, pizzas, and soups are all high in salt. Hence, it is ideal to stick to the recommended limit of salt consumption for bone health.
  • Alcohol: Long-term alcohol consumption can interfere with bone growth and replacement of old bone tissue (remodeling), resulting in decreased bone density and increased risk of fracture. Hence, limiting alcohol consumption is beneficial to keep the bones strong and healthy.
  • Caffeine: Coffee, tea, and soft drinks (sodas) contain caffeine, which may decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Drinking more than 3 cups of coffee every day may interfere with calcium absorption and cause bone loss. Therefore, moderate consumption of these drinks is ideal for bone health.

The simple dietary and lifestyle changes can increase energy levels, enhance mobility and bone mass, and help keep the bone healthy!

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 7, 2015.
  2. International Osteoporosis Foundation. Accessed Oct 8, 2015.
  3. National Institute Of Health. Accessed Oct 8, 2015.

A pinch of salt can eliminate brain damage!

Iodine deficiency produces adverse effects which is widespread in a population. Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day, observed on 21st October, is a global awareness campaign that focuses on reducing the spread of iodine deficiency disorder and to educate the public about the disease. Inadequate supply of iodine can cause a health condition called iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), which generally affects young children and pregnant women and causes mental abnormalities.

Good to know facts:

  1. Our body requires iodine for the production of hormones, secreted by the thyroid gland, which is required for physical and mental growth.
  2. The deficiency of iodine causes goiter, stunted growth, low mental development and brain damage in people.
  3. In pregnant women, iodine deficiency can result in a child with physical and mental retardation or sometimes may even result in stillbirth or abortion.
  4. One-sixth of the world population is still in the risk of IDD.
  5. IDD is caused due to low dietary intake of iodine through fruits, vegetables and sea food.
  6. Usage of iodized salt is one of the best and inexpensive ways to fulfill the body’s iodine requirements.

Iodine deficiency can cause the following negative effects on our body:

  • Muscle stiffness including neuromuscular weakness
  • Stunted physical and mental growth
  • Hair loss
  • Mental illness including subnormal intelligence, mental retardation, impaired cognitive development
  • Defect in vision, speech, and hearing
  • Spontaneous abortion and still birth in pregnant women

Food sources of iodine:

Apart from salt which is the best source of iodine, milk, eggs, seaweed, shellfish, sea fish, meat and cereal grains are other iodine-rich sources.

The average daily requirement for a normal adult is 1gm. The absence of this small nutrient in your body can lead to a big setback in leading your normal life! Increase your dietary iodine intake and keep IDD at an arm’s length!

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 15, 2015.
  2. Iodine Global Network. Accessed Oct 16, 2015.
  3. National Health Portal. Accessed Oct 20, 2015.

Stroke isn’t a death sentence!

One afternoon, Manish was helping his wife clean their house and while lifting some boxes, he felt weakness in his right hand and leg. He sat on a chair and rested while assuming that the pain was due to the heavy boxes he carried. A week later, he had another feeling of weakness when he was out shopping and ended up in hospital. It was a stroke and without his knowledge, he was suffering from high blood pressure.

A sudden interruption of the blood flow to the brain is causes a brain injury which is known as stroke. It is a common but a serious condition that can make a person disabled for life or bring about death. But it is not inevitable and can be prevented. Stroke is the leading cause of leading disability in the world. World Stroke Day is observed on 29thOctober every year to raise awareness on stroke and ways to prevent it.

KNOW YOUR RISK FACTORS:

Nearly 80% of the strokes can be prevented.

High blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, being overweight, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, alcohol, heart diseases and, stress are the risk factors which can be controlled to reduce the risk of stroke significantly.

COMMON SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

Symptoms of stroke appear suddenly and often there is more than one symptom at the same time. Knowing the signs of a stroke and seeking immediate medical help:

  • Unexpected weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
  • Sharp or atypical headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of speech, or struggle to speak or understand expressions
  • Loss of balance/coordination or trouble with walking
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Unfamiliar dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing

REDUCE THE RISK OF STROKE:

a)       Regularly screen your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and maintain the normal range

b)       Avoid direct or indirect smoke

c)       Limit alcohol intake

d)       Exercise regularly

e)       Eat a healthy diet with more fruits and vegetables and low salt, fat and oil

f)        Maintain a healthy weight

g)       Know about stroke and seek medical attention whenever necessary

Sources:

  1. World stroke organization. Accessed Oct 28, 2015.
  2. American stroke association. Accessed Oct 28, 2015.

Manage diabetes by eating healthy!

Nishant weighed 125 kgs when he was led to believe that bariatric surgery was a solution for his type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Most of his life, he had consumed nutrition-sparse diet, high in sugars and refined carbohydrates. But after his feet started to go numb, a sign of nerve damage due to diabetes, is when became aware of the relation between diet and health. He planned out his meals and started a healthy way of living. He lost around 15 kgs after 3 months and took up a fitness programme. After a year, he is now cured of diabetes and its complications.

A diabetic must carefully choose those foods which keep his/her blood sugar levels within a normal range. World Diabetes Day is observed on 14th November to create diabetes awareness among millions of people worldwide.

Fast facts:

  • Around 592 million people are anticipated to get affected by 2035, a 53% increase on existing cases.
  • India has the highest number of diabetics than any country in the world. The estimate of the actual number of diabetics in India is around 40 million.
  • Exercise and diet can reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%

When should you get tested for diabetes?

People aged above 45 years who are overweight should get their blood sugar level tested. In case one is overweight (BMI above 25) and younger, then also a visit to the doctor is necessary if following signs show up:

  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol (blood fat) (above 140/90 mm Hg)
  • Abnormal levels of HDL, or good cholesterol (below 35mg/dL) or triglyceride (type of blood fat) (above 250mg/dL)
  • Gestational diabetes during pregnancy or giving birth to baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Blood vessel problems affecting the heart, brain, or legs

Apart from these, if a person has a family history of diabetes or belongs to the following ethnic groups: African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander American, then he/she should surely get the tests done. Even if the tests are normal, after 3 years one should be retested again.

Eat right, follow a healthy diet:

Some foods enhance the health of people living with diabetes due to their unique ingredients. These foods manage your blood glucose levels along with providing good flavour and taste.

Apples: Low in calories, high in fibre content, fights bad cholesterol, blunts blood-sugar swings. Eat it unpeeled because of its antioxidant effect which can beat diabetes.

Beans: Rich in proteins and soluble fibre, they are good for heart and contain phytonutrients that beat diabetes.

Tea: Rich in phytonutrients such as catechins and tannins that help in balancing blood sugar levels.

Whole-grain bread: Coarse whole bread slows digestion and improves your sensitivity to insulin.

Olive oil: With its anti-inflammatory component, it lowers rates of heart disease and diabetes. A little olive oil may reverse insulin resistance and slows digestion and hence is less likely to raise your glucose.

Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation in the body as well as insulin resistance and diabetes. They also cut the risk of heart disease.

Tomatoes: Lower blood pressure and improve HDL to cut the risk of heart disease which is major complication of diabetes. Rich in iron and vitamins C and E and being low in calories, they are good for diabetics.

Finger millet (Ragi): Reduces the risk of diabetes mellitus because of its high polyphenol and dietary fibre content and lower glycaemic response.

Milk and Yogurt: Rich in protein, calcium and fight insulin resistance. Go for fat-free, skimmed milk and plain unsweetened yogurt.

Sweet potato: Packed with 40 percent soluble fibre that lowers cholesterol and slows digestion. It contains carotenoids and chlorogenic acid which help the body respond to insulin better and reduce insulin resistance.

Regulating the intake of portion size is one of the major factors in losing weight. It is well known that fat has more calories compared to carbohydrate or protein if same quantity is taken into account.

The following tips can help you if you want to prevent/control diabetes:

1. Fewer fried foods should be consumed and boiled foods should be made a regular choice.

2. Butter used in cooking should be replaced by margarine and olive oil or the usage of butter should be cut down

3. More fish, chicken and lean cuts of beef should be consumed

4. Meatless meals or reorganizing meals with more fruits, vegetables, starches compared to meat should be taken

5. Fat should not add to more than 30% of the total daily calories

6. Saturated fat should comprise of less than 10% of the daily calories

7. 50% to 60% of total daily calories should be made up of carbohydrates

8. Fibre should comprise of a minimum of 38 grams in the daily diet for men aged 50 years and below. For women of the same age, 25 grams of fibre daily is required

Did you know?

You could have type 2 diabetes and not show any symptoms! Studies show that only about 40 percent of diabetic patients have symptoms at the time of diagnosis so a follow-up blood test every year is important for people with a high risk of diabetes after they reach 40.

Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED OCT 29, 2015.
  2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED OCT 28, 2015.
  3. INTERNATIONAL DIABETES FEDERATION. ACCESSED OCT 29, 2015.

AIDS: Early detection, best prevention!

One fine day, Tilak started facing severe flu-like symptoms. Five months later, he was diagnosed with a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. He started taking medicines, one pill daily. And within two months his viral load became undetectable. Tilak is very open about his diagnosis, eats well, exercises often and is in good health now.
He encourages regular testing. Because there are only two ways of knowing if a person has HIV- either by getting tested or by becoming unwell!

HIV attacks the body’s immune system. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, where patients develop badly damaged immune systems with a risk of opportunistic infections and death. There is no cure for AIDS. The idea is to not let your immune system deteriorate and give yourself a chance to survive.

World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1st to raise awareness on the prevention and diagnosis caused by HIV infection among millions of people worldwide. Get Tested, Read, and Talk about it with your friends, family and colleague and promote World AIDS Day.

Fast facts:

  •     Globally, an estimated 35 million people were living with HIV in 2013.
  •     More than 2 million young people aged 10-19 are living with HIV.
  •     According to 2013 figures, an estimated 3.2 million children are affected by HIV.

How is HIV Transmitted?

HIV spreads from an infected person to another person through direct contact with some body fluids like blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, breast milk.

Transmission occurs through the following ways:
  • Sexual Contact: A sexual intercourse with someone infected with HIV. Chances of infection increase when one has multiple sex partners and unprotected sex.
  • Injection Drug Use: Sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare injection drugs with an HIV infected person.
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding: From an HIV-infected mother to child.
  • Occupational exposure: Health care workers can get infected with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp objects.

HIV rarely gets transmitted through contaminated blood transfusions, blood products, or organ/tissue transplants, contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes.

HIV is not spread through saliva, tears, sweat, casual contact, like shaking hands, hugging or sharing dishes/drinking glasses, air, water, and insects, including mosquitoes or ticks.

Reduce the risk of exposure to HIV:

1. Get examined: Get your partner and yourself tested for an HIV infection and before you plan for a sexual intercourse.

2. Use protection: Use a condom every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Learn to use the condoms correctly.

3. Limit the number of sexual partners: If you have more than one sexual partner, get tested for HIV regularly. Get yourself and your partners tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) since an STI can increase your risk of becoming infected with HIV.

4. Know about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): PrEP is an HIV prevention method that involves taking an HIV medicine every day. PrEP is intended for people who don’t have HIV but who are at high risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection. PrEP should always be combined with other prevention methods, including condom use.

5. Don’t inject drugs: In case you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others. Also, screening of blood products can prevent transmission of HIV virus.

6. Get tested if you are planning a pregnancy: Get tested for HIV when you are thinking about a pregnancy or immediately after you find out you are pregnant. Taking antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, labour, and delivery, having a C-section, and avoiding breastfeeding can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby if you are tested HIV-positive.

Did you know?

According to a study, mosquitoes can retain the AIDS virus in their bodies for two or three days after ingesting infected blood but they are incapable of transmitting this virus.
Prevention and early detection are the only steps to prevent death from an HIV infection.

Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED NOV 26, 2015.
  2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED NOV 25, 2015.
  3. AIDS. GOV. ACCESSED NOV 27, 2015.

Disability shouldn’t be a denial of opportunity!

How many of us get uncomfortable when we come across someone who is disabled or differently abled?

We either feel sorry for them and assume that they are bitter about their disabilities or are afraid to say the wrong thing. This is not true! Differently abled people are enriched by their experiences with their disabilities and are well-versed in dealing with their condition.

What we should do is respect the person and look at them beyond their disability!

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is promoted every year on December 3rd by United Nations to create awareness and support critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society. Theme for this year is Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.”Differently abled people face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. Let us do our bit and try to make them feel included in our lives.

Fast facts:

  • Globally, over 1 billion people, about 15% of the world’s population, are living with disabilities
  • Between 110 million and 190 million adults have significant difficulties in functioning.
Helping the Disabled: Follow these general rules

In whichever way you assist them, make sure that the disabled people have control over the services they get and the support they need.

  • Treat differently abled people as equals. Don’t be afraid to approach.
  • Do not assume they need help in everything. Ask if they need your assistance.
  • Never make disability the basis for their every action.
  • Never stare and make them feel conscious about their disability
  • Respect their privacy. Ask their permission to discuss the disability
Varying disabilities: Figure out ways to assist

Read on specific ways to behave an help when you come across people with various types of disability:

1. Helping someone who is visually impaired:

  • Take the name of person whom you are addressing in a group conversation
  • Describe the surroundings if necessary
  • Offer to read written information if permissible
  • Do not pet, play, feed, or talk to a guide dog when it’s helping its master
  • Approach and offer help if the person looks disoriented
  • Offer your arm as opposed to taking his as it will help him retain his balance

2. Helping someone who is in a wheelchair:

  • Do not handle or sit on their wheelchair
  • Feel comfortable to kneel or sit down to get on their level and make eye contact during conversations
  • Rearrange objects in a workplace to accommodate mobility aids
  • Include physical obstacles such as stairs while giving directions

3. Helping someone who uses crutches:

  • Do not assume they are struggling and ask before you offer help
  • Avoid handling their equipment and respect them by respecting their aids
  • Do not get embarrassed to offer them help when they accidentally fall down

4. Helping someone with speech impairment

  • Be patient and do not interrupt them while they speak
  • Allow enough time to communicate if they are slow.
  • Ask them to repeat if don’t understand and if you are not sure what is being said, repeat it to them for verification

5. Helping someone with hearing impairment

  • Speak slowly and clearly without raising your voice. They can read lips
  • Attract the individual’s attention before speaking
  • Make eye contact with them and not their sign language interpreter
  • Write notes if communication is not working

6. Helping someone with learning impairment

  • Repeat information, use simple language; listen actively and do not get impatient
  • Provide one piece of information at a time
  • Provide information in a written or spoken format as desired by them
  • Give them their space and let them focus in quiet if required

Did you know?

Rates of disability are increasing due to population aging which increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes. Co-morbid conditions, age-related conditions, engaging in health risk behaviors and higher rates of premature death are experienced in people with disability.

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED DEC 10, 2015.
  2. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY. ACCESSED DEC 9, 2015.
  3. UNITED NATIONS ENABLE. ACCESSED DEC 8, 2015.

Floods: Dealing with the Aftermath

Floods are devastating in more ways than one. And the receding waters leave behind more misery in their wake. Water-borne and vector-borne disease outbreaks are common public health consequences of flooding.

Water-borne diseases:

Due to contaminated flood water infecting water sources, flooding may lead to water borne diseases such as the following:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Leptospirosis

Preventive and therapeutic measures:

  • Avoid direct contact with the flood water as a precautionary measure. After exposure to flood waters, wash with soap and water after getting out of the area.
  • If you have swallowed some floodwater, and begin to show signs of diarrhoea or any other gastro-intestinal illness, seek medical care immediately.
  • Keep an adequate supply of safe water available for washing and for drinking. Use boiled water as much as possible. Chlorination of water can also be done.
  • Be alert for chemically contaminated floodwater at industrial sites.
  • If the safety of a food or beverage is questionable, throw it out and get fresh supplies.
  • Opt for vaccination / booster doses for common flood-related diseases.

Vector-borne diseases:

Accumulated water and sewage can lead to increase in number of mosquitoes and, therefore, an outbreak of the following diseases:

  • Malaria
  • Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever
  • Yellow fever

Preventive and therapeutic measures:

  • Remove excess water accumulated in objects such as flowerpots, tires, buckets, etc. as much as possible.
  • Avoid sleeping in open areas and overcrowded areas.
  • Keep the surroundings clean and use mosquito repellents.
  • In case of high fever with chills, visit a doctor immediately.
Safeguarding your own health should be your first priority. After all, you can help others in need only when you are at your healthy best!

References:

  1. reliefweb.int/report/…/india-emergency-health-precautions-flooded-area
  2. www.disastercenter.com/guide/flood.html
  3. unu.edu/…/preventing-and-controlling-infectious-diseases-after-natural
  4. www.who.int/techguidance/ems/flood_cds

Be aware of what comes after a flood! Know more to help others.

Flooding can be associated with a lot of water and vector borne ailments. You might have heard many medical terms being thrown around after a calamity like a flood, read on to know more.

Do keep in mind, safeguarding your own health should be your first priority. After all, you can help others in need only when you are at your healthy best!

Cholera

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection, contracted by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms include profuse watery diarrhoea and vomiting. Rapid loss of body fluids can lead to dehydration and shock, and without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Prevention and treatment 
  • Avoid water and food contamination and maintain hygiene. Cholera vaccine can be administered for prevention.
  • Common treatment is replacement of lost fluids and electrolytes using oral rehydration solution (ORS) or salt and sugar solution in boiled water if the latter is not available. Severe cases may require intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is inflammation of the liver caused by the virus hepatitis A. The first signs of illness can appear between 15-45 days of exposure. Symptoms are largely flu-like: fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, low-grade fever, pale stools, and dark urine. Skin and eyes may also become yellow because the liver is unable to process the bilirubin in the blood.

Prevention and treatment 
  • Maintaining hygiene and avoiding food and water contamination are the preventive methods.
  • Outside food consumption should also be avoided.
  • Vaccination for Hepatitis A can be administered.
  • Treatment involves rest, and avoiding alcohol and fatty/oily foods.
  • Recovery generally takes three to six months.

Typhoid

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. Blood tests for typhoid can be done to establish the diagnosis.

Prevention and treatment
  • Avoid contaminated food and water.
  • Get vaccinated against Typhoid fever.
  • Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.
  • Choices for antibiotic therapy include fluoroquinolones (for susceptible infections), ceftriaxone, and azithromycin.

Leptospirosis

It is caused by exposure to water contaminated with animal urine. The symptoms are high fever, severe headaches, muscle pain, chills and vomiting.

Prevention and treatment
  • Identifying and controlling the source of infection (e.g. open sewers, contaminated wells), selective rodent control may be important, wearing protective clothes and equipment, disinfecting contaminated surfaces such as floors, walls etc.
  • Tablet Doxycycline 200mg in one weekly dose can be taken for treatment.
  • Intravenous antibiotics may be required for persons with more severe symptoms.

Dengue and malaria

Flooding can lead to excessive breeding of mosquitoes due to accumulated water and overcrowding resulting in increased number of Malaria and dengue cases. Symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, and anaemia, mild bleeding manifestation (e.g., nose or gum bleed, petechiae, or easy bruising in case of dengue.)

Prevention and treatment
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants and apply personal insect repellent, continuous covering of all stored water containers, removal or destruction of solid debris where water can collect (e.g., bottles, tires, tins)
  • Chloroquine 500 mg per oral once/week can be taken for malaria.

Visit an emergency room or the closest health care provider immediately  if any of the following warning signs appear:

  • Severe abdominal pain or persistent vomiting
  • Red spots or patches on the skin
  • Bleeding from nose or gums
  • Vomiting blood
  • Black, tarry stools (feces, excrement)
  • Drowsiness or irritability
  • Pale, cold, or clammy skin
  • Difficulty breathing

Acute respiratory tract infections (ARI)

In the aftermath of floods, infections of the respiratory tract are usually among the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in survivors. The increased risk of respiratory tract infections is due to the loss of shelter and exposure to flood waters and rain.

Prevention and treatment
  • Avoid overcrowding and maintain hygiene.
  • Regular hand washing with soap especially before and after meals is recommended.
  • Flu vaccination can be taken to avoid flu like conditions.

Skin and eye infections

Skin and eye infections often occur as a result of direct contact with polluted water. These include wound infections, dermatitis and conjunctivitis.

Prevention and treatment
  • Cleanliness and hygiene are of utmost importance.
  • Topical medications that combine anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties are the most suitable medications to combat this.
 All open wounds to be disinfected and tetanus vaccines to be administered for prevention.
 
Note – These are the common treatments, but one should always consult a doctor before proceeding with any medication.
 

Manage your health with regular health check-ups!

Whenever we hear about staying healthy and fit our mind never wanders towards visiting a doctor or a hospital. Although, we think about eating healthy and exercising properly but going to a doctor is associated with being sick.

What we should know is visiting our doctor for regular health screening can help us identify risk factors and take timely preventive action and taking this preventive care is an important part of staying healthy.

Preventing diseases and illnesses before they actually appear lead to healthier homes, workplaces, schools and communities so that people can live long, happy and reduce their healthcare costs.

Fast facts:

  • Preventive care such as immunizations and cancer screenings lead to better health and lower health care costs.
  • Preventing diseases increase productivity at work among adults as asthma, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity reduce annual productivity.

What determines the type of tests to be taken?

Your age, current health status, family health history, and lifestyle choices such as diet, physical fitness, smoking and drinking habits determine which particular physical exams and screenings you require and this is determined by your doctor. Some general tests are height and weight measurements, haemoglobin levels, Body max Index (BMI), blood pressure and pulse readings. Sometimes a blood test to identify diabetes, cholesterol, and thyroid levels can also be made a part of the test if you are at a risk.

What are the prerequisites for a health check-up?

If you are heading for a general health check-up, you should know that there is always something beyond the regular paperwork and listed instructions.

  • Do homework on your family health history. Risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or cancer can be assessed when you and your doctor know about your family history. Any new conditions or diseases appearing in your close relatives should be mentioned to your doctor. Based on these, you can get specific recommendations to prevent diseases which are likely to affect you. Additional screening tests can be recommended to detect any unknown disease.
  • Make sure you take all health screening tests based on age, general health, family history, and lifestyle which were recommended last time. Ask your doctor if you are due for any vaccinations, follow-up exams, or tests. Some of the tests like Pap test, prostate cancer screening, colon cancer screening, mammogram, sexually transmitted disease screening, tetanus shot, blood pressure check-up, dental check-up, eye check-up, or others tests might be advised.
  • Review your health issues or any existing health problems and make an observation so that you can clearly discuss them with your doctor. Issues like changes in the body, eating habits, sleeping problems, pain, fatigue, menstrual cycle changes, depression, or anxiety should be noted and accurately informed to the doctor so that he could get provide the best guidance.
  • Talk about your future health plans with your doctor. If you are planning for a lifestyle change, taking a specific treatment in future, you doctor should be able to take better decisions regarding your safety and wellness.

Did you know?

 Taking regular health screening tests at the recommended frequency can help you figure out what your body is trying to tell you and help you take preventive action against diseases which might affect you in the future.

Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED DEC 24, 2015.
  2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED DEC 28, 2015.
  3. NIH. US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE. ACCESSED DEC 28, 2015.

Leprosy: A treatable infection!

Leprosy (Hansen’s disease), one of the oldest diseases known to mankind, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It is communicable and is generally spread through close and repeated contact with nose and mouth droplets from a person suffering from it. Leprosy affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. The best way to prevent yourself from leprosy is to stay away from infected people.

This year, World Leprosy Day is observed on 31st January 2016 to increase the public awareness on Leprosy.

Fast facts:

  • Worldwide, more than 14 million leprosy patients have been cured over the past 20 years, about 4 million since 2000.
  • 1.27 lakhs new cases of leprosy were reported in India during 2013-2014.

Spot the symptoms:

Leprosy affects the skin, nerves and mucous membrane. The disease can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nodule like lumps on both sides of the body
  • Nose lining can get affected causing crusting or difficulty in breathing
  • Inflammation or bleeding of the eye which can lead to blindness
  • Faded/ discoloured skin lesions and sores
  • Thickened nerves of the arms, legs and face with loss of feeling
  • Thick, stiff or dry skin
  • Severe pain and muscle weakness

Know the complications:

Leprosy can cause permanent deformity and disability of hands, feet and face. Repeated injuries and nerve damage can cause loss of fingers and toes. Eye problems can lead to glaucoma and even blindness. Erectile dysfunction, infertility and kidney failure are caused in some severe cases.

Prevention and Treatment:

Leprosy does not spread through touch and is also not a hereditary disease. It is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contacts with untreated individuals.

  • Infected people should be made to stay away from childcare, preschool, school and work to prevent the transmission of bacteria.
  • Early diagnosis and rapid treatment of people who are infected to achieve proper control of the disease.

There is no vaccine to prevent leprosy but it is completely curable with Multi Drug Therapy which includes powerful antibacterial drugs. The duration of therapy is usually 6 to 24 months, depending on the type of leprosy. If untreated, leprosy can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.

DID YOU KNOW?

Leprosy is spread like the common cold, but is much less contagious than the cold or influenza and around 95% of people have a natural immunity to it.

Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED JAN 11, 2016.
  2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED JAN 11, 2016.
  3. GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA. ACCESSED JAN 12, 2016.
  4. THE LEPROSY MISSION TRUST OF INDIA. ACCESSED JAN 12, 2016.

Cancer: Not an end of the world!

Prasad was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer at age 59. He didn’t lose hope. He didn’t sit around all day waiting for the next test. He tried everything he could to live as healthy a life as possible. When the right time came, he underwent surgery and radiation treatment. Now, he sticks to a low-fat diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and he avoids red meat (beef, pork, and lamb). He works out at a gym 5 days a week.

Everyday someone loses someone special to them, because either they didn’t go to their regular cancer screening tests and cancer was detected too late or because they lost hope once it was detected. It is natural to be scared and disturbed once you have been diagnosed with cancer. However, the idea is to not let this fear paralyze you or shut you down. Prasad overcame is fears and was positive for his recovery right from the initial days. Cancer is not the end of the world. There are ways to survive cancer and even more ways to prevent it.

World Cancer Day, observed on 4th February is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control, to highlight the wide range of actions needed to effectively prevent, treat and control the many forms of cancer. World Cancer Day 2016-2018 is taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can.’ It focuses on the point that we all can make a difference to the fight against cancer.

Fast facts:

  • Cancers presented approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012.
  • The estimated number of new cancers in India per year is about 7 lakhs. Out of this, about 2.3 lakhs (33%) cancers are tobacco related.

What are the warning signs and symptoms of cancer?

The signs and symptoms depend on where the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects the organs or tissues. If a cancer has spread, symptoms may appear in different parts of the body.

General:

  • Unexplained weight loss of 5 kgs or more
  • Any change in the size, shape, or colour of a mole or other spot in the skin
  • Bloody stool or urine lasting for more than a day
  • Lump or swelling anywhere in the body that lasts a month or more
  • Frequent discomfort in swallowing accompanied with vomiting or weight loss
  • White or bright-red patches inside your mouth or on your lips
  • Coughing for more than 3 to 4 weeks
  • Fever is very common once cancer has spread from where it started
  • Bone-deep tiredness that never gets better in spite of resting and relaxing
  • Persistent indigestion or swallowing problems
  • A long lasting sore anywhere on skin that do not heal
  • Depression along with stomach pain

For Women:

  • Bloating for over two weeks accompanied with weight loss or bleeding.
  • Breast changes like dimpled skin, inward nipples, redness, and scaling.

For Men:

  • Problems while urinating like leaking, weak stream, frequent need to urinate.
  • Any lump, heaviness, or any other change in the testicles.

How can you prevent Cancer?

  1. Avoid Tobacco: Tobacco smoking causes many types of cancer and an estimated 22% of cancer deaths per year. Don’t use tobacco and avoid exposure to second hand smoke.
  2. Lead a healthy lifestyle: Modify your diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Regular physical activity and maintenance of a healthy body weight helps to reduce cancer risk.
  3. Reduce alcohol consumption: Drink in moderation to prevent cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum and breast.
  4. Get vaccinated: Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections like hepatitis, human papilloma virus.
  5. Avoid infections: Prevent infection and infestation of Helicobacter pylori, Schistosoma, liver fluke as they can cause stomach cancer, bladder cancer and cholangiocarcinoma of the bile ducts, respectively.
  6. Control environmental pollution: Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals in the environment can occur through drinking water, contaminated food or pollution of indoor and ambient air. Check contaminants such as arsenic in water, coal fire, aflatoxins or dioxins.
  7. Avoid carcinogenic radiations: Avoiding excessive exposure to sun’s ultraviolet rays, use sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent skin cancer. Also avoid residential exposure to radon gas from soil and building materials.
  8. Get screened regularly: Do regular self-examination and take proper medical care for skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast cancers. If these are detected early, treatment is likely to be successful.

What to do once you are diagnosed with cancer?

The best thing you can do is start taking care of yourself as you begin to cope with this news:

  • Do not panic: Cancer isn’t death. Gather your thoughts and analyze what you have been told. This could take a few days. You need to be able to make clear decisions about yourself, your healthcare team and your treatment.
  • Take charge: Know about your condition. Surround yourself with specialists, technicians, family, friends and support. You are the most important person to take care of your health so do not leave your life-decisions to someone else.
  • Ask questions: Do remember that you have the right to question your doctor until you are satisfied. Do not assume anything, demand explanation for everything he has to say. You can write down your doubts before visiting your doctor.
  • Get a second opinion: Increase your chances of survival by taking a second opinion. You can get perspective of a different specialist or an opportunity to meet someone more in tune with your needs.
  • Manage stress: Cancer detection adds overwhelming anxiety and stress which can delay the recovery. Find out way to relax yourself such as meditation, positive thinking, and allow people to help you.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to a British health campaign, people suffering from heartburn most days for three weeks or more can develop esophageal or stomach cancer.

Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED JAN 27, 2016.
  2. KIDWAI MEMORIAL INSTITUTE OF ONCOLOGY. ACCESSED JAN 27, 2016.
  3. WORLD CANCER DAY. ACCESSED JAN 28, 2016.
  4. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED JAN 28, 2016.

Pregnancy: Things you need to know!

Pregnancy, a life altering journey and the most exciting phase of your life will put your body through the most incredible changes. You can ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and your baby by empowering yourself with knowledge. Department of Health of various countries around the world organizes “Pregnancy awareness week” every year from February 10th to 16th to strengthen pregnancy education and stress important issues that promote healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood. Read on and make good decisions for a healthy baby and a healthy you.

Fast facts:

  • Pregnant women, at a healthy weight, only need to eat an extra 300 calories per day.
  • During pregnancy, if the mother suffers organ damage, the baby in the womb sends stem cells to repair the damaged organ.
  • Pregnant women have about 50% more blood by week 20 of pregnancy than they did before they conceived.

Basic Do’s and Don’ts of pregnancy:

The Do’s:
  • Get screened to analyze hormone levels in your blood and an ultrasound done irrespective of your age.
  • Gain weight the right way.
  • Visit your dentist for regular check up to keep gingivitis and other infections at bay.
  • Work out wisely after consulting your doctor.
  • Always wear your seat-belt while travelling in a four-wheeler.
The Don’ts:
  • Avoid high impact sports and activities like basketball, football, gymnastics, kick-boxing, hockey, skipping, jumping, hopping and bouncing.
  • Do not choose to deliver early unless you are having twins, the baby’s in distress, or your health is at risk.
  • Do not drink too much coffee, less than 200 milligrams a day is a safe quantity.
  • Do not smoke and abstain from alcohol.
  • Avoid raw, unpasteurized, or processed foods.

Personal Hygiene during Pregnancy:

a) Skin Care: The glands of the skin may be more active during pregnancy and the expectant mother may tend to perspire more. Frequent baths or showers are recommended.

b) Hair Care: The hair tends to become oily more frequently during pregnancy due to over activity of oil glands of the scalp and may require hair washing more frequently.

c) Breast Care: It is important to begin preparing the breast for breastfeeding during the prenatal period.

d) Dental Care: The patient must maintain normal daily dental care. Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections.

e) Clothing: During pregnancy, the clothes should be given the same or perhaps even a little more attention than at other times.

Vaccination during Pregnancy:

Baby gets disease immunity (protection) from a mother during pregnancy. If you are pregnant you would require some specific vaccinations which are determined by factors such as your age, lifestyle, medical conditions you may have, such as asthma or diabetes, type and locations of travel, and previous vaccinations.

  • Take vaccines like Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) to protect against whooping cough, during your pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation.
  • Also check if you should take Hepatitis B vaccination.
  • Other vaccines like the flu shot can be given before or during pregnancy (any trimester) during the flu season.

It is safe for a woman to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while she is breastfeeding but very crucial to consult the doctor before determining which vaccines to take during or after pregnancy.

Pregnancy care should include:

  • Managing or eliminating existing medical conditions which can be aggravated by pregnancy, such as hypertension, diabetes, infections and anaemia.
  • Information about HIV testing and voluntary counselling (VCT).
  • Early recognition of danger signs in pregnancy and post-delivery.
  • Preparation of childbirth and awareness on complications.
  • Self-care including nutrition and high standard of hygiene.
  • Information on the role of the father and the family.

DID YOU KNOW?

The longest pregnancy in humans on record is 375 days (12.5 months).

Sources:

1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED FEB 10, 2016.

2. BABYCENTER.CO.UK. ACCESSED FEB 10, 2016.

3. NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE. ACCESSED FEB 11, 2016.

4. WOMENSHEALTH.GOV. ACCESSED FEB 11, 2016.

Zika Virus: The New Global Health Emergency!

The Zika virus disease is advancing rapidly and has spread to more than 20 countries. Here’s the information you need to in order to prevent its spread!

What is Zika virus?

The disease is spread to humans by the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This is the same mosquito that also transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. People affected with Zika virus have a few symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

• Mild fever
• Skin rashes
• Headache or malaise
• Muscle and joint pain
• Conjunctivitis

Following are the complications caused by the virus currently under investigation.

• Guillain Barre syndrome (or, severe muscle weakness)
• Microcephaly (or, small head of new borne babies)

Is there a treatment?

There is currently no vaccine or treatment to cure the viral infection. However, supportive therapy medicines are used to provide symptomatic relief. Plenty of rest and ample fluid intake is advised for patients suffering from the infection. Here are a few tips for preventing the virus from affecting your family.

Prevention Tips:

• Wear protective clothing when outdoors
• Use mosquito repellents on skin
• Sleep in air-conditioned rooms
• Use impregnated bed-nets in sleeping areas
• Secure windows and door screens
• Cover water containers
• Clean up old tires, cans, and barrels
• Follow guidelines if travelling to a transmission hit area

The outbreak of Zika virus has taken the world by surprise. The more we learn, the better we can prevent the infection from becoming yet another epidemic!

Don’t let your kidneys fail!

Kidneys perform a life-sustaining job of filtering fluid, removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. Around 10% of the population suffers from some form of kidney damage, and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is the gradual loss of kidney function.

World Kidney Day is held on the second Thursday of March to create awareness for reducing the frequency of kidney associated health problems. It is a joint initiative of International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN). This year WKD is celebrated on 10th March 2016.

Although CKD is a life-threatening illness, it can be prevented and managed if diagnosed early. Read on to catch a kidney disease early and steps to prevent it.

FAST FACTS:

  • It is estimated that 300 million people suffer from CKD, worldwide.
  • Globally, CKD is the 12th leading cause of death and 17th leading cause of disability.

Spot the warning signs and symptoms:

  • High blood pressure
  • Changes in the appearance of urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Changes in the amount and number of times urine is passed especially during night
  • Puffiness in legs and ankles
  • Pain in the kidney area
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headache
  • Lack of concentration
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bad breath and a metallic taste in mouth

Assess your risks and take important tests:

You might be at an increased risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of CKD, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Obesity, old age, chronic urinary tract infections, kidney stones, obesity and low-birth weight are other additional risk factors you need to be aware of.

If you belong to the high-risk group, it is better to consult a doctor and take simple, life-saving tests to measure parameters like blood pressure, protein in the urine, serum creatinine, and Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR).

CKD can cause the following health issues:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Death
  • Weak bones
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Kidney failure (end-stage renal disease, or ESRD)
  • Anaemia or low red blood cell count

If you are at risk, follow these tips to prevent CKD:

A.   Consume lesser proteins: You should reduce the intake of high-protein foods like lean meats, eggs, milk, cheese and beans and try to consume more of low-protein foods such as vegetables, fruits, bread and cereals.

B.   Avoid salted foods: Lower the amount of sodium you consume by avoiding products with added salt like frozen foods, canned soups, fast foods, processed meats, salty snack foods, and canned vegetables.

C.   Choose lower potassium foods: Reduce the intake of high-potassium foods like bananas, oranges, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. Include low-potassium foods such as apples, cabbage, carrots, green beans, grapes, and blueberries in your diet.

D.   Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake: Smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and can worsen your kidney problems. Excessive alcohol intake will cause an increase in blood pressure and a rise in blood cholesterol and hence CKD.

E.   Exercise regularly: Around 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week can reduce your risk of developing CKD by lowering your blood pressure.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to a study, a minimal amount of walking – just once a week for less than 30 minutes helped kidney disease patients live longer, and also cut their requirements of dialysis or a kidney transplant.

SOURCES:

  1. NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION. ACCESSED FEB 25, 2016.
  2. NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE. ACCESSED FEB 26, 2016.
  3. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED FEB 26, 2016.

Pay attention to your health this Women’s Day!

From choosing your own paths to shaping your careers, you have broken barriers. From bringing a life to the world to exploring life in space, you have revolutionized the world. From working tirelessly to accomplishing quietly, you have set your own trends. You are worth a thousand words and to mark your being, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year.

This day is marked to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. At the same time we should educate women about their health, well-being and lifestyle concerns.

Top three health concerns of women:

  • Heart disease: Females tend to be under-diagnosed for heart diseases and the real trouble is in premature death and disability caused by heart diseases. Chest pain isn’t the only symptom which you should take notice of, because symptoms like jaw pain, shoulder ache, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath can be indicative of a heart problem.
  • Breast Cancer: This is the most common type of cancer in women but it can be tackled by controlling your weight, exercising, quitting smoking, and talking to your doctor about your risk & regular screening tests.
  • Osteoporosis: Women have always accepted hunched back, back pain, and frailty as a lifestyle of old age. But they can now take steps like consuming adequate calcium and practicing weight-bearing physical activities in their childhood, adolescence, and in their early adulthood to keep bones strong and avoid fractures.

Regular health screenings for women:

There are a few important screening tests you should take as recommended by doctors based on your risk factors.

  1. Blood pressure test: Get tested for blood pressure every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).
  2. Bone mineral density test (osteoporosis screening): If you are above 65 years of age, get this test done at least once. Consult your doctor if you are younger.
  3. Breast cancer screening (mammogram): If you are between 50 to 75 years of age. get yourself examined for breast cancer every 2 years. Consult your doctor if you are younger.
  4. Cervical cancer screening (Pap test): If you are above 30, get a Pap test and Human papillomavirus (HPV) test together every 5 years. You don’t need the test if you have had your womb and cervix removed (total hysterectomy).
  5. Chlamydia test: If you are above 25 years of age and at an increased risk of chlamydia infection, get tested.
  6. Cholesterol test: After you turn 20, get yourself regularly tested for cholesterol levels if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Consult your doctor on how frequently you need to be tested.
  7. Colorectal cancer screening: Get yourself examined for colorectal cancer if you are between 50 to 75, after discussing with your doctor.
  8. Diabetes screening: Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you are under medications for high blood pressure.
  9. Gonorrhea test: Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at an increased risk of gonorrhea infection.
  10. Syphilis test: Get tested for syphilis if you are at an increased risk of syphilis infection.

Women often spend so much time helping others that they don’t make time for themselves. It is very important to make time to take care of one’s own health.

Here’s to STRONG AND HEALTHY WOMEN. May we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them!!

Sources:

  1. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. ACCESSED MAR 5, 2016.
  2. U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE. ACCESSED MAR 7, 2015.

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive and neurodegenerative disease. It worsens normal bodily functions like balance, movement, breathing, and heart function. As it advances, PD becomes increasingly disabling, making daily activities difficult or impossible. Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain. World Parkinson’s Day is celebrated on April 11th to increase the public awareness of this terrible disease.

FAST FACTS:

  • An estimated 7 to 10 million people worldwide are living with PD.
  • Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.

Symptoms of PD:

Diagnosing Parkinson’s requires a careful medical history and a physical examination to detect the symptoms of the disease.

Primary motor symptoms:

  • Resting Tremor: Involuntary, rhythmic shaking of a limb, jaw, face, head or the entire body.
  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement causing difficulty with repetitive movements.
  • Rigidity: Stiffness and inflexibility of the limbs, neck and trunk.
  • Postural instability: Impaired balance and coordination.

Secondary motor symptoms:

  • Freezing: Hesitation before stepping forward.
  • Micrographia: Shrinkage in handwriting.
  • Mask-like expression: Decreased, unconscious facial movements.
  • Unwanted accelerations: Very quick movements.

Non-motor symptoms:

  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness , rapid eye movement behavior disorder, vivid dreams, talking and moving during sleep, restless legs syndrome.
  • Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and irritability.
  • Orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing up)
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Constipation
  • Bladder problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Excessive saliva
  • Urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence
  • Weight loss or gain

Causes of PD:

Although majority of people do not have any specific known cause for the development of Parkinson’s but the few possible factors known to be associated with it are:

•   Familial occurrence, one or more close relatives suffering from the condition.

•   Increasing age, between middle to late years of life.

•   Pesticide exposure, to toxins which inhibit dopamine production.

•   Head injuries causing trauma-induced upper cervical damage.

•   Air pollution related to road traffic.

Management of PD:

There is no cure or standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease, but medication and therapy are used to treat its symptoms. Medications may help in managing problems with walking, movement and tremor. There are some surgical procedures like deep brain stimulation which are applied when medications aren’t enough to provide relief.

However, there are some lifestyle changes which can help in reduction of symptoms and make living with Parkinson’s disease easier.

•   Healthy Eating: Some foods can help in easing some of the symptoms. For example, eating foods high in fiber and drinking an adequate amount of fluids can help prevent constipation which is common in Parkinson’s disease.

•   Regular Physical Activity: Since PD causes a disturbance in balance and coordination, exercises can help with improving muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Your doctor will suggest you the exercises that work best for you. Regular physical activity can also help in reducing depression or anxiety.

Recognizing the symptoms, and understanding how they may affect the quality of life of the patient is a first step toward living well with Parkinson’s.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to some studies, caffeine consumption appears to be protective against Parkinson’s disease, though the exact mechanism is not clearly understood.

SOURCES:

  1. PARKINSON’S DISEASE FOUNDATION. ACCESSED MARCH 30, 2016.
  2. MAYOCLINIC. ACCESSED MARCH 30, 2016.
  3. NATIONAL PARKINSON’S FOUNDATION. ACCESSED MARCH 30, 2016.
  4. NATIONAL HEALTH PORTAL. ACCESSED MARCH 31, 2016.

Let us pledge for good health, this world health day!

Every year on April 7, World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Health Day.   This day marks the anniversary of the WHO which was founded in 1948. According to WHO, health is “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”

On the other hand, wellness is defined in a number of ways, one of them being, “a state of optimal well-being that is oriented towards maximizing an individual’s potential.”

Let’s talk about Health!

As a general trend and practice, health has two aspects, physical and mental.

A.   Physical health refers to a good body health which can be attributed to regular physical activity (exercise), good nutrition, and adequate rest. Physical wellbeing can be achieved by developing all health-related components of the lifestyle. This includes:

  • Taking proper nutrition
  • Cardiorespiratory endurance
  • Managing body weight
  • Maintaining proper muscular strength and flexibility
  • Refraining from drug abuse
  • Avoiding alcohol overuse
  • Responsible sexual behavior (sexual health)
  • Maintaining hygiene
  • Taking proper sleep and rest

B.   Mental Health is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” A good mental health facilitates the ability to:

  • Enjoy life
  • Bounce back from adversity
  • Achieve balance (moderation)
  • Be flexible and adapt
  • Safe and secure
  • Self-actualization (making the best of what you have)

Ways to keep yourself physically healthy:

  • Incorporate physical activity in your daily routine.
  • Maintain proper nutrient intake, good fluid intake and healthy digestion.
  • Reduce or avoid intake of alcohol or drugs.
  • Practice self-care for minor ailments and injuries.
  • Taking adequate rest and sleep.

Ways to keep yourself mentally healthy:

  • Develop and maintain good relationship with people around you.
  • Indulge in activities which interest you.
  • Learn new things and develop new attributes.
  • Avoid stress triggers, prepare and manage stress.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.

World Health Day for 2016

WHO celebrates its founding day anniversary as an opportunity to highlight a current global health priority. For each World Health Day, WHO designates a health challenge or theme in accordance with current health issues within the world. The theme for World Health Day in 2016 is “Beat diabetes” which focuses on raising awareness about diabetes and halting its rise.

Sources:

  1. MEDICAL NEWS TODAY. ACCESSED MAR 18, 2015.
  2. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED MAR 18, 2015.
  3. WORLD HEALTH DAY. ACCESSED MAR 18, 2015.

Tuberculosis is preventable!

Introduction:

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. It is an airborne bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs but can also attack almost any part of the body. People suffering from TB in their lungs can spread the bacteria in the air when they cough, laugh, sneeze, sing, or even talk. If any other person breathes these germs, he can become infected with tuberculosis.

TB is a top infectious disease killer worldwide. World TB Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis (TB) and the status of TB prevention and control efforts. World TB Day is organized on March 24th and the theme for 2016 is, “Unite to End TB.”

FAST FACTS:

  • In 2014, about 9.6 million people caught TB infection and 1.5 million died from the disease.
  • TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people and was responsible for 1 in 3 HIV deaths in 2015.

Things you need to know:

  • It is not easy to become infected with tuberculosis.
  • Most infected people have latent TB which means that they have the tuberculosis bacteria in their bodies, but their immune systems protect them from becoming sick and they are not contagious.
  • TB can always be treated and cured if you take medicine as directed.
  • There are forms of TB that are drug resistant or multi-drug resistant.
  • Do not discontinue TB medication without completing the full cycle.
  • Symptoms such as a persistent cough, constant fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, blood or mucous in the cough, night sweats need immediate attention.

Assess your risks:

People in close contact with others who are infected with TB are at a higher risk of catching the infection. These maybe family and friends of a person who has an infectious TB disease, people who have immigrated from areas of the world with high rates of TB, people living with HIV infection, people working or residing in hospitals, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and residential homes for those with HIV are also at a higher risk of catching the disease.

People with weakened immune system are at the highest risk of developing active TB disease. Babies and young children, people with conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, and AIDS/HIV infection, organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy come under this category.

Prevent TB by following these measures:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough and nose when you sneeze.
  • If you do not have TB symptoms or an active disease, you must take medications as instructed by your healthcare provider to prevent it from becoming an active tuberculosis disease.
  • If you have been in contact with people with tuberculosis infection, you should get yourself tested.
  • New-born children and infants should be given Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine to provide protection against TB.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tobacco use greatly increases the risk of TB disease and death. More than 20% of TB cases worldwide are a result of smoking.

Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED MARCH 14, 2016.
  2. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. ACCESSED MARCH 14, 2016.
  3. AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION. ACCESSED MARCH 14, 2016.

Welcome clear vision with a Cataract Surgery

Say Yes to clear vision with a timely Cataract Surgery.

Cataracts affect at least 3 out of 4 Indians. However, a significant portion of the affected population remains untreated. Most cataracts are the result of the natural process of ageing. Others may be present at birth or may develop as a result of physical, drug or chemical injury. Not all cataracts need to be removed. Your decision on whether to have your cataracts removed will probably be based on the extent to which the cataract interferes with your daily life. Surgery for cataracts involves replacing the lens in your eye.

Preparing for your Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure in an operating room, so you don’t necessarily have to stay in the hospital. A sedative may be given along with numbing eye drops. During the surgery, the cloudy cataract lens is removed and replaced by a clear man-made lens. Most cataract surgeries are done with a technique called phacoemulsification. The cut can be small because the harder center section of the lens is liquefied and then vacuumed out. After the cataract is removed, the surgeon usually replaces it with a new, man-made intraocular lens, or IOL, through a procedure called “intraocular lens implantation.”

Recent Advances

Cataract surgery has undergone major transformation in the last few decades. Micro-incision cataract surgery (MICS), an approach of removing the cloudy cataract lens through an incision that is less than 1.8 mm, is minimally traumatic and is known to provide better post-operative outcomes than phacoemulsification. Femtosecond (FS) laser surgery is another recent approach that provides better accuracy and precision than standard cataract surgeries.

Recovery after your Cataract Surgery

After your surgery, it is normal to feel mild irritation in the eye. Your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You may also have mild tearing and may be slightly sensitive to light for a short time following your procedure. You can wear dark glasses to help with the light sensitivity. For a few weeks after your cataract surgery, you will need to take medication in the form of eye drops to aid healing and prevent infection. Your surgeon may want you to avoid very strenuous activities for a short period after the surgery, but most normal activities need not be restricted following a cataract surgery. You probably will need a new eyeglass prescription, as well.

Plan your cataract surgery in advance with MediBuddy’s eCashless feature and avail provisional pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization at a network hospital, right from the comfort of your home! Learn more. And, if you happen to have your procedure at a non-network hospital, you can raise a reimbursement claim and track its status in real-time with MediBuddy. You can also search for hospitals within your insurer’s network and filter them by location, specialties, amenities, room types, etc., and pick one that best matches your needs. Learn more.

Post your cataract surgery, you can also schedule follow-up consultations with a specialist, on MediBuddy Infiniti!

 

Related articles:

1. Annual Health Checks – Your Stepping Stone to Good Health

2. Hypertension: Stay away from this silent killer!

Angioplasty in a Nutshell – Procedure, Risks and Recovery Time

Plan your Angioplasty surgery with MediBuddy for a hassle-free hospitalization!

Has your cardiologist suggested that you get an angioplasty surgery done in the near future? If yes, you may find yourself wondering what this procedure can do for you. A true medical marvel, angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can restore blood flow to the heart without opening up the chest. The usual reasons for recommending an angioplasty surgery are:

  • Frequent or severe angina (chest pain) that is not responding to medicine and lifestyle changes, or
  • Evidence of severely reduced blood flow (ischemia) to an area of heart muscle caused by one narrowed coronary artery

Procedure and Risks

Angioplasty is a procedure in which a narrowed section of the coronary artery is widened by inserting a stent in the affected area. There are different types of angioplasty stents and your cardiologist will choose one that best matches your needs. An angioplasty is done using a thin, soft tube called a catheter. The surgeon inserts the catheter into a blood vessel in the groin or wrist and carefully guides the catheter through blood vessels until it reaches the blocked portion of the coronary artery.  The procedure may take 30 to 90 minutes. After angioplasty, you will be moved to a recovery room or to the coronary care unit. Your heart rate, pulse and blood pressure will be closely monitored and the catheter insertion site will be checked for bleeding. While angioplasty can save lives, there are still a few risks associated with the procedure. Bleeding at the puncture site, damage to the blood vessel at the puncture site, sudden closure of the coronary artery, heart attack, re-closure of the dilated blood vessel (restenosis), etc., are a few things that your doctor and you will have to watch out for immediately after surgery.

Recovery after Angioplasty

After your procedure, you might attend a cardiac rehabilitation program or your cardiologist may give you advice on recovering and building healthy habits such as eating right and getting more exercise. Exercise is an extremely important part of your recovery program. You will also be advised to take different types of medications, such as anti-platelet medicines, to help prevent another heart attack or a stroke.  It is essential that you take these medicines exactly as prescribed.

We, here at Medi Assist, are committed to making your hospitalization experience as hassle-free as possible! Plan your angioplasty procedure in advance with MediBuddy’s eCashless feature and avail provisional pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization at a network hospital, right from the comfort of your home! Learn more.

And, if you happen to have your surgery at a non-network hospital, do not fret! You can raise a reimbursement claim and track its status in real-time with MediBuddy. You can also search for hospitals within your insurer’s network and filter them by location, specialities, amenities, room types, etc., and pick one that best matches your needs.

Post your angioplasty surgery, you can also have your medications door-delivered with MediBuddy Infiniti!

Related articles: 

1. Valentine’s Day made Special for the Heart

2. 4 Things You Must Know about Stent Pricing

Stay healthy this winter!

Do you perceive winters as a season of illnesses and ailments?

Injuries, colds, coughs, fever, itchy skin, frostbite bother us all but there is no reason for our health to suffer during the colder months. With a little effort and care, we can fill this season with fun and joy and feel just as active as in summers.

Fast Facts:

  • You are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter. In temperate climates, seasonal flu epidemics occur mainly during winter.
  • Elderly people and those with long-term health conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, are particularly at risk of flu and should get a flu vaccination during winters.

Here are few tips to protect yourselves during winters:

1.   Boost your immunity:

Keep you and your family healthy by improving your immunity this winter. Getting enough sleep, staying active and eating healthy can help you do this. Herbs and nutrients such as garlic, vitamin C, and zinc will help to support healthy immune function. Drinking milk and consuming dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt will also help to boost your immunity since they are great sources of protein and vitamins A and B12.

2.   Keep moving:

Keeping yourself active during winters is very important to support your health. You can exercise indoors to keep you warm. Before starting any exercises, be sure to warm up and stretch properly as your joints might take a little longer to loosen up during the cold season.

3.   Skin health:

Skin care is important for health reasons as much as for beauty reasons. The cold, dry weather might affect your skin and contribute to conditions such as dry, itchy skin, and eczema. Moisturisers without harsh chemicals, mineral oils and sunscreens should be part of your daily routine.

4.   Keep your environment clean:

Cold and flu common in winter season can be avoided by washing or sanitising your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with someone who has the flu. Household surfaces should be kept clean. Kids and their toys should be kept away from someone who is infected with a cold.

5.   Stay away from stress:

Stress should be kept in control in all the seasons. Excessive stress is responsible for lowering your immunity levels and this may be dangerous during winters as it can decrease resistance to infectious bugs. Stress also increases your need for dietary magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function. It is therefore very important to relieve nervousness, irritability and take help for emotional balance.

6.   Stay hydrated:

Even though you don’t feel very thirsty in this season, a daily consumption of two litres of water during winter as it is essential for the body to function. You can make herbal tea and try out different flavours to keep you hydrated and warm.

7.   Keep warm:

Dress appropriately to avoid falling ill. Wear a lot of thin layers of cotton, wool and fibres. Do not forget your socks and gloves to keep your feet and palms warm. Keep your homes warm if you have seniors at home with reduced mobility.

Do not let darker and colder mornings make you lethargic and tired. Follow out these tips and enjoy the winter season to the fullest!

Sources:

1.   National Health Service. Accessed Dec 13, 2016.

2. World Health Organization Day. Accessed Dec 14, 2016.

Sun, Summer and Safety

Soaring temperatures are taking a heavy toll this summer. But summers can be fun with a healthier lifestyle, change in diet and some precautionary measures.

Fast Facts:

  • Summers are observed from March to June in most parts of India and average temperatures are around 32 to 40°C.
  • According to India Meteorological Department, 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded but the summer of 2016 could possibly be the hottest.
Here are a few common heat problems and home remedies to deal with them:

1.   Heat Stroke: Lower the temperature of the body, wear loose and light clothes and drink lots of water.
2.   Heat Cramps: Rest in a cool place, drink clear juice or electrolyte-enriched drinks and do not start the strenuous activity.
3.   Heat Exhaustion: Consume cool, non-alcoholic beverages, take a cool shower, and wear light clothing.
4.   Dehydration: Consume water, clear broths with electrolytes, and fever medications if required.
5.   Rosacea (red skin): Avoid direct sunlight, and use a good sunscreen with SPF 30+.
6.   Sunburn: Apply cool milk, lotions with aloe vera, cool cucumber paste, and avoid sun exposure.
7.   Prickly heat: Take cold showers, wear loose clothes, keep the area dry and clean, and apply talcum powder after a bath.
8.   Foot infection: Scrub your feet and the toes thoroughly, and apply anti-bacterial powders.

Follow these tips which will help you stay healthy throughout the harsh season of summer:

1. Stay adequately hydrated at all times (drink a minimum of 4 litres of fluid). Consume plenty of citrus fruits like oranges and lemon, which are the excellent sources of electrolytes.

2. Wear light coloured and loose fitting clothes (cotton clothes are the best). Lighter colours reflect light so you will not feel the heat as much. Loose clothes allow easy circulation of air and help cool you down.

3. Take a cool shower. This improves blood circulation and helps you shake off the exhaustion you feel due to the heat.

4. Eat easily digestible foods and include a good amount of fresh fruits and raw veggies with high water content. Avoid spicy, oily and salty foods as these require more water to be digested.

5. Cover up using a sunscreen, hat, scarf or umbrella whenever you step out. These also protect your skin from sunburn, freckles and heat rashes.

6. Cut down on strenuous exercises; you may experience muscle pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs due to depletion of salt and water.

7. Do not leave your kids in a closed car. Even with the air conditioner on, the temperature inside a car can rise dangerously in no time.

Keep yourself healthy, take these simple precautions and enjoy the season to its fullest!

DID YOU KNOW?

The dog days of summer are the hot sunny days in the weeks of July and August and are named after the Dog Star, Sirius which rises at the same time as the sun during this period.

 Sources:

  1. Mayoclinic. Accessed April 27, 2016.
  2. Medicine Net. Accessed April 27, 2016.
  3. DNA India. Accessed April 28, 2016.
  4. National Geographic. Accessed April 28, 2016.

Fight against Cervical Cancer!

Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease but it is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women, worldwide. In India, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in females, followed by breast cancer. Cervical cancer mostly affects middle- aged women (between 40 and 55 years). It occurs when the cells in the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina) begin to grow and replicate in an abnormal and uncontrolled way and is caused due to Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Although the statistics are frightening but cervical cancer can be prevented, and treated if caught early.

Fast Facts:

  • An estimated over one million women worldwide are currently living with cervical cancer.
  • According to the latest reports, approximately 1, 32,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in India.

Are you at risk?

Find out the risk factors which can increase your chances of developing cervical cancer:

  • HPV infection
  • Smoking
  • More number of full- term pregnancies
  • Using oral contraceptives for a long time
  • History of sexually transmitted disease
  • Multiple sexual partners

Go for an immediate diagnosis if you notice these symptoms:

Symptoms of cervical cancer tend to appear only after cancer has reached an advanced stage.

  • Irregular, intermenstrual (between periods), post-menopausal or abnormal vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Back, leg or pelvic pain
  • Fatigue, weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Abnormal vaginal odour discharge
  • A single swollen leg
  • Pain during sexual intercourse or urination

What tests should you take?

If you suffer from any of the symptoms, immediately consult a doctor who will advise you to take any or all of these tests:

  • Pap test
  • HPV infection test
  • Cervical exam using a colposcope
  • Biopsy

Even when you do not observe any symptoms, go for a regular screening once in 10 years if you are aged between 30 to 49 years. If abnormal cervical cell changes are found early, cancer can be prevented by removing or killing the changed cells before they become cancerous. Conventional Pap and HPV testing are common cancer screening procedures.

Risk Reduction and Prevention:

Indian women face a 2.5% cumulative lifetime risk and 1.4% cumulative death risk from cervical cancer. It is important to follow these steps to prevent the occurrence of cancer as well as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

  1. Get the routine screening done if you are aged between 30 to 49 years
  2. Restrict the number of sex partners and use condoms as HPV is transmitted sexually.
  3. Avoid or reduce heavy smoking.
  4. Spread awareness among young boys and girls about safe sexual practices.
  5. Get yourself vaccinated as it is the best way to prevent cervical cancer.

Why is HPV Vaccination important?

Almost 75% of all sexually active adults are likely to be infected with at least one HPV type. HPV is a necessary cause of cervical cancer. Although, only a minority (<1%) of the HPV infections progress to cancer, vaccination is a necessary step to prevent HPV infection.

The following points will explain the importance of getting vaccinated:

a)      Condoms do not guarantee a 100% protection against viral infection.
b)      Most of the time HPV infection and the initial stage of cervical cancer are asymptomatic.
c)      Sometimes, regular screening is difficult to achieve.
d)      There are more than 100 types of HPV strains and 13 are cancer causing. The vaccine can prevent infections from HPV types not yet acquired.

Did you know?

Vaccination is the best step to prevent all types of HPV infection, thereby reducing the risk of cervical cancer.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 27, 2016.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sep 28, 2016.
  3. HPV Vaccine. Accessed Sep 28, 2016.

A tiny prick can save your life: Say yes to immunization!

One of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine, vaccines are the best way to prevent infectious diseases. Around 2-3 million deaths are annually averted because of immunization.

World Immunization Week is organized on April 23 to April 30 to raise awareness on the importance of immunization. The theme for 2016 is “Close the immunization gap” which is a progress towards the idea of making everyone live a life free from vaccine preventable diseases.

According to WHO, around 18.7 million children worldwide have not benefited from vaccination for preventable diseases.

Why is immunization important?

  • Immunization prevents severe illness and death, especially in children. Most of these diseases have no medical treatments and can result in serious complications and even death.
  • Immunization is the best way to protect those around you with impaired immune system and may not be able to get vaccinations.
  • Immunization prevents an epidemic if exposure to a disease occurs in a community

Why should you vaccinate your child?

  • Quick, safe and extremely effective.
  • Facilitates your child’s system to fight the disease better.
  • Reduces your child’s risk to catch the disease or become very ill from the disease.

Good to know facts:

  1. Postpone vaccination when your child is ill or has a fever.
  2. Do not get your child vaccinated when you have a confirmed allergy against a previous dose of the vaccine or an ingredient in it.
  3. Vaccines don’t weaken or overload your child’s immune system.
  4. You do not have to avoid or delay your baby’s vaccinations if he/ she had a premature birth.

 Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Apr 22, 2016.
  2. National Health Services. Accessed Apr 22, 2016.
  3. HealthLink British Columbia. Accessed Apr 22, 2016.

Hemophilia: Don’t let it bleed you out!

Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot normally. It can take a long time for a person to stop bleeding if he is suffering from hemophilia. Sometimes, it can cause internal bleeding in the knees, ankles, and elbows which can damage the tissues and may be life threatening.

World Hemophilia Day is organized on April 17 to raise awareness about hemophilia and increase support for those living with the disorder. Hemophilia is usually an inherited bleeding disorder which is passed from parents to children. People with hemophilia have little or no clotting factor which is very important for normal blood clotting. Rarely, hemophilia can be acquired when the body forms antibodies (proteins) that attack the clotting factors in the bloodstream.

Spot the signs:

Excessive bleeding and easy bruising are the major signs of hemophilia. However, the extent of bleeding depends on the severity of hemophilia. Following are some of the emergency symptoms to recognize hemophilia:

•   Bleeding in the mouth from a cut/ bite or from losing a tooth

•   Nosebleeds for no apparent reason

•   Heavy bleeding from a minor cut

•   Bleeding from a cut that resumes after stopping for a short time

•   Blood in the urine (from bleeding in the kidneys or bladder)

•    Blood in the stool (from bleeding in the intestines or stomach)

•   Large bruises (from bleeding into the large muscles of the body)

•   Bleeding in the knees, elbows, or other joints without obvious injury

•   Repeated vomiting, double vision, seizures (from bleeding in the brain)

What can be done for the treatment?

Although there is no cure for hemophilia, people suffering from the disease can lead a fairly normal life with different types of treatments. In replacement therapy, concentrates of clotting factor depending on the type of hemophilia are slowly injected into a vein. Desmopressin can be injected or given as a nasal spray to stimulate the release of stored clotting factor. To keep blood clots from breaking down, antifibrinolytic medicines are given pills during the replacement therapy. To treat specific bleeding sites, pain medicines, steroids, and physical therapy may be advised.

What lifestyle measures can you take?

You can prevent excessive bleeding and protect your joints by following these measures:

  1. Exercise regularly and properly: Swim, ride a bicycle and walk to build up muscles and protect joints. Avoid or be very careful while playing football, hockey or wrestling.
  2. Avoid certain medications: Avoid pain medications which can aggravate bleeding and blood thinning medications which can prevent blood from clotting.
  3. Practice good oral hygiene: Maintain dental hygiene to avoid tooth extraction process which can lead to excessive bleeding.
  4. Protect your child from injuries: If your kid has hemophilia, make sure to protect him from injuries that can cause bleeding by using knee pads, elbow pads, safety belts and helmets.
  5. Keep your home accident-free: Keep your home free of furniture with sharp corners and use safety glass for glazed doors and side panels.

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Mar 15, 2016.
  2. National Institute of Health. Accessed Mar 16, 2015.
  3. World Federation of Hemophilia. Accessed Mar 16, 2015.

Health Services at your fingertips, with MediBuddy Infiniti

If you had to book an appointment with a doctor or schedule a health check, how would you go about it? Chances are that you will first ask your friends and family to refer a specialist to you. Next, you will probably have to tailor your schedule and free-up time for the appointment and for all follow-up appointments. Also, your chosen specialist might not be located at a place that’s feasible for you, and in this case, you will have to make arrangements to go all the way to the clinic/hospital.

But why should you let all your healthcare decisions be made for you? Thousands of people across the country are enjoying the comfort and convenience of booking outpatient services on MediBuddy Infiniti; it is time YOU switched too! MediBuddy Infiniti helps you select, compare and book your preferred outpatient health service from exhaustive listings of specialist doctors, trusted diagnostic centres and hospitals, as per your convenience! What’s more, you also get to avail these services at very attractive rates!

Here are the various offerings that you can access through MediBuddy Infiniti:

  • Health Check: Prevention is always better than cure. On MediBuddy Infiniti, not only can you select a health check package, but you can also compare and choose between packages to find one that exactly meets your needs.
  • Medicines: Why make a trip all the way to the pharmacy, when you can just have your medicines door-delivered? Order medicines online, today!
  • Consultations: Schedule a consultation with a specialist at a date and time that’s convenient for YOU! Not just that, you also get to choose your preferred location and price range! With so many options, there is no excuse to put off that appointment!
  • Home Health Care: If you or a loved one happens to need medical care at home, ease all troubles by arranging a home health care visit! You can relax knowing that help is coming to you!
  • Tele Consultation: Are you constantly putting off that appointment with the doctor due to a lack of time? With Tele Consultation, you can get in touch with a specialist over a call, at your preferred date and time, from anywhere!
  • Second Opinion: If you find yourself second-guessing your diagnosis, it’s best to consult a specialist for a second opinion. All you need to do is upload your medical documents on MediBuddy Infiniti, and our panel of specialists will review your case and send you a detailed report.
  • Genome Study: Choose from an exhaustive list of packages to understand your health better, right from the DNA level!

Just follow these simple steps to choose your outpatient service:

  • Log into infiniti.medibuddy.in with your MediBuddy credentials.
  • Choose your city and pick your preferred service.
  • Book an appointment and walk-in to the diagnostic centre/hospital on the scheduled date and time.
  • For Medicines, simply upload the prescription and get door-step delivery by our authorized partners!
  • Make your payment via a range of convenient options.

Go ahead and get yourself acquainted with MediBuddy Infiniti and access a world of wellness and outpatient health services at your fingertips.

Promote health and safety at work with effective ergonomics!

Keep yourself healthy, attentive and fit by making Ergonomics a part of your daily life!

Derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws), ergonomics is the scientific study of human capabilities in relationship to work demands. It includes working postures, repetitive movements, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), workplace layout, safety, and health.

FAST FACTS:

  • WMSDs account for around 34 percent of all lost-workday injuries and illnesses.
  • On average, it takes 28 days to recover from carpal tunnel syndrome, longer than the time needed to recover from amputation or fractures.

Ergonomic Principles:

  • All work activities should allow the worker to adopt multiple different, but equally healthy and safe postures.
  • When needed, a person should exert the muscular force by the largest appropriate muscle groups available.
  • Joints in the head, trunk, and upper limbs should be made to work at about mid-point of their range of movement.

Tips to sit properly at your workstations:

a.   Sit with the body close to the desk.
b.   Head and neck should be in the midline position (i.e. no backward arching of the neck or forward extension of the chin).
c.   Shoulders should be relaxed and symmetrical and elbows should be kept slightly closer to the side of the body.
d.   Elbows should be at right angles or more preferred keying posture, depending on the style of keyboard used.
e.   Back should be supported to the chair backrest. The curved lower part of the backrest should fit into the lower back or the    lumbar spine curve.
f.   Hips should be at an open angle of 100-120 degrees (slightly more than a right angle) at the hip. This is possible by adjusting the seat pan tilt and the backrest.
g.   Knees should be at a height lower or in level with the hips. There should be at least 3 finger gaps between the back of the knee joint and seat pad when feet flat on the floor.

Tips to improve lighting and minimizing glare:

Good lighting allows users to view the screen and document easily without using awkward postures or straining the eyes from glare, shadowing or reflections on the screen. Check lighting levels and lighting distractions at various times throughout hours of operation.

Glare may be experienced by light shining directly into the eyes or reflected from other surfaces such as the screen, desktop or walls. This can cause eye fatigue and headaches.

Methods to avoid glare:

  • Place the computer workstation so that your line of sight is parallel to the window.
  • Prefer to locate computer workstations between rows of overhead lights.
  • Restrict natural light from the windows e.g. use Venetian blinds.
  • Ensure all work surfaces and office fittings have non-reflective surfaces.
  • Position the angle of the screen so that it is 90 degrees (a right angle) to the work surface avoid tilting the screen towards the ceiling.
  • Adjust brightness and contrast on the monitor.
  • Light-coloured background on the monitor is preferable.

Work – related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs):

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome are a few examples. Almost all work requires the use of the arms and hands. Therefore, most WMSD affect the hands, wrists, elbows, neck, and shoulders. Work using the legs can lead to WMSD of the legs, hips, ankles, and feet. Some back problems also result from repetitive activities.

Risk factors for WMSD:

•   Fixed or constrained body positions.
•   Continual repetition of movements.
•   Force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist.
•   A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements.

Symptoms of WMSDs:

Pain is the most common symptom associated with WMSDs. In some cases, there may be joint stiffness, muscle tightness, redness and swelling of the affected area. Some workers may also experience sensations of “pins and needles,” numbness, skin colour changes, and decreased sweating of the hands.

Treatment of WMSDs:

•   Restriction of movement
•   Application of heat or cold packs
•   Exercise
•   Medication and surgery

Prevention of WMSDs:

•   Implementation of workplace ergonomics
•   Healthy habits
•   Regular stretching & strengthening exercises

DID YOU KNOW?

According to research studies, standing desks – which a person can raise or lower to stand or sit while working – may boost productivity in employees and improve their health.

Make your time at the desk healthy and productive by
following the principles of Ergonomics and booking a
Preventive Health Check on MediBuddy Infiniti, today!

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Accessed on May 25, 2016.
  2. UCLA Ergonomics. Accessed on March 10, 2016.
  3. AFSCME, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Accessed on March 10, 2016.
  4. Ergonomics Plus. Accessed on March 23, 2016.

Give yourself more reasons to smile!

Healthy primary and permanent teeth are important for health and well-being throughout life. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common oral diseases, yet they are largely preventable. Proper self- and professional oral care, combined with a healthy lifestyle and avoiding risks, such as high sugar consumption and smoking, can be your ticket to good oral health.

Some diseases which affect the entire body may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems. Prevention of build-up of plaque in and around your teeth and gums, bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease should be the goal of a proper oral hygiene.

Fast Facts:

  • Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities.
  • Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.

Common risk factors for oral diseases:

1. Tobacco: It increases the risk of oral cancer, smoker’s palate, periodontal disease, premature tooth loss, gingivitis, staining, halitosis (bad breath) and loss of taste and smell.

2. Alcohol: It can cause cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx and oesophagus, and periodontal disease. The acidity and high sugar content of alcoholic drinks can cause tooth erosion and decay. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to mouth and teeth injury.

3. Excess Sugar & Unhealthy Diet: Sugar is a leading risk factor for tooth decay and extended periods of micro-nutrient deficiencies can lead to serious oral symptoms.

 Prevention and Treatment:

  • Spend at least three minutes brushing your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use floss at least once a day every day to clean between your teeth.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Use a mouthwash to prevent gum disease, mouth odour and tooth decay.
  • Decrease sugar intake, eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Stop tobacco use and decrease alcohol consumption.
  • Wear protective sports and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of facial injuries.
  • Prevent dry mouth which can cause tooth decay and other mouth infections by sipping water or sugarless drinks.
  • Don’t forget to schedule regular dental check-ups with your dentist.

DID YOU KNOW?

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions and studies have proved that periodontitis is linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

Book a consultation with a specialist and place the order for prescription medicines on MediBuddy Infiniti and get attractive discounts

Sources:

  1. FDI, World Dental Federation. Accessed on June 28, 2016.
  2. National Institutes of Health. Accessed on June 28, 2016.
  3. World Health Organization. Accessed on June 29, 2016.
  4. Mayoclinic. Accessed on June 29, 2016.

Vaccines during pregnancy: An informed decision!

One of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine, vaccines are the best tool to prevent infectious diseases. If you are having a baby or planning a pregnancy, you should learn about immunization and its importance to your child and you! You should know that there are many diseases that could affect you or your baby, are preventable through immunization.

Fast Facts:

  • Vaccinating your baby according to the recommended immunization schedule gives him the best protection against 14 serious childhood illnesses before he is 2 years old.
  • Vaccines are safe. For every 100,000 doses of vaccines given, only one to two will result in serious adverse reactions.

Importance and safety of immunization before and during pregnancy:

Some diseases are particularly harmful to pregnant women and their babies. Many of these can be prevented through immunization. When you are pregnant, you share everything with your baby that means when you get vaccines, you aren’t just protecting yourself – you are giving your baby some early protection too. You can save your baby from infections for the first six to 12 months of life. There are certain guidelines for the vaccines you need before, during, and after pregnancy. Live, attenuated virus and live bacterial vaccines generally are contraindicated during pregnancy.

Benefits of immunization when you are pregnant usually outweigh potential risks when the likelihood of disease exposure is high therefore it is safe for you to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while you are breastfeeding.

Vaccines to consider before and during pregnancy:

Consider the advice of your health-care professional to ensure that your immunizations are up to date if you are planning your pregnancy.

1. Rubella

Rubella (German measles) can be very dangerous early in your pregnancy and for your unborn baby. Infection can lead to complications such as deafness, cataract, cardiac defect, bone damage, mental retardation, and enlargement of the liver and spleen. Before you conceive, get your immunity to rubella tested. It is often given as a combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Because this is a live-attenuated vaccine, it is not given during pregnancy and you should wait at least four weeks after getting the vaccine before trying to conceive.

2. Hepatitis B

Your job, lifestyle or health history may put you at increased risk to become infected with hepatitis B and you should be immunized against hepatitis B if you have not been before. The virus could be transferred to your baby and can pose risks for cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

3. Influenza

Pregnant women are at increased risk of hospitalization and serious complications from H1N1 influenza. The seasonal flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and is recommended for those who will be pregnant during flu season. Being immunized will also help protect your baby through his or her first few months of life.

4. Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis

Tetanus and tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccines are well-established as being safe for pregnant women. Recently, the Td vaccine has been combined with a pertussis vaccine, known as the Tdap vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) can be serious for anyone, but for your newborn, it can be life-threatening and with the vaccine antibodies made by your body will provide your baby with some short-term, early protection against whooping cough.

Other vaccines

If you have a history of a chronic liver disease, your doctor may recommend the hepatitis A vaccine. If you need to travel abroad during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to discuss any special precautions or vaccines that you may need. If you are travelling to a country where you may be exposed to a meningococcal disease, your doctor may recommend the meningococcal vaccine.

Protection of your baby through immunization:

It is important for your child to be fully immunized.  Diseases that can be prevented with vaccines can be very serious for infants and young children. The recommended immunization schedule for babies includes vaccination protection against all of the following diseases:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Rotavirus
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Did you know?

Influenza is a serious disease that kills 300,000 – 500,000 people worldwide every year. Vaccinating pregnant women with influenza vaccine is effective and provides the added benefit of protecting their newborns.

Protect yourself and your baby with timely vaccinations; ensure you schedule a consultation with a specialist today on MediBuddy Infiniti!

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Aug 12, 2016.
  2. Immunization Action Coalition. Accessed Aug 13, 2016.
  3. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Accessed Aug 13, 2016.

Say Hello to better Data Management, with MediBuddy!

MediBuddy enables you to view and maintain all your customers’ policy data on a single platform!

You are efficient and fast, and love to keep your customers happy; that’s why you make one of the best health insurance agents! With an ever-increasing stream of customers, and multiple policies to handle, you often have to go that extra mile to help keep up your level of efficiency.

You have already experienced the convenience of going paperless with MediBuddy. However, if you’ve been maintaining policy data of Medi Assist customers on MediBuddy and using other data management platforms for non-Medi Assist customers, you would know that managing your work in this manner is hassling, takes time, effort and a whole lot of patience.

Now you can say goodbye to multiple data management tools. Your MediBuddy portal enables you to maintain all your customer policy details on one single platform. And this also includes policies that are not administered by Medi Assist!

Your MediBuddy enables you to:

  • Create your own preferred login to access all of MediBuddy’s features.
  • Add to the list of all your customers’ policies by clicking the policy list tile on MediBuddy.
  • Gain visibility into upcoming policy renewals of your customers.
  • Get real-time status of your customers’ claims.
  • Instantly download e-cards for any of your customers anytime, and from anywhere.
  • Set reminders to track and manage your customers’ policies.
  • Use a map-based search to locate a preferred network hospital in your vicinity or filter network hospitals by insurers.
  • Integrate your mobile number and email ID to obtain a reminder for a particular date through an SMS/email.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign-in today and start maintaining all your customers’ records on your exclusive agent portal, MediBuddy!

 

Related articles: 

  1. Now Access All Your Agent Portal Features on MediBuddy App
  2. 3 Easy Steps to Access Your New MediBuddy Agent Portal

Your Network Hospital Search – Now just a click away!

If you or a loved one needs to undergo hospitalization, either planned or emergency, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? You are most likely to think of where the nearest network hospital is and how to get there at the earliest. A couple of years ago, as soon as you were enrolled under a health insurance policy, you would be provided with a list of network hospitals. But wasn’t maintaining that list a cumbersome task? And even if you did keep that list in plain view, you wouldn’t be able to refer to that list for any additional information about the hospital. For example, would you have known what the room rent is or what the procedure cost is? And what if you needed to plan a hospitalization a few months after being enrolled under the policy? There’s no guarantee that no changes would have been made to the list provided to you. A new hospital (one that’s much closer to you) could have been added to the list and some hospitals may have even been removed from that list.

In this tech age, when we are dependent on our smartphone for most of our day-to-day tasks, why should something as important as hospitalization be left behind? Smartphones, to a large extent, make our lives less complicated by keeping us abreast of all the latest information. Their use has become so invaluable that we no longer need to memorize important information. All information is accessible with just a tap on our screen.

There are several things you need to consider before choosing a network hospital. The facilities provided by the hospital, the proximity of the hospital to your house, the hospitalization charges and availability of doctors are some of the things you need to keep in mind to make an informed decision.

Medi Assist members can now make their hospital selection effortless and opt for a network hospital on the basis of all these factors! As a Medi Assist member, when you log into MediBuddy, the network hospital search feature enables you to filter hospitals by location, radius and speciality! What’s more, when you click on a particular hospital, you get to view additional information such as:

  • Hospital packages/procedures along with the prices, according to room types
  • Photos and description of the hospitals
  • Specialties available
  • Facilities available in the hospital
  • Doctor availability
  • Hospital contact information

You can also directly intimate the hospital of an eCashless hospitalization, and plan your cashless hospitalization in advance with MediBuddy.

And to make it all the more easier for you to get to your chosen hospital, MediBuddy gives you the added option of booking an Uber cab from within the app. Not just that, you also get to view the estimated price and time to reach the destination! On clicking the icon, you will be navigated to the UBER app with your pick-up and drop location pre-populated. To know more, click here.

So go ahead and explore this exciting feature today and make your hospitalization truly hassle-free!

Login to MediBuddy today, and experience the convenience of the Network Hospital Search feature and a host of other benefits!

 

Related articles:

1. Get insights into your non-medical expenses, now with MediBuddy!

2. MediBuddy and Uber get you to your closest Network Hospital in a jiffy!

Annual Health Checks – Your Stepping Stone to Good Health

The hustle and bustle of our modern-day lifestyle leaves us with hardly any time to prioritize our health. The late-night meetings, a happening social life and a blooming family leave us with no time for anything else! Gone are the days when people returned home from work and enjoyed a game of badminton with the family. These days, we’d consider ourselves lucky to get home just in time for dinner. While this tech-age has made our lives better in numerous ways, it has also made us more susceptible to illnesses and diseases.

We’ve all heard the saying “Prevention is better than cure”. Annual health checks are one way to prevent the numerous illnesses that we are at risk of developing. Thankfully, most of us are enrolled under a group/company health insurance policy that may give us the added benefit of availing an annual health check, free of cost or at a reduced price. Read on to know how to schedule your annual health check in a hassle-free manner!

Just follow these 6 simple steps to book your health check on MediBuddy:

  • Log into portal.medibuddy.in with your unique credentials:
    Username: employeeid@corporate
    Password: Date of birth DD-MM-YYYY (For first-time login only)
    If this is not your first-time login, just sign-in with your credentials.
  • Once you’ve logged in, click on the ‘Book Appointments’ tile.
  • Based on who needs to be enrolled for the health check (you or a family member), enter all the necessary personal details.
  • Next, you will have to choose your preferred date, time and diagnostic centre for your health screening. Once you’ve picked a slot that’s suitable to you, all that’s left to do is book the appointment.
  • You will be sent an order confirmation email, which you can use for further reference.
  • And that is all! Be there on the chosen day at your chosen venue. Remember to carry a copy of your order confirmation email with you!

With MediBuddy, it’s as easy and simple as that!

Embrace wellness by availing your Annual Health Check today, on MediBuddy

 

Related articles:

  1. MediBuddy App: Your World of Healthcare in Your Pocket
  2. Eat your way to Good Health!

Sudden Cardiac Arrest? CPR can save lives!

CPR can save lives! Administer it as quickly as possible!

An experience of sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness is a state of medical emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the diseased heart’s electrical system malfunctions, producing an abnormal rhythm, disturbing the pumping action and stopping blood flow to the rest of your body.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a lifesaving technique consists of the use of chest compression and artificial ventilation to maintain circulatory flow and oxygenation during cardiac arrest.

Fast facts:

  • A family history of cardiac arrest in a first-degree relative (parents, offspring, siblings) is associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of cardiac arrest.
  • In India, 95% of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest die because they do not receive life-saving first aid within 4 to 6 minutes.

How is Cardiac Arrest differ from a Heart attack and what causes it?

A heart attack is a circulation problem but a sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. The only link between them is that sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack, or during recovery and heart attacks increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is clinically characterized by unresponsiveness, the absence of breathing and absence of the pulse.

Cardiac arrest can occur due to:

  • Heart disease
  • Haemorrhage – head / chest / abdominal trauma
  • Electrical shock
  • Asphyxia – gases / fumes
  • Respiratory illness
  • Following a respiratory arrest
  • Family history of sudden cardiac arrest or other heart diseases

Why CPR?

CPR is a combination of techniques, including chest compressions which cause circulation of the blood so it can provide oxygen to the body, and the brain and other organs stay alive until definitive treatment happens. It should be administered as quickly as possible and to unconscious, unresponsive or to the person who is not breathing or not breathing normally.

CPR can be learnt properly by taking an accredited first-aid training course.

What to do?

For an unconscious adult, CPR is initiated as follows:

1. Before beginning, look into the patient’s mouth for foreign bodies blocking the airway.

2. Give 30 chest compressions as follows:

  • Place the heel of one hand on the patient’s sternum and the other hand on top of the first, fingers interlaced.
  • Extend the elbows and lean directly over the patient.
  • Press down, compressing the chest.

3. After 30 compressions, perform a mouth-to-mouth technique as follows to give 2 breaths (the 30:2 cycle of CPR):

  • Pinch the patient’s nostrils closed to assist with an airtight seal.
  • Place your mouth completely over the patient’s mouth.
  • Give each breath for approximately 1 second with enough force to make the patient’s chest rise.
  • Failure to observe chest rise indicates an inadequate mouth seal or airway occlusion.

4. An intubated patient should receive continuous compressions while ventilations are given 8-10 times per minute.

5. Repeat the entire process until pulse returns or the patient is transferred to definitive care.

6. Perform the head-tilt-chin-lift movement to open the airway and determine if the patient is breathing.

Note:

  • The compression depth for adults should be at least 2 inches. The compression rate should be at least 100/minute.
  • To prevent provider fatigue or injury, new providers should intervene / swap every 2-3 minutes.

Prevent Cardiac Arrest:

Lifestyle changes are the best ways to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Consume a low-fat diet
  • Manage diabetes
  • Stop recreational drug use

Once you’ve been discharged from the hospital, aid your
recovery by scheduling regular Cardiac Health Checks on
MediBuddy Infiniti for a healthier tomorrow!


Sources:

1. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. Accessed Oct 12, 2016.

2. Victoria State Government. Accessed Oct 13, 2016.

3. American Red Cross. Accessed Oct 13, 2016.

4. Sudden Cardiac Death in India: A Growing Concern; Journal of the Association of Physicians of India; Accessed Oct 14, 2016.

Keep moving with physiotherapy!

Heal your body from the inside with physiotherapy!

We all have occasionally experienced our body crying out in pain and refusing to do what we tell it to. Like machines, our body is also made up of moving parts and with so many different muscles and joints it is not uncommon if they go wrong once in a while.

Physiotherapy helps muscles and joints work to their full potential and promotes, restores and maintains physical health. Using a variety of techniques, it assists repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness.

Fast Facts:

•   Physical therapy exercise has been proven to help women who experience incontinence, osteoporosis or breast cancer surgery.

•   Physical activity conducted under the guidance and supervision of a physi0-therapist reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer.

Why is physiotherapy important?

1.   To improve range of motion: You might feel less capable of participating in your day to day activities if you are suffering from an injury or have a condition. A physiotherapy plan would help you solve issues with your range of motion and you will regain your mobility to return to your usual level of activity.

2.   To improve damage due to neurological disorders: Stroke and Parkinson’s disease can bring physical damage which can be corrected or improved by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy provides assistance in mobility, bringing back full or partial function, and prevents further deterioration.

3.   To check progress on exercises: Physio-therapies revolve around therapeutic exercises which will be assigned by your physiotherapists depending on the type of injury. Regular sessions with your physiotherapists are important to assess your progress, who will then increase or change your exercises as per your state of recovery.

4.   To improve cardiopulmonary conditions: If a patient is suffering from breathing issues, physiotherapy provides assistance by introducing guided exercises.

5.   Management of pain: Chronic pain or pain resulting from an accident or injury can be managed by physiotherapy. Arthritis, osteoporosis, repetitive strain injury, knee, neck, wrist and back pain are some common ailments which require attention. Physiotherapy also helps in improving your quality of life so you can get back to your daily activities, sports, and hobbies.

6.   Post-operative recovery: After orthopedic surgery especially after the fracture or joint replacement, physiotherapy is valuable to help with walking or mobilizing a damaged body part. Regular physiotherapy sessions can also help people to lead active lives with their prosthetic limbs.

What to expect during a physiotherapy session?

A physiotherapist may recommend exercises, use some techniques which involve machines or practise manual therapy to ease pain and promote healing.

1.   Manual therapy: A physiotherapist will use their hands for manipulating, mobilizing and massaging the body tissues. Effective treatment of back pain and other conditions which do not affect the bones, joints or muscles is done using this therapy.

2.   Machine therapy: A physiotherapist will use machines such as ultrasound, interferential and TENS (Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) depending on the type of condition with an aim to relieve pain and spasms.

3.   Exercises: A physiotherapist will recommend and teach exercises designed to improve movement and strength in a specific part of the body.

4.   Physical activities: A physiotherapist will recommend activities that involve moving the whole body, such as walking or swimming or treatments such as hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Every year on 8th September, physical therapists around the world use World Physical Therapy Day to draw attention to raising awareness about the contribution that physiotherapy makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.

And, if you happen to need medical care at home, ease your troubles by scheduling a Physiotherapist Home Visit, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

Sources:

  1. National Health Service. Accessed on June 13, 2016.
  2. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Accessed on June 14, 2016.

Stay Active, Stay Fit!

A fit body is a healthy body. Daily exercise can help keep sickness at bay!

We now recognize the importance of physical fitness than ever before. Being fit is important because it serves as an indication of the physical functioning of a person. Irrespective of our lifestyle, age or physical ability, we all need the right type of exercise which we can practice regularly and stay healthy.

Fast facts:

  • Physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for global mortality and 6% of deaths are attributed to physical inactivity.
  • Globally, 1 in 3 adults is not active enough.

Why is it important to keep fit?

  • Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent.
  • Give you a feeling of better health through increased energy and vitality.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Improve your mood and reduce depression.
  • Improve your muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, bone and functional health.

How to get active?

There are 4 major categories of activities that can help you improve health and physical ability.

1.   Endurance: These are aerobic exercises that build your energy, increase your breathing, heart rate and improve the health of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. A regular 30-minute activity is a proper regime. You can build endurance by brisk walking, doing yard work (mowing, raking), dancing, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing stairs or hills, playing tennis or basketball.

2.   Strength: These are strength training or resistance training exercises that build muscles and improve muscle strength. They help prevent falls, maintain your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday activities such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. Lifting weights, using a resistance band, doing push-ups and sit-ups can help you to use your muscles and strengthen them.

3. Balance: Practice exercises that help you maintain physical balance as they help prevent falls. Standing on one foot, Heel-to-toe walk and Tai Chi are exercises to improve your balance.

4. Flexibility: Stretching exercises can help your body stay flexible thus giving you more freedom of movement for your regular physical activity as well as for your everyday activities. Shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch, yoga are some exercises to improve your flexibility.

Tips to exercise safely:

  1. Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Start with a low intensity few, short 5 to 10-minute gentle exercise sessions per day.
  2. Proceed to moderate intensity exercises which would bring a slight change in your heart and breathing rate.
  3. Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure.
  4. Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
  5. Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you are doing activities.
  6. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you’re probably bending the right way.
  7. Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Try walking and light arm pumping first.
  8. Make sure you do not continue with the exercises that hurt or make you feel really tired.

Did You Know?

Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination both.

Make exercise a part of your daily routine and reap its many benefits. For a deeper understanding of your health right from the DNA level, book a Genome Study on MediBuddy Infiniti!

Sources:

1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 12, 2016.

2. National Institutes of Health. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

3. National Health Service. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

Eat your way to Good Health!

Eat a healthy, balanced meal to ward of illnesses!

Our body needs nutrients to survive and stay healthy. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. Therefore, a balanced diet can help us to achieve optimal health throughout life. A little learning and planning can help you find a diet to fit your lifestyle, achieve your desired goals and also let you have some fun in the process!

Fast facts:

  • 54 percent of all deaths before the age of five years in India are related to malnutrition.
  • About 33 per cent of Indian men and 36 per cent of Indian women have a BMI below 18.5, indicating a high prevalence of nutritional deficiency.
  • The prevalence of overweight/ obesity is higher among women (10.9%) compared to men (7.8%) in rural areas.

Dietary guidelines:

Right nutritional behaviour and dietary choices are needed to achieve dietary goals:

  1. Eat a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet.
  2. Ensure that your infant is exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
  3. Feed home based semi-solid foods to the infant after six months.
  4. Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents, both in health and sickness.
  5. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  6. Ensure moderate use of edible oils and animal foods and decreased use of ghee/ butter/ vanaspati.
  7. Avoid overeating to prevent obesity.
  8. Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight.
  9. Restrict salt intake to a minimum.
  10. Ensure the use of safe and clean foods.
  11. Adopt right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods.
  12. Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation.
  13. Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats.
  14. Include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people to enable them to be fit and active.

Why do we need nutritionally adequate food?

An adequate diet, providing all nutrients, is needed throughout our lives. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function properly. Nutrients that we obtain through food have vital effects on physical growth and development, maintenance of normal body function, physical activity and health. A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases.

A healthy diet also plays an important role in preventing/ improving conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental caries, gall bladder disease, dementia and nutritional anaemia.

Types of nutrients important for our body:

Nutrients are necessary for physiological and biochemical processes by which the human body acquires, assimilates and utilizes food to maintain health and activity. These nutrients must be obtained through a judicious choice and combination of a variety of foods from different food groups. There are 7 major types of nutrients needed by our body which are known as macronutrients as they are needed in relatively large quantities. These are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and water. Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are required in relatively small quantities.

1.   Carbohydrates: These are major sources of energy in all human diets and provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. Glucose and fructose found in fruits, vegetables and honey, sucrose in sugar and lactose in milk are types of simple carbohydrates. Starches in cereals, millets, pulses and root vegetables and glycogen in animal foods belong to complex carbohydrates group.

2.   Proteins: These are structural and functional components of every living cell and are needed for building and repairing tissues. These also provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. More proteins are required by growing infants and children, pregnant women and individuals with infections and illness or stress. Animal foods like milk, meat, fish and eggs and plant foods such as pulses and legumes are rich sources of proteins.

3.   Fats: A concentrated source of energy providing 9 Kcal per gram act as a vehicle for fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenes and promotes their absorption. Dietary fats are derived from two sources; the invisible fat present in plant and animal foods; and the visible or added fats and oils (cooking oil). Adults should restrict intake of saturated fat (butter, ghee and hydrogenated fats) and cholesterol (red meat, eggs). Excess of these substances could lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

4.   Fibre: It consists mostly of carbohydrates but doesn’t provide energy. However, dietary fibre is an important part of essential human nutrition and is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.

5.   Water: It plays a key role in the elimination of body wastes and regulation of body temperature. A normal healthy person needs to drink about 8 glasses (2 litres) of water per day. Water requirements vary between individuals and are closely linked to body size, age, environmental temperatures, physical activity, different states of health, and dietary habits.

6.   Vitamins: These are chemical compounds that cannot be synthesized in the body and are essential for adequate functioning and processes of the body and for maintenance of the structure of skin, bone, nerves, eye, brain, blood and mucous membrane. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, while vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins are water soluble.

7.   Minerals: These are inorganic elements required for maintenance of skin, hair, nails, blood and soft tissues and have an important role in nerve cell transmission, acid/base and fluid balance, enzyme and hormone activity and blood- clotting processes. Sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur, while zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluorine, cobalt, chromium and iodine are some minerals which can be obtained with the intake of foods is varied and balanced.

DID YOU KNOW?

Iodine deficiency is very common in India and around 54 million people are estimated to be suffering from goitre and 2.2 million are affected from cretinism.

Combine the goodness of a wholesome diet with a
preventive health check on MediBuddy Infiniti to keep
disease and sickness away!

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 26, 2016.
  2. Medical News Today. Accessed Oct 27, 2016.
  3. National Health Portal. Accessed Oct 30, 2016.
  4. National Institute of Nutrition. Accessed July 28, 2016.

Stay Aware, Combat Fatigue!

Consult a doctor today to help yourself overcome chronic Fatigue!

World Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Awareness Day is celebrated on 12 May since 1992 to honor the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. This day is organized all over the world to spread awareness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), CFS is a complex disorder defined by immense fatigue which is not improved by bed rest and can worsen with regular physical or mental activities.

Fast Facts:

  • CFS can be very severe and affected patients might not be able to carry out the daily tasks of eating, showering or sitting up in the bed.
  • CFS is not laziness or a mental disorder which can be cured with psychiatric or psychological treatment.

Spot the signs:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Impaired memory or mental concentration
  • Insomnia or non-refreshing sleep
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit
  • Frequent or recurring sore throat
  • Post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours

Know the possible causes:

Although a single cause of CFS has not been identified, many possible triggers are listed below:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Abnormally low blood pressure that can cause fainting
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Physical or emotional stress which alters the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis.

Manage your condition:

There is no cure and no specific prescription drugs for CFS but patients can monitor their health and manage their condition using these tips:

  1. Get support from a counselor and help from close ones.
  2. Find a job and lifestyle that works for you.
  3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar and sweeteners.
  4. Include more breaks with your current levels of activities.
  5. Use tips to help with the cognitive problems.
  6. Use massage, exercises, acupuncture, relaxation techniques under the supervision of a qualified practitioner to control joint pains and muscle pains.
  7. Get the most out of sleep by sleeping and waking up at the same time.
  8. Avoid stressful situations and spend time relaxing.

Although living with CFS is challenging and unpredictable, we can easily find ways to understand and deal with it.

If you happen to see any symptoms, book a consultation on MediBuddy Infiniti today!

 

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 9, 2016.
  2. National Health Portal. Accessed May 10, 2016.
  3. National Health Service. Accessed May 11, 2016.

Stay Safe, Prevent Injuries!

Book a Home Healthcare Visit and let nothing stand in the way of recovery!

Any harm or damage caused by accidents, falls, hits, and weapons is known as injury. You can get injured at work or play, indoors or outdoors, while driving a car or walking across the street. Accidents happen, but there are things you can do to prevent getting injured.

Fast Facts:

  • Falls account for more than 40 percent of non-fatal injuries.
  • Motorists without helmets are 40 percent more likely to die from a head injury.

What are the common types of injuries?

  • Animal bites
  • Wounds
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Dislocations
  • Electrical injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains

How to prevent injuries?

1. Animal Bites:

Household pets like dogs and cats are responsible for maximum cases of animal bites. They can be managed by following these guidelines:

  • If the bite breaks the skin, wash the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream, and cover it with a clean bandage.
  • Get a tetanus shot, preferably within 48 hours of getting bitten.
  • If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and get medical attention right away.
  • Never leave young children unattended with animals.
  • If you have not had a tetanus shot in the past ten years, get one.
2. Household burns:

Follow these steps to protect your family and avoid a trip to the emergency department due to burns:

  • Do not leave hot coffee on tables or countertop edges.
  • Cover unused electric outlets with safety caps.
  • Do not put water on a grease fire.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on every floor of your house and a working smoke detector.
3. Falls:

Unintentional falls are the leading injury-related reason people seek emergency care but they can be prevented by keeping the following points in mind.

  • Don’t leave objects on the stairs or walkways.
  • Use nightlights in the bedroom, hall and bathroom.
  • Remove throw rugs and tack down other rugs to avoid tripping.
  • Be sure the bottom of the tub or shower has a non-skid surface.
  • Cover play areas with paddings such as shredded mulch, wood chips, gravel or fine sand.

4. Protect yourself from other injuries:

  1. Stay away from damaged buildings or structures until they have been examined and certified as safe by an expert.
  2. Leave immediately if you smell gas or suspect a leak.
  3. Avoid lifting any heavy material alone.
  4. Wear safety and protective gear for clean-up work.
  5. Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.

Did you know?

For older adults, unintentional falls are associated with lower-body weakness, problems with balance and walking, visual impairment, chronic illness or a history of stroke.

If your injury requires you to stay at home, arrange for a Home Healthcare Visit on MediBuddy Infiniti!

Sources:

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Nov 29, 2016.

2. Emergency Care for you. Accessed Nov 30, 2016.

3. British Medical Journal. Accessed Nov 30, 2016.

Don’t ignore flu- get vaccinated!

Keep the flu bug at bay with a timely vaccination!

Do you have cold and mild fever at least once, if not few times a year and you lose sick days at work? Chances are that you catch the ‘flu’ once or few times a year! Influenza or commonly referred to as ‘flu’ is a seasonal illness that impacts our health and productivity at work. While a few days of sickness could be deemed as inconvenient, however, sometimes flu can be dangerous enough to lead to hospitalization or death in some cases. As per World Health Organization (WHO), Flu vaccine is the most effective way of protecting yourself from influenza virus and spreading it to others at work or home.

What is Flu?

Flu or influenza is a viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs that is contagious.

Symptoms of Flu:

  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body ache
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea, more common in children than adults

How is Flu different from Common Cold?

Symptoms of Flu can often be confused with that of common cold. However, we need to sit and take notice of flu as it can come on suddenly, and varies in severity of illness from person to person and can actually lead to death. Complications arising from Flu include:

  • Pneumonia: a common complication of flu that particularly effects people with lung and heart problems, children, pregnant women and elderly.
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus
  • Ear infections
  • Aggravation of an existing condition like asthma, chronic congestive heart failure

High Risk Group for Flu

Seasonal Flu can impact all age groups. However, the highest risk of complication are people with existing medical condition like chronic, heart, lung, kidney, blood diseases, diabetics or weakened immune systems, children, adults 65 years or older and pregnant women.

Prevention with Flu Vaccination

Influenza viruses attack up to 10% of the adult population annually. Of the people infected worldwide, there are 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and 2.5 to 5 lac death every year. The most effective way to prevent flu infection is vaccination.Flu vaccinations have to be taken depending on the flu season in your geography as recommended by your doctor. In temperate climate, flu epidemic occurs in winters whereas in tropical regions, influenza outbreaks may be through out the year.

Benefits of Vaccination

Easily available and safe vaccinations have manifold benefits that include-

  • Prevent, reduce incidence and severity of flu
  • Higher productivity and reduce missed work or school
  • Protect colleagues at work and family’s health by not spreading the infection
  • Avoid flu related hospitalizations
  • Lower medical bills

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine helps create antibodies in the body that fights against infection two weeks post vaccination. The vaccination can not only help you avoid the flu virus but also protect people around you who are at high risk and vulnerable.

Effectiveness of Vaccine

Ability of the vaccine to prevent infection depends on the prior health status of the person getting vaccinated and the match between the flu vaccine and the circulating virus that season. The healthier the person getting vaccinated and higher match between vaccine and circulating virus will ensure higher protection and effectiveness. Among high risk group, the vaccine may make their illness mild, should they get infected.

The flu vaccine is safe for most people except in extremely rare cases. If a vaccinated person has breathing trouble, feel weak, dizzy or fast heartbeat, they should contact the doctor immediately. Additionally, if a person has had an allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past, they should consult the doctor before getting vaccinated.

Treatment

Most people with mild form of flu do not need medication and should stay at home to avoid spreading the virus. However, if you are very sick or at ‘high risk’ antiviral drugs many be prescribed to you by your doctor. Timely medical intervention by doctor for people at high risk or severe illness is important to avoid complications from influenza infection.

Prevent Transmission of Flu from Infected Individual

Seasonal influenza virus is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person. If a person is already infected with flu virus, it is critical to contain the virus from spreading especially in closed environment like an office space with many people working in close proximity. To prevent transmission of the virus, infected people should-

  • Stay away from people as flu can spread to people up to 6 feet away
  • Cover their mouth and nose when coughing.
  • Wash their hands regularly with soap and water, preferably. If soap and water is not available, alcohol based hand rub many also be used.
  • Utensils, dishes, linens of an infected person should not be shared with others.
  • Surfaces touched frequently by an infected person at work, home, school should be disinfected.

Flu is a seasonal viral illness that can impact not only the weak but also healthy, young adults. The viral infection has the potential to cause severe sickness in you and those around you at work and home. Flu vaccinations are an easy and effective tool to avoid seasonal illness, increased productivity, probable hospitalizations and protect colleagues, friends and family. Would you chose to losing productive days at work and fun time with family and friends over feeling sick every flu season or worse, face hospitalization? Get flu vaccination and stay healthy.

Protect yourself from the Influenza virus by ensuring you get your flu vaccinations. Book a consultation with a doctor and get the necessary vaccinations at the earliest, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

 Sources:

  1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. ACCESSED OCT 30, 2015.
  2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ACCESSED 4, 2015.

Yoga for body, mind and soul!

Yoga has innumerable benefits. Supplement it with a Health Check to see a marked improvement in your overall well-being!

Yoga, a 5000-year old practice has gained importance towards the prevention of diseases, maintenance and promotion of health. Yoga is a spiritual science practised all across the world and is not limited to just being a form of physical exercise. On December 11 in 2014, United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga.

Yoga has known to have brought remarkable lifestyle changes in the practitioners. A sedentary lifestyle leads to very low energy expenditures and can cause a number of lifestyle disorders. Obesity is caused due to an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Practising yoga has beneficial effects on internal organs, endocrine glands, and mind and is useful for the prevention of weight gain and the development of obesity.

 Fast Facts:

  • There are 84 classic Yoga Asanas, the Asana being one of the 8 limbs (branches) of Yoga. The other limbs are Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
  • Studies show that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease by improving arterial flow. Other studies found yoga help treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma

 In this write-up, we will discuss two yoga postures which can be regularly practised for the management of obesity.

 Veerasana (Warrior pose)

 This asana exerts pressure on the digestive organs. It helps to reduce excessive fat accumulated in the abdominal region.

  • Stand erect with both the legs joined.
  • Step your left leg forward at a maximum distance from the right leg.
  • Bend the left leg at the knee to form a right angle between the thigh and calf.
  • Join both the palms and place them on the knee.
  • With the right leg being straight, inhale and stretch both of your arms above your head and bend the upper part of your body backwards.
  • Stay in this posture until you feel the strain.
  • Exhale slowly while straightening your trunk, inhale and bring the hands down to the knees.
  • Return your left foot to the original position aligned with the right, as you exhale.

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

This asana targets the stomach muscles and stimulates the digestive organs. It helps reduce flab around the hips, abdomen, and waist.

  • Lie down with the chest and abdomen touching the ground.
  • Stretch both the legs together as much as possible to resemble the tail of a serpent.
  • Place the palms near the chest facing the ground. The elbows should be straight and stretched completely.
  • Now slowly raise your forehead and lift the upper body, from the head to abdomen, to resemble the shape of a hooded cobra.
  • Bend your neck to feel the stretch in your spines.
  • Hold your breath until you maintain this position.
  • Release by relaxing the abdomen first on the ground, then chest, and finally the head.

Did you know?

According to a study, obese participants practising yoga for one year showed more improvement in pulmonary functions and reduced BMI compared to participants doing aerobic exercises.

Combine the benefits of Yoga with regular Health Checks
for lasting wellness. Book your Health Check on
MediBuddy Infiniti today!

 


Sources:

1. OMICS International. Accessed June 20, 2016.

2. International Day of Yoga. Accessed June 20, 2016.

3. The Art of Living. Accessed June 20, 2016.a

Good Health makes for the Best Father’s Day Gift!

Ensure your father stays in the best of health with MediBuddy Infiniti!

Father’s Day is just around the corner! Over the years, Father’s day gifts have become largely uninspiring, impersonal and completely unoriginal – the striped tie, the pair of black socks or the bottle of aftershave, only because you couldn’t find anything better. So, every year, come June, and everyone struggles to come up with a new and unique idea for a Father’s day gift!

This year, why not break away from the tradition of getting him something that he may or may not use, and gift him something that will actually make him feel better, immensely, both physically and mentally? As we grow up and mature, we seldom realize that the man who carried us in his arms has aged, too! Not only are men more lax when it comes to taking care of their health, but the fact of the matter is that while your dad was busy caring and providing for you and the family, his health took a backseat.

Plenty of Father’s Day gifts can be fun, but the effects are also short lived. This Father’s Day, gift him a health check on MediBuddy Infiniti! MediBuddy Infiniti is a curated network of outpatient services, where you can select, compare and book your preferred service from exhaustive listings of specialist doctors, trusted diagnostic centres and hospitals. It’s the perfect time and way to show him exactly how special he is to you and just how much his presence matters to you!

Only seeking medical care during an emergency is not enough. Most illnesses start with a few noticeable symptoms (symptoms that are usually brushed aside due to busy schedules). Making regular visits to the doctor and getting preventive health checks done are a must if you want to spot the early signs of most illnesses.

Choose from a range of preventive health check packages at exciting discounts. Log in to MediBuddy Infiniti and get started today!

 

Related Articles:

1. Your Doctor is Just a Call Away!

2. Plan your Healthcare Costs in Advance, with MediBuddy

3.  Make her health a priority this Mother’s Day!

A Kidney-Friendly Diet for Dialysis Patients

Dietary recommendations for dialysis patients

When your kidneys are unable to function the way they should, it can lead to an excess and build-up of toxins within the body. While undergoing treatment for renal failure, patients often experience decreased appetite and a loss of nutrients during dialysis treatments. To compensate for this loss, dialysis patients are urged to follow a strict diet and also consume supplements for added nutrition.

Diet for Dialysis Patients

If you are undergoing treatment for renal failure, you should ensure you eat foods that are protein rich, while cutting down on potassium, sodium, phosphorus and fluids.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep your diet in check:

  • High-protein foods, like meat, poultry, sea food and eggs, can help maintain blood protein levels, which in turn aid muscle and tissue repair.
  • Include plenty of red bell peppers in your diet. They’re low in potassium and high on other nutrients!
  • Unless you are watching your weight or trying to cut calories, include whole-wheat grains and cereals into your diet.
  • Limit your intake of dairy products since they usually have a high phosphorus content
  • Limit your intake of potassium-rich fruits, such as bananas and avocados.
  • Consume the prescribed amount of fluids everyday
  • Olive oil, a rich source of oleic acid, protects against oxidization and inflammation. Be sure to include this in your diet.
  • Not just does garlic give foods a delicious flavour, but it also reduces inflammation! Use it whole, minced or powdered in all your meals.
  • Onions, being low on potassium and high on chromium, help the body metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Use it as a flavouring agent in your meals!
  • Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C and several other compounds that can help your liver neutralize toxins and other wastes.

Supplements for Dialysis Patients

When following an unrestricted diet, where you are allowed to eat foods from all the food groups, it is easy to receive sufficient nutrition. However, while undergoing dialysis treatments, due to the several dietary restrictions, patients often need add-on nutrition supplements to maintain good health. Include these supplements in your diet, but only after consulting your doctor!

Vitamin D

Activated vitamin D helps the body keep calcium and phosphorus levels in check. Consume vitamin D supplements at your doctor’s discretion.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and also helps to keep tissues healthy. It also plays an active role in the quick healing of wounds and bruises.

B Complex

B complex vitamins include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin/niacinamide, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid. Each of them their own unique benefits, and therefore it is important to consume B complex vitamins to stave off anaemia.

Iron

If you suffer from anaemia, be sure to take iron supplements to normalize haemoglobin levels.

Calcium

Calcium helps to keep your bones strong and healthy! However, ensure you don’t take an excess of these supplements since they can mix with phosphorus and deposit in your heart and blood vessels.

Eating a well-balanced meal with add-on supplements is key to maintaining good health while on treatment for renal failure. With dialysis requiring repeated procedures and visits to the hospital, ensure you make these trips hassle-free by opting for eCashless. With this unique feature on MediBuddy, you can obtain provisional pre-authorization for cashless treatment with just a few clicks on your e-device, from wherever you are! Learn more here.

And now, you don’t even have to step out of your house to order your supplements! Have all your prescribed supplements and medications door delivered, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

 

Related Articles: 

1. MediBuddy, your very own Health Buddy!

2. MediBuddy and Uber get you to your closest Network Hospital in a jiffy!

The Importance of Protecting Your Arteriovenous Fistula during Dialysis

Protect your AV fistula to stay healthy for your dialysis procedures!

With more than 16% of the Indian population suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease, the need to spread awareness and encourage those who are at risk to seek immediate medical help is paramount. Under normal circumstances, your kidney should be able to purify your blood and remove toxins and excess fluids from your body. The proper functioning of your kidneys ensures that waste and excess water does not build up within the body.

For people who suffer from renal failure, repeated dialysis procedures are a must. There are two types of dialysis that a kidney patient can undergo:

  1. Peritoneal dialysis: A catheter is placed inside the abdomen by way of a surgery. After this, a special cleansing fluid is passed to your abdomen to absorb toxins from blood. This fluid is then drained.
  2. Hemodialysis: In hemodialysis, blood is removed from the body and passed through a dialyzer, also known as an artificial kidney, and then returned to the body after it is filtered. In order to reach the blood for hemodialysis, a vascular access (a connection between a vein and artery) is artificially created by the doctor.

What is an AV Fistula?

If you are undergoing a hemodialysis treatment, your doctor will have to artificially create an arteriovenous (AV) fistula within your body. An AV fistula is a connection that is made between a vein and an artery to directly access the bloodstream during hemodialysis.

An AV fistula is the most preferred type of access by most doctors (however, your doctor may choose a different access that’s best suited to your needs). The reason an AV fistula is preferred is because the access is made by connecting the patient’s own blood vessels. There is no insertion of foreign bodies like an AV graft or a catheter, thereby making it less prone to infections.

Here are some do’s and don’ts you should follow to take care of your AV fistula:

1. Taking care of your AV fistula immediately after leaving the hospital

  • Keep your arm elevated to reduce the risk of clotting and swelling
  • Watch out for blood oozing out of your dressing
  • Make sure you are able to move your hand around freely
  • Look out for numbness or paleness on your fistula arm
  • Keep your dressing dry for 48 hours
  • Do not lift weights

2. Strengthening your fistula and keeping it disinfected

  • Strengthen your fistula arm by regularly exercising it
  • Watch out for any swelling or discoloration around your fistula
  • Look out for any pain you may experience while moving your access arm
  • Consult your doctor immediately if you notice signs of a fever
  • Wash your hand before touching or patting the fistula area
  • Keep the area around your fistula disinfected by washing it with soap and water
  •  Protect your fistula arm from any injury
  • Take medications as directed

3. Ensuring optimum blood flow through the fistula

  • Avoid wearing a watch, jewellery or tight-fitting clothes over your AV fistula
  • Make sure your head does not rest on  your AV fistula while you are asleep
  • Use your non-fistula arm when having your blood pressure taken
  • Don’t carry bags or covers with straps that can tighten around the fistula

4.  Checking the blood flow through the fistula

  • Hold your fingers over your AV fistula to feel the blood flowing through it
  • Listen to the blood flow by placing a stethoscope over the fistula
  • Watch out for any changes in sound or flow

Undergoing dialysis treatment requires constant attention, and caring for your AV fistula is of utmost importance. It is equally essential to plan your procedure sittings in advance and make them cashless to help alleviate any inconvenience.

MediBuddy’s eCashless feature helps you avail provisional pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization right from the comfort of your home, ahead of the date of the procedure! A couple of clicks on MediBuddy is all you need to book an eCashless request for your dialysis treatment. Learn more here.

What’s more, you can also have your dialysis medications door delivered or book a consultation with a specialist on your chosen date and time on MediBuddy Infiniti! Click here to know more.

Hypertension: Stay away from this silent killer!

Book a Preventive Health Check to keep Hypertension at bay!

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common lifestyle diseases in which the long-term force of the blood against artery walls is high enough to eventually cause heart disease or stroke. You probably have high blood pressure (hypertension) if your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90 mmHg, or higher, over a number of weeks.

Fast Facts:

  • People with hypertension are three times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke and twice as likely to die from these when compared to people with a normal blood pressure.
  • One in three Indian adults have high blood pressure and approximately one-third of our population will suffer from it by 2020.

Symptoms and Causes:

Hypertension is a silent killer because it may have no visible symptoms for years. It can cause internal damage to the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, and kidneys. If the blood pressure has reached a severe stage, headaches, vision problems, shortness of breath or nosebleeds can occur.

There is no single cause of hypertension but lifestyle can affect the risk of developing it. The following factors increase your risk:

  • Eating too much salt
  • Not consuming enough fruit and vegetables
  • Not being physically active
  • Being overweight
  • Consuming too much alcohol
Complications of Hypertension:

1.   Heart attack or stroke: Hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.

2.   Aneurysms: Abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery due to increased pressure which can be life threatening if ruptures.

3.   Kidney malfunction: Blood vessels in the kidneys narrow or weaken. This may cause kidney failure.

4.   Vision loss: Blood vessels in the eyes thicken, get narrowed and might bleed. This may lead to vision changes or blindness.

5.   Heart failure: Heart muscle thickens to pump blood against the higher pressure in the vessels and can lead to heart failure.

Prevention and Treatment:

Lifestyle changes are the best way to prevent and manage hypertension:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Reduce the amount of salt in your diet
  • Get regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking)
  • Limit alcohol (no more than 2 drinks per day for men, and 1 drink per day for women and persons 65 years and older)
DID YOU KNOW?

Approximately one-third of people with high blood pressure do not know that they have it!

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Avail a Preventive Health Check on MediBuddy Infiniti and stop Hypertension in its tracks!

 

Sources:

  1. Mayoclinic. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  2. The Times of India. Accessed May 12, 2016.
  3. Blood Pressure UK. Accessed May 11, 2016.

10 Reasons why Medi Assist is India’s Largest TPA

We take your healthcare needs seriously, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it!

Medi Assist is India’s largest TPA, committed to delivering informed healthcare decisions to a billion lives, connected by our technology, partnerships and human touch. Through our strong portfolio of group companies, we make a rich continuum of healthcare services available on our award winning platform, MediBuddy. Along with offering health benefits administration services such as cashless claims management, reimbursements, pharmacy benefits, and planned hospitalization, we also enable cashless outpatient services.

Read on to know some interesting facts and figures about Medi Assist:

I. ONE single platform, with the capability to cater to the entire healthcare ecosystem

MediBuddy, the online health insurance benefits portal that binds the healthcare ecosystem together, is the recipient of many prestigious awards, such as the CIO 100 Information Mastermind and the SKOCH Silver Award for Cloud, Mobility and Apps to name a few.

II. Serving 15% of India’s population

With a portfolio that spans group medical covers, public health schemes and retail policies, a Pan India presence and MediBuddy, our tech platform, we have the ability to maximize our reach and assist an increasing number of lives with their health insurance benefits.

III. 5 Lakh+ downloads of MediBuddy app and 26 Lakh+ users on MediBuddy

MediBuddy has digitally revolutionized customer experience by making access to health insurance benefits quick, transparent and seamless. Members across India are discovering the convenience of MediBuddy and are taking charge of their health insurance benefits.

IV. 15,000+ network facilities

We’ve partnered with network hospital, clinics, diagnostic centres and labs across the country in order to offer our members easy access to healthcare whenever they need it.

V. 6,000 corporate customers

We have forged bonds with some of the largest corporates in the country and are the preferred partners for health benefits administration for them, helping them optimize their health insurance benefits portfolio.

VI. 27 Lakh+ claims annually

We process both cashless and reimbursement claims in a hassle-free and timely manner to ensure our customers have the utmost convenience.

VII. 93 Lakh+ self-help requests

The self-help features on MediBuddy, such as eCashless, real-time claims tracking, GPS-based network hospital search, online repository and more are helping members make informed healthcare decisions.

VIII. 4,500+ MAvens – working out of 50+ offices across 21 states

Our strength lies in our diligent workforce, the MAvens, whose endeavour is to continuously deliver and improve upon the services and experience of our customers.

Our wide-spread Pan India presence helps reach every key stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem.

IX. Discounted packages at 6,300+ hospitals

Through our partnerships with leading and trusted hospitals, we help members enjoy the benefits of re-priced packages for numerous treatments and procedures.

X. 24,000+ conversations everyday

Our members receive timely support from our MAvens in resolution of their queries through a variety of communication channels.

 

Related Articles:

1. Building trust, through multilingual communication

2. Leveraging technology for planned hospitalization through eCashless

Stop Malaria: Wipe Out the Mosquitoes!

Stop Malaria with timely treatment and medicines!

Mosquitoes are responsible for causing more human suffering than any other organism. Malaria is a fatal disease caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Plasmodium is the parasite which infects female Anopheles mosquitoes, called malaria vectors and causes malaria in humans.

World Malaria Day is celebrated on 25th April to increase awareness about malaria and recognizing global efforts to control this disease.

Fast Facts:

  • According to the World Health Organization, about 3.2 billion people worldwide are at a risk of malaria.
  • Malaria claims nearly 1000 deaths every year in India.

Classical Symptoms:

  • Fever occurring in four-to-eight hour cycles and sweats
  • Headache and body ache
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue

Complications:

Infections can get complicated by organ failures and delay in treatment can lead to severe illness often leading to death. Following are the complications which can arise in various organs:

  • Breathing problems and acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Severe anemia due to destruction of the red blood cells
  • Liver failure and jaundice
  • Fits, convulsions and loss of consciousness due to cerebral malaria
  • Abnormally low blood glucose
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Swelling and rupturing of the spleen

Prevention of Malaria:

Controlling the transmission of the parasite by preventing mosquitoes bites is the most important step in preventing malaria

  •  Wear protective clothing when outdoors. Cover up with long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, tucked into socks and a hat if thin-haired.
  • Use effective insect repellents on skin and on clothing and reapply at regular intervals as prescribed.
  • If you are planning your travel, find out the risk of malaria in that area and take your doctor’s advice before visiting the place.
  • Arrange for undamaged, impregnated bed-nets to be used in sleeping areas not properly screened or air-conditioned.
  • Keep water containers covered and clean up old tires, cans, and barrels because standing water is the breeding place for the mosquitoes.

Management:

The treatment of malaria depends on the type of parasite, severity of the symptoms, age and location of the patient and the pregnancy status of the female patient. Rapid diagnosis is very important for an effective treatment. Based on these factors, the doctor will prescribe antimalarial drugs like Chloroquine, Quinine sulphate, Quinine sulphate, or artemisinin-based combination therapy. Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine are a few drugs used in India.

DID YOU KNOW?

A research vaccine against the malarial parasite (Plasmodium falciparum), known as RTS, S/AS01 is being evaluated in a large clinical trial conducted in 7 countries.

With Malaria, time is of the essence. Ensure a speedy recovery by having your medicines door-delivered, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  3. Mayoclinic. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  4. National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. Accessed April 14, 2016.
  5. National Health Portal. Accessed April 14, 2016.

Welcome monsoon, not the diseases!

Monsoon

After extreme heat during the summers, we look forward to the refreshing monsoon season. But this is also the time of the year when contagious infections are on the rise. Our body is more susceptible to health issues in the rainy season. Warm, wet, and humid climate cause infections and water accumulation become possible breeding ground for many disease-causing organisms. This article will help you regarding your health concerns during monsoons.

Why is body susceptible to health issues during monsoon season?

Allergies and infections can happen due to reduced immunity.

  • High humidity can cause digestive problems, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, diarrhoea and dysentery.
  • Damp and filthy conditions play a host for many disease-causing germs which are responsible for dengue, malaria, conjunctivitis, typhoid, and viral fever.

Prevent yourself from monsoon-related illnesses:

  • Make drinking water safe by boiling, filtering and by using ultraviolet purifiers to ensure its purity.
  • Prevent stagnation of water near your house, storage tanks, flower pots, coolers, etc.
  • Soak your salads and leafy vegetables in salt water for about 10 minutes to remove germs.
  • Do not wear wet clothes for long to prevent fungal infections of the skin or nails.
Nutritional tips to keep your body resistant against diseases:
  • Improve your body’s immunity by adding a dash of garlic to the soups, stir fries and curries you make.
  • Instead of milk add yoghurt, curd, and almonds in your diet.
  • Brown rice, oats, and barley are the best foods this season.
  • Consume bitter gourd, neem, turmeric powder and methi seeds to prevent infections.
  • Avoid spicy and sour foods to prevent skin allergies and water retention.
Prevent monsoon-related diseases:

Malaria: The most common disease of the rainy season can be prevented by using mosquito repellent and nets and by not allowing stagnation of water.

Cholera: Another deadly disease caused due to contaminated food, water and poor hygiene conditions can be prevented by maintaining hygiene, drinking purified water, avoiding street food and eating completely cooked food items.

Typhoid: Water-borne bacterial disease spread through contaminated food and water and can be prevented by avoiding raw foods, drinking untreated water and keeping oneself dehydrated.

Dengue: Another disease spread by mosquitoes which can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites and not letting them breed.

Jaundice: The jaundice virus is spread through contaminated food/water. Avoiding street food and consuming boiled water can keep jaundice at bay.

Stomach Infection: This can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain and can be prevented by drinking plenty of safe fluids and consuming uncontaminated foods.

Viral Fever: The most common condition causing constant sneezing, sore throat, cough and fever can be prevented by avoiding getting wet in the rain and seeing a doctor if the situation worsens.

Chikungunya: Transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes and can be prevented by cleaning water containers regularly and using insect repellents.

DID YOU KNOW?

It is advisable to wear nylon clothes during monsoons as clothes made of polyester and nylon are light and dry easily.

Stay on guard this monsoon! If you still happen to fall ill, schedule a consultation with a specialist on MediBuddy Infiniti, at your convenience!

Sources:

  1. Mayoclinic. Accessed on July 12, 2016.
  2. India Infoline. Accessed on July 13, 2016.

Get insights into your non-medical expenses, now with MediBuddy!

MediBuddy helps you transparently view the difference between your payable and non-payable expenses.

Ever wondered why there was a difference between the amount that you raised for health insurance claim and the actual approved amount? Don’t let this uncertainty give you sleepless nights. Read on to know how MediBuddy can help you.

When being admitted at a hospital, one incurs a myriad of expenses. While most of these expenses will be reimbursed by your health insurance provider, there will still be a few out-of-pocket expenses. Most of us don’t read the terms and conditions of our health insurance policy carefully, and we take it for granted that no matter what happens, our health insurance policy will cover all of it. Unfortunately, it is only when we try to claim our medical expenses that we find out about certain costs, called non-medical expenses, which will not be covered by most health insurance providers.

So, what exactly does the term ‘Non-Medical Expenses’ mean?

From when you reach the registration desk of a hospital till when you leave, hospitals will bill you for all services utilized by you. While most health insurance providers will pay a reasonable amount of your hospitalization fees for necessary medical procedures, there will still be a few non-payable charges. Examples of such non-medical expenses include administration desk charges, referral doctor fees, and charges for mineral water and toiletries, among others. These expenses and bills will have to be borne solely by you, out of your pocket!

Here’s how MediBuddy can help you!

At Medi Assist, we understand how critical it is for our members to understand their claim, and the differences, if any, between their claimed and approved amount. But now, they can view this from the same app that they used to raise and tracked their claims, which is MediBuddy! With our enhanced claim view feature, all it takes is a few clicks on your MediBuddy to have all your claim-related questions answered!

Make the most of your health insurance plan and view your medical and non-medical expenses with ease, on MediBuddy!

If you are yet to create an account with us, sign up now and experience the convenience of MediBuddy today.

Related Topics:

  1. MediBuddy App: Your World of Healthcare in Your Pocket
  2. MediBuddy, your very own Health Buddy!

eCashless – Paving the way for Digital Transformation

eCashless-Blog-Image2

Why pass time fiddling with your smartphone in a long queue at the insurance desk, when you can actually use the smartphone to eliminate the need for a queue itself!

Technology is driving innovation in delivery of quality healthcare, and mobility is changing the way people connect with providers and consume healthcare services. There is a need for superior and seamless consumer experience around healthcare, which has arisen in tandem with rising disposable incomes and a demand for better access to healthcare.

Here is where we introduce our members to eCashless, a service that allows them to obtain a provisional preauthorization for cashless hospitalization from the comfort of their home. Statistics show that eCashless has been able to reduce wait time for preauthorization by as much as 90%!

The Smartphone as a Gateway for Planned Hospitalization

Smartphones have become central to our universe at large. With practically every service available with just a tap or a touch, there is no reason why healthcare should take a backseat!

The concept of planned hospitalization, that allows reducing the overall cost of care and also arranging for green channel admission at the network hospital, has been around for a long time now. People are gradually moving away from reimbursements towards cashless services in most cases of hospitalization due to the convenience the latter offers. With cashless hospitalization, people can conveniently avail inpatient services at network hospitals with minimum out-of-pocket expenses, which translates to significant savings.

In order to increase ease access to planned hospitalization, eCashless was brought to reside where most our lives revolve – our mobile phones. With eCashless you can use our MediBuddy mobile app to plan a cashless hospitalization from the comfort of your home and also get full visibility into the cost of treatment, ahead of hospotalization! No calls, no mails, just a touch on your mobile phone is all it takes. The eCashless service available on the MediBuddy app and portal has several advantages over the traditional cashless admission.

Here’s how you can book an eCashless on your smartphone:

  • Click the eCashless tile on MediBuddy and request for preauthorization at least 48 hours prior to the hospitalization.
  • Within a few hours, you receive a secure passcode confirming the provisional approval.
  • Present the passcode and E-card at the hospital insurance desk on the date of admission. The hospital validates the passcode and gives the preauthorization approval letter instantly. Sign and submit the form along with a valid photo ID proof.
  • Get green channelled into the allocated room for hassle-free cashless treatment. And track claims in real-time with MediBuddy.

So whenever there is a planned hospitalisation in your family, don’t forget to book eCashless from your smartphone through the MediBuddy app!

It pays to be prepared in advance! Download the MediBuddy app on your smartphone today! Get the app from your Play Store, or simply give us a missed call on 1800 3010 1696 and we’ll SMS the download link to your smartphone.

Related topics:

  1. Save Time on Your Hospitalization with eCashless
  2. Plan Your Hospital Admission with eCashless

4 Things You Must Know about Stent Pricing

Stent-Blog-Image

Through some of our previous blogs, we have shared with you the announcement made by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on the reduction of stent prices by up to 85%, which is effective from 14th February 2017. This is a welcome move, which has helped in reducing the financial impact of hospitalization on the families of patients undergoing an angioplasty surgery.

If you know someone who is planning an angioplasty surgery, or are up for it yourself, here’s a quick recap on the announcement.

The price of coronary stents has been capped at INR 7,260 for bare metal stents and INR 29,600 for the drug eluting variety. This price is exclusive of local taxes applicable, if any. Heart patients in need of an angioplasty would now have to spend considerably lesser on their treatment, significantly reducing the financial impact of hospitalization on their family.

Here are 4 important points to note, if you are planning an angioplasty soon:
1. In case of cashless or reimbursement claim requests, pay-out towards the cost of stent would be made up to the ceiling price only. Do not pay beyond this ceiling price amount to the hospital.

2. With the new notification, hospitals will have to bill stents separately.

3. A trade margin of 8% is already included in the price of stents; therefore no additional charge, except local sales taxes and value added tax (VAT) can be demanded from the patients.

4. The ceiling price fixed shall be maintained for a period of one year from the 14th of February 2017, unless revised by another gazette notification.

As a Medi Assist member you can plan your angioplasty by opting for an eCashless hospitalization, via the MediBuddy app. You will get the estimated cost of treatment under the new notification and as per your policy terms and conditions, right at the comfort of your home, as well as the comfort of a green channel walk-in on the date of admission!

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  2. The heart of the matter
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Building trust, through multilingual communication!

For most of us, the language that people choose to communicate with us determines our behavior towards them. We seem to be psychologically wired to trust those who speak to us in a familiar tongue and automatically turn to them first in times of need.

Trust is of essence when it comes to our healthcare needs and health insurance. Health benefits of an insurance policy are often a complex matter to comprehend, but it is something that everyone in the family should be aware of. It therefore, becomes imperative that everyone, including the senior members of the family, the rural sector and those benefiting from government schemes be approached in their own preferred language and native tongue.

As stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem of a diverse and multilingual country as India, we at Medi Assist understand the importance of communication and believe in reaching out to the masses. More often than not, communicating in one’s mother tongue is what proves to be the ice-breaker and helps one connect with people.

Medi Assist celebrates our nation’s diversity through its multilingual website, which ensures that every stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem is able to derive maximum benefit from the website. Our website is the only one its kind, in 8 languages – English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Marathi! This enables us to effectively reach any target market and build trust among our customers.

Visit the Medi Assist website and click the Languages tab today to get all the information you need, in the language of your choice!

Parenting isn’t easy, but staying healthy is, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

mothers-day-2

Parenthood is an exhilarating experience for any couple. You wait eagerly for 9 months and enter a whole new realm of joy when you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time! But parenting surely is altogether another ball-game.

While parents and even parents-to-be try to figure out the best way to bring up their child, they are flooded with advice from the elders in the family as well as doctors and counsellors, often getting bogged down in the process, as they struggle to become that ‘perfect parent’.

Given the pace of life today, parenting is becoming an even more difficult task. However, whether you are a business professional, an entrepreneur or a busy stay-at-home parent, in order to take care of your children you have to be in the best of your health physically as well as mentally.

This Mother’s Day give your child the gift of a healthy parent with MediBuddy Infiniti, which is your curated network for outpatient services! However busy you may be, you can take care of your health from wherever you are! Get yourself acquainted with MediBuddy Infiniti and access a world of wellness and outpatient services at your fingertips. Choose from a wide range of outpatient services such as doctor consults, medicines, health checks and more!

Here are the services currently available on MediBuddy Infiniti:

  1. HEALTH CHECK: Comprehensive packages, at attractive rates.
  2. MEDICINES: Prescription medicines at discounted rates, home delivered.
  3. CONSULTATIONS: A specialist for your every medical need, just a click away.
  4. HOME HEALTHCARE: Superior medical care, at the comfort of your home.
  5. TELE CONSULTATION: Get in touch with a specialist over a call, at your preferred date and time, from anywhere.
  6. SECOND OPINION: Specialist doctors, to help you in your times of doubt.
  7. GENOME STUDY: Understand your health, right from the DNA level.

As a token of love to all the mothers and women in the family, we have special discounts and offers on MediBuddy Infiniti! Go ahead and check out the Offers page on MediBuddy Infiniti to browse through the special discounts available.

Log in to MediBuddy Infiniti with your MediBuddy credentials and get started!

Related Articles:
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Introducing an Exclusive Portal for Brokers!

A health insurance broker is a crucial stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem. At Medi Assist, brokers are our partners who ensure that the Medi Assist advantage reaches our corporate customers.

We are delighted to share that we now have a dedicated MediBuddy portal for our broker partners, with an aim to make their life simpler, empowering them with all the information they need at their fingertips!

The MediBuddy portal gives brokers the following advantages for the corporates managed by them:

  • Real time visibility of all types of claims in all stages of processing under “Claims Dashboard”
  • Real time visibility of TAT adherence for all claims which are “In Process” & “Settled” under “Claims Dashboard”
  • Ability for Admin users to create regional users with controlled policy mapping under “User Management”
  • Ability to provide employee wise e-card and search policy coverage’s for each policy respectively.
  • Real time insurer-wise hospital network search which also provides details of Room Rent and Package amount Speciality-wise for respective institutions.

If you are a broker partner and are interested to explore this exciting new portal, do get in touch with your Medi Assist representative for your login credentials for MediBuddy!

Disclaimer: Data is shared/made available to brokers/decision makers only upon receiving consent from the insurer.

 

 

 

 

Make her health a priority this Mother’s Day!

mothers-day-mailers

Mother’s Day is just round the corner!

It is celebrated on the 14th of May every year to honour the selfless dedication of a Mom towards her children and the entire family.

Remember when, as a child, even a small bruise would send you yelping for your Mom? Even now, the moment we are scared, the word that first comes out for most of us is “Mummy!” These little things just go to show the profound impact that Mothers have in our lives; a life which of course wouldn’t be there in the first place, if not for Mom!

Most Mothers are so busy caring for the family that they often put their own health after everyone else’s. This Mother’s Day, give back and encourage your Mother to take care of her health. If you are a Mom yourself, there is no better way to give more to your family than by taking care of your own health!

With MediBuddy Infiniti, we empower everyone to take care of their health, as per their convenience!  MediBuddy Infiniti is your curated network of outpatient services, where you can select, compare and book your preferred service from exhaustive listings of specialist doctors, trusted diagnostic centres and hospitals.

Get yourself and the women in your family introduced to MediBuddy Infiniti and choose from a wide range of outpatient services such as doctor consults, medicines, health checks and more!

Here are the services currently available on MediBuddy Infiniti:

  1. HEALTH CHECK: Comprehensive packages, at attractive rates.
  2. MEDICINES: Prescription medicines at discounted rates, home delivered.
  3. CONSULTATIONS: A specialist for your every medical need, just a click away.
  4. HOME HEALTHCARE: Superior medical care, at the comfort of your home.
  5. TELE CONSULTATION: Get in touch with a specialist over a call, at your preferred date and time, from anywhere.
  6. SECOND OPINION: Specialist doctors, to help you in your times of doubt.
  7. GENOME STUDY: Understand your health, right from the DNA level.

As a token of love to all the mothers and women in the family, we have special discounts and offers on MediBuddy Infiniti! Go ahead and check out the Offers page on MediBuddy Infiniti to browse through the special discounts available.

Log in to MediBuddy Infiniti with your MediBuddy credentials and get started!

Related articles:

  1. Parenting isn’t easy, but staying healthy is, with MediBuddy Infiniti!
  2. Save on Your Maternity Costs With eCashless

MediBuddy, your very own Health Buddy!

Are you still using the old, tedious methods to manage your health insurance benefits? Thousands of people across the country are enjoying the comfort and convenience of MediBuddy; it is time YOU switched too!

The MediBuddy app, is a powerful self-help tool that not only helps you manage your health insurance benefits, but also helps you reduce the overall cost of healthcare for yourself and your family. It gives you access to a host of benefits related to your health insurance and wellness.

With the MediBuddy app, you can access the following convenient features anytime, anywhere, on-the-go :

  • Explore details of your Policy
  • Enrol yourself and your beneficiaries under your policy
  • Plan your hospitalization and obtain a provisional preauthorization even before the date of hospitalization through eCashless
  • Raise and manage claims online in a hassle-free way
  • Track your claims in real time
  • Locate network hospitals through a GPS based search
  • View and download e-cards on-the-go

MediBuddy also allows you to access Infiniti – your Curated Network of Outpatient Services, where you can select, compare and book your preferred outpatient service from exhaustive listings of specialist doctors, trusted diagnostic centres and hospitals.

Here are the services that you can access through Infiniti:

1. HEALTH CHECK

Comprehensive packages, at attractive rates!

2. MEDICINES

Prescription medicines at discounted rates, home delivered!

3. CONSULTATIONS

A specialist for your every medical need, just a click away!

4. HOME HEALTHCARE

Superior medical care, at the comfort of your home!

5. TELE CONSULTATION

Consult with a specialist over phone!

6. SECOND OPINION

Specialist doctors, to help you in your times of doubt!

7. GENOME STUDY

Understand your health, right from the genome level!

Explore these features for yourself!

Download the MediBuddy app today by clicking these links.

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Or visit portal.medibuddy.in. You can also give a missed call on 1800 3010 1696 and we’ll send the download link to your phone.

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Plan your Healthcare Costs in Advance, with MediBuddy

You wouldn’t buy a car or a laptop without comparing prices and shopping around. So, why should it be any different for something as critical as health care?

Just like with any other commodity or service, the price for quality health care can vary and depend upon various factors; the medical centre and the services offered often being the most important ones. For instance, some hospitals may charge much more than what you would expect at other locations for the same treatment. This can affect your finances, even if you have planned in advance and are insured. It therefore makes good sense to compare your options before opting to undergo treatment at a particular hospital.

While it is beneficial to know what a procedure might cost you, you may also be interested in comparing one healthcare facility with another in terms of the service offering and facilities. But while you can zero-in on your car or laptop by comparing a range of parameters through various online portals, reliable information on healthcare services and medical treatments may not always be as easily available.

With MediBuddy, the technology platform from Medi Assist, you can conveniently get insights into the expected cost of treatment at a network hospital of your choice, that too with just a couple of taps on your smartphone! Through the GPS-based network search feature on MediBuddy, not only can you search for the network hospital nearest to you along with the required speciality, but you can also discover the hospital packages available at your chosen hospital and explore the costs for various treatments and procedures.

So go ahead and lay your worries to rest! Make informed decisions on  your medical expenditure, with MediBuddy!

Yet to explore MediBuddy?  Sign up now on me.mediBuddy.in to activate your account.

Download the MediBuddy app today and experience a world of convenience at your fingertips!

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Leveraging technology for planned hospitalization through eCashless

Today, anything from booking a flight, to ordering your favourite meal or a family vacation can be achieved with just a couple of taps on your smartphone. Technology has significantly redefined consumer experience, and the time is ripe to leverage technology to enable the same experience within the health benefits industry.

India’s healthcare insurance segment remains mostly an untapped market for new technologies. The current procedures for filing an insurance claim are still done manually, where patients get physical copies of reports, scan them and then upload them. This coupled with the agony of leaving your unwell relatives unattended while you wait at the hospital insurance desk make the claims procedure seem like a huge hassle. This apart, there is also a lot of anxiety about the estimated cost of treatment, availability of a preferred room type and the out-of-pocket expenses that the family would have to incur.

Third party administrators (TPAs) act as a channel between the insurer and the insured and attempt to make these crucial touch-points as customer-friendly as possible; and technology plays a significant role in realising this goal. The key to consumer satisfaction during hospitalisation lies in encouraging members to plan their hospitalisation with as much ease as possible.

With MediBuddy, the health benefits portal and app, Medi Assist is already at the forefront of a technological transformation within the health benefits industry. We are leveraging technology to help customers choose convenience over concern, with future forward offerings such as eCashless.

The eCashless feature, available on the MediBuddy app and portal, has several advantages over the regular cashless admission procedure:

  • It eliminates all wait-time associated with standing in queues at the hospital insurance desk on the day of admission to get approval for cashless admission
  • It helps you to obtain a provisional preauthorization with just a couple of clicks from the comfort of your home or office
  • eCashless gives visibility into the estimated cost of treatment ahead of the date of admission, which means that you can plan your out-of-pocket costs in advance
  • You can also choose your preferred type of room

eCashless, in essence, enables patient choice, better cost of care, green channel admission, visibility into costs and optimal use of health benefits. Explore the eCashless feature on MediBuddy today!

Related Topics:

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Stay Healthy and Safe, even at your Workplace

Have you been ignoring that backache for long?

That, unfortunately, is the story with most of us! We suffer day in and day out from seemingly common ailments that compound over-time and become full-blown diseases before we even begin to realize it. Studies have shown that, barring some cases, most diseases start out with mild yet determinable symptoms which we tend to ignore. This ignorance stems from the frantic pace of our lives, leaving us no time to spare to tend to our medical ailments, while also encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle and poor dietary choices.

Even when we do decide to consult with a specialist, there is the issue of time off from work, sometimes for multiple follow up visits with the doctor, which may not find favour with most corporate set ups.

Keeping the paucity of time in our lives into perspective, Medi Assist brings medical convenience and comfort right into your workplace – with the MediClinic, which is the Occupational Health Centre by Medi Assist.

The MediClinic provides professional medical help to employees on campus. It not only helps in administering medical services but significantly enhances employee productivity while optimizing costs on medical care.

The general services provided at the MediClinic include medical manpower in the form of doctors and nurses for the primary care of onsite injuries, ambulance and life support services for advanced care, medicines and equipment, bio-medical waste management and internal audits.

The MediClinic is also equipped with the MediClinic software, which allows our personnel to capture valuable data such as walk-in details and medicines prescribed to the patient. Employees can also access the information pertaining to these walk-ins on MediBuddy which can be accessed either from the portal or app.

So go ahead, get your workplace equipped with the MediClinic, and experience professional medical care right in your campus!

MediBuddy and Uber get you to your closest Network Hospital in a jiffy!

The powerful GPS based network hospital search feature has proven to be of great convenience to the users of MediBuddy! It is aptly addressing the need for searching for the closest hospital that falls within the insurer network.

With an enhancement of the network search feature, we have made it even more convenient for you to reach your network hospital destination quickly and easily – along with searching for your nearest hospital, you can now also book an Uber cab from within the app!

And that’s not all! Through the network search feature, you can also discover the hospital packages available at your chosen hospital and explore the cost for various treatments and procedures to get an idea of the estimated cost of treatment. What’s more, here you can also intimate eCashless and check the availability of doctors.

Here is how you can use the network search feature:

  • Login to MediBuddy with your credentials
  • Go to ‘Network hospitals’
  • Look for network hospitals in the vicinity by using a GPS based search
  • Choose your preferred hospital
  • Click ‘View Hospital Profile’ to view the hospital packages and cost of various treatments and procedures
  • Look for the button at the bottom of the screen showing details of your closest Uber cab with estimated time of arrival and price.
  • Click this button to automatically navigate to the Uber app. The pickup and drop locations are picked up automatically by the system.
  • Confirm the booking.

Once you click the ‘Confirm’ button, your Uber cab will arrive at your pick-up location at the estimated time of arrival and take you to your chosen network hospital.

So, the next time you have an emergency, you can act quickly and with confidence! Find a network hospital closest to you and get your loved ones immediate medical attention.

Yet to explore MediBuddy?  Sign up now on me.mediBuddy.in to activate your account.

Download the MediBuddy app today and experience a world of convenience at your fingertips!

 

Electronic Health Records – The Smart Choice

The human body functions in mysterious ways, and often chooses to malfunction when you are least prepared! Picture a time when you were at work and felt the need to see a doctor immediately; you wouldn’t have the time or energy to go all the way back home to pick up any test reports or previous medical records. In such a situation, wouldn’t it be great if you could maintain a repository of all your important documents at one place, online, which you could access from anytime, anywhere, on the move?

With the Online Repository on MediBuddy, you are able to do just that, and much more! You can upload your prescriptions, test reports and other related medical records onto the repository and get 24×7 access to your Electronic Health Records from wherever you are! You also have the added advantage of never misplacing another important document again!

How does it work on MediBuddy?

  • Visit portal.medibuddy.in and sign into your account.
  • Click the ‘Records’ tile
  • Take individual pictures of each of your medical records and upload them onto the secured digital repository.
  • Access your records anytime, anywhere from the MediBuddy portal or app

Switch to a smart way of maintaining your health records.
Sign up now if you still haven’t activated your account on MediBuddy and download the MediBuddy app today!

A fresh new feel to MediBuddy, now on the App Store!

Just a few months ago, we had informed you about the new and improved version of MediBuddy, which had been made available for the Android platform.

This new version of MediBuddy is now also available for the iOS platform!

Apart from an enhanced look and feel, you will now enjoy a host of additional features such as:

  • Notifications on your phone – to keep you informed of the status of your claims and other important information, even when you are not using the app or your device.
  • Dynamic search for network hospitals on the map – to allow you to click anywhere on the map to locate a hospital. Learn more
  • Offline mode – which lets you download and access your e-card.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHR) – which can be viewed in the offline mode.
  • In-app capability to take pictures – which lets you upload your prescriptions and other documents to the Online Repository in an instant.
  • Ability to change your password – to ensure safety of your account.

If you are an existing MediBuddy user, your app will be automatically upgraded!

Navigate through the new and improved MediBuddy app today, and revel in the experience of an upgrade!

Don’t have the MediBuddy app yet? Download it today from the App Store!

MediBuddy Launch and ChampCamp @ Unisys

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ Tata Chemicals

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ Persistent

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ ION Trading India

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ IDFC

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ SBIG

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ Brillio

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ Cibersites

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ Cholamandalam

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ HCL

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

ChampCamp @ Snapdeal

You can learn about your health benefits at a health camp, and also have fun!

ChampCamp is an interactive format that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement. It aims to increase utilization of the services of Medi Assist and also participation in onsite health benefits and wellness events.

Delighting our Customers, Always!

It surely is the best feeling when you get that little extra that adds value to you, especially when it comes to you at no extra cost! We understand our customers and stakeholders, and are constantly on the look-out for ways and means to delight them every step of the way. This is why we have a slew of services that are aimed at maximizing convenience for you! With a ‘tech and touch’ approach, we mould every offering to empower you with self-help to help you make informed healthcare decisions.

Below are some of our services that have been especially crafted for you, and, with a commitment to continue delighting our customers, we keep adding to the list whenever we come up with something even better for you!

007_MediBuddy

 

011_MediBuddy App

 

016_Online Enrolment

 

015_eCard

 

001_eCashless

 

020_Network Hospital Search

 

018_Claims Process

 

017_Claims Tracking

 

019_Claims Reimbursement

 

021_Repository

 

010_MediBuddy Infiniti

 

012_MediBuddy Infiniti 2

 

013_MediBuddy Infiniti 3

 

014_MediBuddy Infiniti 4

 

008_MediBuddy_Pi

 

002_ChampCamp

 

003_Care Rangers

 

009_MediBuddy+

 

022_Occupational Health Centre

 

005_Mobiefit

 

006_8 Languages

10 Early Signs of Diabetes that you shouldn’t Ignore

Each one of us, who is reading this, has or knows someone who has diabetes.

That is just about how common this disease has become. Diabetes was, up until recently, associated with elders, and the number of cases were not as many. At present, diabetes affects more that 7% of the adult Indian population and is reported in ages as young as 35. Diabetes is manageable, but if not detected in time, and without proper treatment, the ailment can prove to be fatal. Awareness is the key to helping people understand the disease and recognize its symptoms.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus, or more commonly, diabetes, is a condition where the body cannot maintain normal blood sugar levels. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not respond normally to insulin, which is a hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels.

How does it impact our health?

When blood sugar levels rise, they can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), infections/poor healing of wounds, and a lower sex drive.

What are the symptoms of Diabetes?

Most symptoms of diabetes are very generic and are therefore unrecognizable at first glance. Here is a list of the most common symptoms that should make you head straight for a Diabetes health check:

  1. Frequent urination
  2. Increased thirst
  3. Weight loss
  4. Increased hunger
  5. Unexplained weakness or fatigue
  6. Blurry vision
  7. Nausea and vomiting
  8. Numbness or tingling of the feet
  9. Frequent infections
  10. Vaginal discharge or itching in young girls

Having mentioned the above, there have also been instances where diabetes has been detected without having shown any symptoms. Diabetes is a genetic disease, and it therefore becomes very important for a person with a family history of diabetes to regularly get checked for the ailment, even if no symptoms show up.

MediBuddy Infiniti gives you the power to explore and book various diabetes health check packages at your preferred medical center and at your preferred day and time. Here are simple steps to book a diabetes health check package:

  1. Log into infiniti.medibuddy.in
  2. Click the ‘Health Check’ tile
  3. Enter your location and category as ‘Diabetes’. You will get a list of diabetes health check packages at various trusted hospitals and centers.
  4. Book your appointment at your preferred day and time.
  5. Make a payment via a range of convenient payment options

What’s more? MediBuddy Infiniti provides all of these packages at discounted rates!
The more we know about our health, the more power we have to change our lives.

So go ahead, visit infiniti.medibuddy.in today and book your diabetic health check package.

Your Doctor is Just a Call Away!

Online Cons

When you are pressed for time, visiting a doctor can seem impossible. But with Online Consultation, you can get in touch with a specialist over a call, at your preferred date and time, from anywhere!

Don’t ignore your ailment anymore! Just follow these simple steps:

  • Log onto infiniti.medibuddy.in with your credentials.
  • Click the ‘Online Consultation’ tile.
  • In the text box, type in your preferred service or pick from a wide range of specialities from the drop-down.
  • Select your preferred appointment date and time.
  • Click ‘Schedule Now’.
  • Make a payment via a range of convenient payment options.
  • You will receive a confirmation call from our vendor within 10 minutes.
  • A call will be made by the doctor on the selected date and time.

Note: A minimum of 30 minutes is required to process a request. So do book your appointment in advance!

Go ahead and enjoy the convenience of an Online Consultation on MediBuddy Infiniti!

Raman’s eCashless enlightenment!

eCashless_logo

“These laddus are the best that I have had in a long time!” remarked Dhiren, through a mouthful of the delicious sweet treat. Raman had been blessed with a baby girl, and had brought a truckload of sweets to distribute at his office. After all the buzz of congratulatory messages dimmed down, Raman headed to the cafeteria for a break, along with Dhiren, where they got chatting on the health of his wife and his baby girl.

After a few days, as Dhiren peeked into Raman’s laptop, he saw him do a Google search on – How to submit an insurance reimbursement claim- which exasperated him. “Didn’t you opt for eCashless?” a very puzzled Dhiren asked. Raman stared blankly, and showed him a pile of bills, “Well, I am going to get all my money reimbursed, just going to apply for a reimbursement claim.” This was Dhiren’s face-palm moment. The ever-efficient Raman had not considered eCashless at all! It was time to sit him down and help him understand the difference between eCashless and reimbursement. “Sure Raman, either way you will logically not be spending any money, but what about the time you invest to get your bills cleared? In this day and age, time IS money!” A baffled Raman looked on, “Dhiren, you mean you know of a better and faster way to get my money reimbursed?” “No Raman, I know of a way that can save you money AND time, along with a host of other benefits thrown in!”

Dhiren put an arm around Raman’s shoulder as he escorted him out to the cafeteria. He found a silent nook, ordered for hot cups of delicious tea and began. “Raman, claiming reimbursement for hospitalization may not be a straightforward task as there may be several challenges involved in processing your claim. At times you may be required to submit additional details or documents, and additional information on the procedure in question. And to top it all, the actual processing of the claim begins only after all the documents have been received in full. The time taken during the entire process can be stressful.” Dhiren could locate a spark of curiosity in Raman’s eyes, who had furrowed his brow and tilted his head as he listened. Dhiren recognized Raman’s signature ‘keen-to-know-more’ cue and went on.

“Raman my friend, the key to the most hassle-free cashless hospitalization experience is eCashless! It reduces wait-time for pre-authorization at the hospital by as much as 90%. You can request a provisional pre-authorization from a laptop or a mobile app, choose your preferred room type and get green channelled into your room on the date of admission. These go a long way in improving your experience at the time of hospitalization.”

“And Dhiren, how does this work?” Raman interrupted.  “Coming to that Raman, hold on!” said Dhiren, “All you need to do is log onto the MediBuddy portal or app and raise an eCashless request. Once Medi Assist receives this request, it is forwarded to the chosen hospital. Based on the recommended procedure, the hospital sends the details of the estimated cost of treatment. Once this is received, Medi Assist applies your policy terms and conditions in order to calculate the provisionally approved amount for your cashless treatment. “

“The best part is, you can view this information regarding cost of treatment in advance on MediBuddy. This gives you an idea about the amount you should arrange for the hospitalization and plan your resources accordingly.”

“Wow!” quipped Raman, “and what happens next Dhiren?” Dhiren was happy to see that his friend was impressed, and he went on, “On the day of admission, all you need to do is take the person to the hospital along with an E-card and photo ID and within a few minutes, you get green-channelled into your allotted room.”

Raman, who just a moment ago had excitement written all over his face, suddenly looked sullen. “Oh Dhiren, I think I missed the bus!” “Never mind”, Dhiren said mischievously and winked, “You can use your new-found knowledge when you come to distribute sweets the next time around!” And they guffawed with laughter as the tea spilled from their cups.

Fast-track your Reimbursement Claim

When it comes to reimbursement claims, an endless wait-time for settlement almost comes as a given!  Several challenges may be involved in the processing of claims, which often require additional details and documents on the treatment in question. Multiple back and forth with couriers can add to the hassle and to top it all, the actual processing of the claim can initiate only once all the documents related to the claim have been received in full. Hence, the time taken during the entire process can sometimes disgruntle patients and their families.

But with Medi Assist, all such hassles can instantly be laid to rest!

All you need to do is intimate us of your upcoming claim online before the hospital discharge and upload your documents online on discharge. An advance notification of a reimbursement claim helps us to be ready, and uploading your documents online helps us start working towards your claim processing immediately.

Just follow the steps below:

  • Notify us in advance of your upcoming claim. Go to your MediBuddy portal or app and click the ‘Reimbursement’ tile. Fill in the details and click ‘Intimate’.
  • Fill up the necessary details.
  • For uploading your documents, simply take a picture of them and upload onto the portal.
  • Once you have uploaded your documents online, we will check if we have received all that we need in order to initiate processing of your claim. We will intimate you in case of any missing/additional documents are required, so that you can upload them before you courier us all the documents. This will help you eliminate sending couriers multiple times and stop worrying about unnecessary delays.
  • Medi Assist begins the process of settling your claims once you upload the scanned copies of documents on MediBuddy. However, do not forget to send us the hard copy of all your bills and documents you have uploaded within 15 days from the date of discharge, as claims can be settled only upon receipt and validation of the hard copies.

So, get set to experience super-fast claim reimbursement processing!

Buraa na Maano, Holi Hai!

Holi pic

Holi, the festival of colours, brings back so many fond memories of our childhood. Remember how our mothers would warn us about safeguarding our eyes? And staying away from those troublesome boys who would smear everyone with those oh-so-difficult-to-remove silver and gold colours?

The kids would have heated debates on which colour should be added into the bucket first, which one for friends, and which ones for the rivals… Teenagers who would stay holed up inside their rooms lest the colours play havoc with their already troubled skin and hair.

And dads couldn’t wait for the kids to first have their share of fun in the early hours before the free flow of special sweets and savouries would begin followed by a hearty family lunch.

In all, every fond memory of holi revolves around two elements – choice and health care. Buraa na maano, but we’d like to tell you how you can make your holi even more enjoyable with your health buddy, MediBuddy. Short of helping you get organic colours, which we strongly recommend that you use, and your mom’s magical recipes, you will find everything else you need on MediBuddy.

Care for your eyes, skin and hair? You will find a specialist doctor who can help you with specific answers that you may seek.

Have a question on managing your medication while you give in to the temptation of the food and sweets around you? Opt for an online consultation with a doctor for some quick tips.

Want a more comprehensive assessment of your health? Choose from a range of health screening packages offered by some of the leading hospitals and medical centres in your city.

And, why lose a minute during your family get together? Opt for doorstep delivery of medicines for the entire family.

Do remember to check out the Offers page on MediBuddy Infiniti to browse through the special discounts available to you.

Happy Holi, all! May you always be in the Pink of health!

2016 – A Rewarding Year!

MediBuddy_corporate-logo2016 has been a great year for MediBuddy, our technology platform that binds the entire health benefits ecosystem together. We received encouraging reviews from our members and recognition from various quarters of the industry, including the following:

  • CIO 100 Information Mastermind award
  • SKOCH Silver Award for Cloud, Mobility and Apps
  • SKOCH Order of Merit Award for Innovation
  • CIO Review India Top 20 most promising medical technology solution providers

2016 was also an important year in the evolution of MediBuddy. From being the most reliable claim management self-help tool, MediBuddy has morphed into a comprehensive one-stop health benefits management platform that gives our members access to inpatient, outpatient, wellness, fitness and preventive care services offered by our curated network of healthcare providers.

We cannot thank you enough for your support and encouragement at every step of the way. As a small token of goodwill, here is an exclusive offer for you.

Sign up on infiniti.medibuddy.in, choose from our wide range of outpatient services such as doctor consults, medicines, health checks, etc.,
Use offer code WELCOME10 to avail additional discounts on select services.

And do let us know how your experience was. Your feedback will go a long way in helping us give our members the best that they deserve.

 

Benefit from Cost Reduction in Stents: Move away from Open Billing towards Package Pricing

CIO PR

In the light of recent notification by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on the reduction of cost of cardiac stents,here is an article on how Medi Assist members can benefit from this notification. The article also touches upon how Medi Assist members can insulate themselves from potential variation in cost of procedure by opting for our exclusive re-priced packages.

Scroll down to read the complete article, or click here.

This Valentine’s Day brought unexpected happiness to millions of Indian hearts. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) announced their far-reaching notification that capped the prices of drug eluting stents at INR 29,600/- and that of bare metal stents at INR 7,260/-, resulting in a reduction of cost of stents by as much as 85 percent. This heralds an important step towards making healthcare truly affordable for the millions of angioplasty patients, who have borne witness to as much as 1,000 percent increase in the cost of stents from production till it reaches them.

But just as patients in need of an angioplasty were beginning to cheer the welcome move, there were news of how some hospitals were trying to balance the drastic reduction in pricing of thePTCA (Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty) procedure by increasing other charges involved in the surgery. This would effectively mean that the benefit of cost reduction in stents would be cancelled out by the increase in other components of the open bill for the procedure, and that the cost benefit of the notification would not reach the patient.

This underlines the power of the packaged pricing structure contracted by third party administrators (TPAs) on behalf of their insurer partners. Unlike an open bill, a package price for PTCA defines a fixed price encompassing all medical expenses related to the procedure, except the cost of stents. So unlike in the case of open billing, where the cost of certain line items in the bill can potentially be changed on case to case basis, package pricing insulates the patient from any such circumstantial vagaries. The benefit of reduction in cost of stents would be passed on to the patient in full and translate into significant reduction in the overall cost of treatment. This would go a long way in reducing the financial impact of hospitalization on the family and also helps safeguard their sum insured for future medical requirements.

Medi Assist, for example, currently has negotiated packages for 120 common procedures contracted with over 3400network hospitals. Among these, 62 percent of the network hospitals that offer PTCA are covered by packages. Members planning a PTCA at any of these network hospitals, can further benefit by opting for an eCashless hospitalization using their MediBuddy app. This allows them to get a clear estimate of the cost of treatment and also obtain a provisional preauthorization for cashless hospitalization, from the comfort of their home. On the date of admission, the member is assured of green channel walk-in and the reassurance of benefitting from optimal pricing on account of choosing a package pricing contracted exclusively to safeguard their interests.

How MediBuddy turned Rajni into a Celebrity!

MediBuddy_corporate-logo

Rajni had been noticing that her boss, Jagdish, had seemed preoccupied the past couple of weeks. He was missing important deadlines, and was generally keeping aloof. Not one to meddle in others’ business, Rajni kept out of his way but the sudden change in her boss’s demeanor concerned her.

As Jagdish approached her cubicle that day to enquire on a pending task, she mustered courage and asked him if everything was alright.  He laughed off her concern, and then eventually opened up.

Jagdish’s father was an artist, whose rapidly failing eyesight had ultimately led to the diagnosis of a cataract. It pained Jagdish to watch his father struggle with his canvas and easel every day, and he wished he could convince him somehow for the surgery. But his father, keeping into perspective Jagdish’s busy life, didn’t want to burden him with the complexities around his surgery. Helplessness was slowly beginning to set in, and Jagdish didn’t know whom to turn to.

Rajni was fast to react, and let loose a flurry of common knowledge, which, as it turned out, was not so common after all. “Sir, with all due respect, are you aware of MediBuddy?” She saw the hesitation on Jagdish’s face, and didn’t want to put him in a spot. So she went on.

MediBuddy is a self-help online platform that lets you be totally in control of all your healthcare needs. We can use MediBuddy to manage our health insurance and wellness benefits from wherever we are, on-the-go! In your father’s case Sir, you can opt for eCashless, where you can make his cataract surgery completely cashless and get a provisional preauthorization even before you step into the hospital! You can locate network hospitals, track claims in real-time, apply for reimbursements online, view your e-card, access electronic medical records 24×7, order medicines and….whew! That’s just the tip of the iceberg!  So, you can easily assure your father, that all you need to do is make a couple of clicks, and his hospitalization will be taken care of! Sir, I’d suggest you download the MediBuddy app and try out these awesome features right away!” She finally breathed.

There was pin-drop silence. She looked around. All eyes were on her. She began to say something, but her words drowned in applause! Jagdish looked like he had received the highest form of enlightenment, and clearly, Rajni, in his eyes, was the hero who had saved the day.

An eager colleague pointed his pen and mock-interviewed her, “Anything you’d like to say on your new-found celeb-status?”– “Well”, said Rajni, “MediBuddy is the real star, not I!”

If you can relate to the story, or know someone who can identify with it, share now!

The Heart of the Matter

stent-mailer-for-stakeholders

In our previous blog, we shared the announcement made by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on the reduction of stent prices by up to 85%, reducing the financial impact of hospitalization on the families of patients undergoing an angioplasty surgery. Here is a follow up

Recent news articles seem to suggest that hospitals and medical centres are balancing the financial impact of the cost reduction in stents by increasing other charges that are usually involved in an angioplasty surgery. This practice could potentially render the new ruling ineffective, and would not allow the overall benefit of the price reduction to reach the patients.

Medi Assist members, however, would remain insulated from such situations on account of the exclusive package tariffs contracted by us with our network hospitals. These ailment-specific packages are available at negotiated rates, and when a member chooses a package, the hospitals cannot charge more than the agreed package pricing. Not only does this ensure a hassle-free cashless hospitalization for our member, but also helps them safeguard their sum insured. Corporate decision makers and insurers also benefit from the overall reduction in cost of hospitalization.

Medi Assist currently has negotiated packages for 120 common procedures, which can be availed at 3400+ network hospitals. Importantly, 62% of our network hospitals that offer PTCA (Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty), are covered by our exclusive packages.

So opt for packaged tariffs, protect your sum insured, and be worry-free with Medi Assist!

Read the detailed note on the NPPA notification in our previous blog here.

Valentine’s Day made Special for the Heart

Now here’s an unexpected Valentine’s Day gift for angioplasty patients. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has, with immediate effect from 14 February 2017, capped the prices of drug eluting stent at INR 29,600/- and that of bare metal stents at INR 7,260/- — slashing costs by as much as 85 percent. All stent manufacturers and importers would now have to price their products below the notified ceiling price.

This is a welcome move that would go a long way in making healthcare truly affordable for the millions of heart patients in the country. Even as the incidences of heart diseases continue to increase at an alarming rate, the data shared by the NPPA notes an exponential jump in prices of stents by as much as 1,000 percent from production till the time it reaches patients.

Heart patients in need of an angioplasty would now have to spend considerably lesser on their treatment, significantly reducing the financial impact of hospitalization on their family.

What does this mean for you, dear Medi Assist member?

If you / your family member has only recently undergone an angioplasty, do make it a point to check your bill and reconfirm the amount billed against the stent. You could expect some temporary glitches in the billing – this is after all a significant change that has been made effective immediately without much prior notice.

If you are planning an angioplasty in the coming days / weeks, consider opting for an eCashless hospitalization using your MediBuddy app. This will allow you to identify the estimated cost of treatment under the new notification and as per your policy terms and conditions, without having to step out of your home or make multiple calls to the hospital. Not to mention the sheer comfort of a green channel walk-in on the date of admission.

For those of you who have just undergone the treatment just before the announcement of the slashed rates, do take heart. As you plan your post-hospitalization check-ups, medicines, etc., do make sure to avail the exclusive discounts available to Medi Assist members on services booked on MediBuddy Infiniti. Use offer code WELCOME10 for exclusive additional discounts on select services such as health check packages. After all nothing means more to us than your speedy recovery and happy heart.

Happy Valentine’s Week to all!

Get visibility into your hospitalization expenses, with eCashless!

All of us leCashless gives visibility into out-of-pocket hospitalization expensesove surprises, but not when they come wrapped in hospital bills!

When you have planned to utilize your insurance policy to make your hospitalization cashless, there are often times when you are faced with ‘additional expenses’ that you have to pay out of your pocket. Since most of us may not be fully informed of the minute details that make up our insurance policy, there is a chance that we expect a particular cost to be covered by the policy, when in fact it is not.

eCashless bails you out of such painful and ‘unpredictable’ situations when we are caught unawares and are therefore not in a position to bear the costs for non-admissible expenses during hospitalization.  It gives you visibility into the estimated cost of treatment ahead of hospitalization, which means that you can plan your out-of-pocket expenses in advance.

An eCashless request needs to be raised at least 48 hours in advance from the time of hospitalization, and can be availed via the MediBuddy portal and app, from the comfort of your home! Through eCashless, you get a provisional preauthorization based on your insurance policy. You are therefore able to get the estimated cost of treatment based on the coverage as mentioned in your policy, even before you step into the hospital.

eCashless, in essence, enables patient choice, better cost of care, green channel admission, real-time visibility and optimal use of health benefits.

So, don’t remain in the dark regarding your out-of-pocket expenses resulting from your cashless hospitalization. Opt for visibility, choose eCashless on MediBuddy !

How Managed Care helps Optimize Medical Spend

Prashant Jhaveri, Chief BusManaged_Careiness Officer, Medi Assist  recently wrote an article for the Silicon India in which he discussed about the concept of Managed Care Organisation (MCO) and its importance in the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem. He also discussed about the various techniques deployed by MCOs to promote informed decision making and reduce overall cost of care for consumers.
Scroll down to read the complete article, or click here.

The concept of managed care, aimed at reducing cost of providing quality healthcare, is still in its nascent stage in India. A popular concept in the United States, the need for managed care organizations is perhaps far more acute among developing nations such as India. Medical inflation in India stands at 12-15 percent as against a global average of 6-7 percent. Despite the steep rise in cost of healthcare, the IRDA Annual Report 2014-2015 indicates that only two percent of the Indian population is covered by individual health insurance policies; and only another four percent are covered under group medical policies. In the absence of any medical cover, the average Indian family today grapples with high out-of-pocket expenses on account of healthcare.

A recent report by FICCI suggests that primary healthcare accounts for over 70 percent of all medical spend and that the per capita spend of urban households on outpatient care is approximately Rs. 4,250 per person, a typical urban family of four adults, therefore, spends an average of Rs. 17,000/- per month on doctor consults, medicines and diagnostic labs. Add to this the inherent lack of transparency within the healthcare ecosystem. While it is, for example, easy for one to compare myriad options, choose and book holidays, travel, stay and so on, consumers do not have such deep visibility into the options available to them when planning their medical spend. Managed Care Organizations (MCO), therefore, have a significant role to play in the Indian healthcare ecosystem. Not only do they bring all the stakeholders of the ecosystem together, they also work towards deploying techniques to promote informed decision making and reduce overall cost of care for consumers.

MCOs Negotiate Early

Managed care organizations partner with healthcare providers to obtain preferred tariffs and discounts for their members. While the preferred pricing helps increase visibility and footfalls for the provider, it helps reduce cost of care for the individual. MCOs also deploy various loss control measures to ensure that, in the event of a hospitalization, members are provided most optimal care at the most optimal price point at their chosen network medical centre.

MCOs Tech-enable early

Managed care organizations, which collaborate with all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, are best placed to invest in technology for transformation. Technology allows all stakeholders to come onto a common platform to improve speed of access and quality of delivery. Our technology platform, MediBuddy, for example, allows hospitals to provide seamless cashless access to in-patient and outpatient services to their patients; it gives insurers and corporate decision makers deep visibility into the performance of their health benefits portfolio; and importantly, it gives every individual member the power to compare, choose, and schedule healthcare services using just their mobile phone from the comfort of their home. The predictive analytics capabilities help decision makers spot trends and take informed product and service delivery decisions for the future.

MCOs Help Plan Early

Planning is the key to optimal decision making. For example, a planned maternity can help the family ensure greater comfort for the mom-to-be and also help the young couple reduce their out of pocket spend by optimally utilizing their health benefits. Similarly, a managed care organization can help senior members planning an elective surgery to opt for cashless hospitalization at a preferred network, at a discounted preferred pricing. Innovations such as e-Cashless allow members to choose their preferred network medical center and obtain a provisional preauthorization using a mobile app for a cashless hospitalization. E-Cashless also gives the family full visibility into the expected cost of treatment, amount covered under their policy and the corresponding out of pocket spend, if any.

MCOs Intervene Early

Fraud and abuse control is critical to the success of any health benefits program. Managed care organizations play a significant role in ensuring that the benefits are availed by genuine beneficiaries and as per the terms and conditions defined by the benefits policy. New-gen MCOs use a combination of technology and professional expertise for risk detection and mitigation. MCOs have been credited with generating significant savings for the industry on account of their diligent interventions. Managed care organizations are poised to play a crucial role in these transformative years of the Indian healthcare industry. With deep understanding of the often divergent needs of all stakeholders in the industry, technology leadership and an optimistic vision for the future, MCOs are here to bring about disruptive change in how we think about healthcare spend.

Budget should enhance limits available under Section 80D

Prashant Jhaveri, ChieUnion Budgetf Business Officer, Medi Assist, shared his thoughts on the various reforms to be considered with regard to the Health Benefits industry in the upcoming 2017-’18 budget.

Scroll down to read the complete article, or click here.

The Union Budget will be a crucial one in the light of reform initiatives undertaken by the present Government. It is expected that there will be a slew of changes on the taxation front and policies for financial services sector. When it comes to health insurance sector, the Budget should take into consideration the below reforms.
a) With rising insurance costs, the budget should actively look at enhancing the limits available under Section 80D for deduction of Insurance Premium.b) Online healthcare aggregators do not get benefit of the provisions of “aggregator” under service tax Act as healthcare is an exempt service. For new innovative business models to thrive it will be important to take a consistent view on applicability of service tax.c) More clarity should be provided on applicability of service tax on auxiliary healthcare services rendered by service providers. While healthcare services are exempt from service tax, if the same services are rendered by a non-clinical establishments, it is subject to service tax. This presents a disparity in levy of service tax on essential services like healthcare diagnostics and preventive healthcare.

This Year, Appoint MediBuddy as your Personal Manager for Health Benefits

MediBuddy_corporate-logoIt’s a brand new year…are you still using the old, tedious methods to manage your health insurance benefits? Thousands of people across the country are enjoying the comfort and convenience of MediBuddy; it is time YOU switched too!

The MediBuddy platform, which is available both as a portal and an app, is a powerful self-help tool that not only helps you manage your health insurance benefits, but also helps you reduce the overall cost of healthcare for yourself and your family. It gives you access to a host of benefits related to your health insurance and wellness.

With MediBuddy, you can:

  • Explore details of your Policy
  • Enroll yourself and your beneficiaries under your policy
  • Plan your hospitalization and obtain a provisional preauthorization even before the date of hospitalization through eCashless
  • Raise and manage claims online in a hassle-free way
  • Track your claims in real time
  • Locate network hospitals through a GPS based search
  • View and download e-cards on-the-go
  • Order medicines to your doorstep, and do much more…

Still thinking? Why not give MediBuddy a try and explore for yourself!

Sign up on me.MediBuddy.in to activate your account or visit www.medibuddy.in. You can also give a missed call on 1800 3010 1696 and we’ll send the download link to your phone.

Download the MediBuddy app today by clicking these links.

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Welcome to The New and Improved MediBuddy+ v3.3

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As our health service provider partners, you have been using the MediBuddy+ portal for hassle-free claims management processes. We have some good news for you! We have made your MediBuddy+ portal even better!

The MediBuddy+ v3.3 has the following notable features:

Finance Reconciliation

One of the pain points for you has been offline reconciliation. The claims reconciliation cycle is now completely online, and you can accept/dispute issues in real time.

Documents Tracking

No more issues of lost documents! If you have submitted the original claims documents to Medi Assist, you can update the tracking number/acknowledgement number online.

Pre-authorization Cancellation

You can now cancel a pre-authorized claim if the patient for whom the claim has been raised is not hospitalized.

Enhanced Dashboard

View and download claims details in real time.

Enhanced Profile page

You are in for a much better experience and a faster, more responsive online portal. You can also preview your profile page and view the profile completion status.

So, log onto your enhanced MediBuddy+ portal today to explore and enjoy a superior experience.

Yet to configure your MediBuddy+ profile? Make a start this New Year! Hop on board now on plus.medibuddy.in!

Now Access All Your Agent Portal Features on MediBuddy App

MediBuddy app

As a health insurance agent, you are an important partner to us who ensures that the Medi Assist advantage reaches our retail customers. We had created the MediBuddy agent portal exclusively for you to make your life simpler and empower you with all the information you need to serve your customers better.

We just made the features of the portal more accessible to you, through the MediBuddy app! Some of them include:

• The ability to create your own preferred login to access the portal
• Visibility into your customers and their policies. You can also know when their policies are due for renewal.
• Ability to obtain real-time status of your customers’ claims
E-card downloads for your customers anytime and from anywhere
• Map-based search to locate a preferred network hospital or ability to filter network hospitals by insurers
• Better data management of Medi Assist and non-Medi Assist customers.

All you need to do is download the MediBuddy app and sign in with your login credentials.

So, take advantage of the improved accessibility! And take control of your customers’ health benefits anytime and from anywhere.

Go Hassle-free This New Year with eCashless

ecashlessWith the New Year here, most of us already have new health-related goals. Achieving these goals require a few lifestyle changes. It requires that we shed a few old habits and pick up a few new and positive ones. Why not begin with changing the way you plan your hospitalization?

Planning inpatient admission has gone through a sea of change over the years. People are gradually moving away from reimbursements towards cashless services in most cases of hospitalization due to the convenience the latter offers. With cashless hospitalization, people can conveniently avail inpatient services at network hospitals with minimum out-of-pocket expenses, which translates to significant savings.

This year, go one step further. Choose convenience over concern for booking your cashless admission. Choose eCashless from Medi Assist. The eCashless service available on the MediBuddy app and portal has several advantages over the traditional cashless admission. You can:

  • Eliminate spending time standing in the queue at the insurance desk at the hospital on the day of admission to get an approval
  • Obtain a provisional preauthorization from the comfort of your home or office
  • Have visibility of the estimated cost of treatment beforehand, which means that you can plan your out-of-pocket costs in advance
  • Request your preferred type of room, and
  • Track the claim status anytime and from anywhere.

So, move ahead with the times. Begin the New Year with a new way of opting for your inpatient hospitalization. Choose eCashless!

Medi Assist Gives a Boost to Cashless Hospitalization Through eCashless

eCashless_InfographicCIO Review, one of the country’s leading technology magazines, recently covered the eCashless service from Medi Assist. The magazine talks about how the service available on the MediBuddy app helps our members plan their hospitalization and get a provisional preauthorization for their cashless hospital admission. Here is what CIO Review had to publish about eCashless:

“With eCashless, Medi Assist members are able to plan their hospitalization comfortably from home or office using their MediBuddy mobile app. Members raise a request for preauthorization for treatment at their preferred network hospital and also indicate their preferred room type. The network hospital receives this request from Medi Assist online, confirms availability of room and provides an estimate for the treatment. Based on the confirmation from the hospital, Medi Assist sends a passcode-protected provisional preauthorization letter to the hospital. Simultaneously, the member receives a secure passcode on the mobile app confirming the provisional approval”.

To read the complete article, click here.

Medi Assist Wins SKOCH Award 2016

SKOCHWe’re so excited! Medi Assist is proud to be the recipient of the prestigious SKOCH Award, the highest independent honour in India, in the following categories:

–          Silver Award for Cloud, Mobility and Apps

–          Order of Merit Award for Innovation

This has been made possible by MediBuddy, our revolutionary technology platform that allows Medi Assist members to avail seamless and cashless access to inpatient and outpatient services; and, importantly, your constant encouragement and support!

Making Affordable Healthcare A Reality in Tamil Nadu

TNCMCHIS award

Nothing can be more fulfilling for us, both an institution as well as individuals, than contributing towards nation-building. Medi Assist takes great pride in partnering with Central and State Governments to administer medical benefits under a range of welfare programs for the citizens of India.

The following blog series gives you a brief insight of our collaboration with various state governments to make the dream of affordable healthcare a reality.

As part of our endeavor to make healthcare more accessible and affordable in the country, Medi Assist feels proud to be a partner to the Government of Tamil Nadu in the administration of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (TNCMCHIS), a scheme launched by the late Honorable Chief Minister, J. Jayalalitha, that has given millions of families in the state the gift of timely, convenient and cashless medical care.

Our journey in a nutshell

We commenced administering the TNCMCHIS scheme in 2012 and have consistently elevated our performance and levels of engagement over the years. Our systematic approach, with strong local presence and connect, has helped us steadily increase our outreach to the scheme’s beneficiaries across the state. Here are some key highlights of our work with the Government of Tamil Nadu.

• We have touched over 170 lakh lives and have processed over 6 lakh claims till date. We have a maintained a track record of swift claim approvals. More than 80 per cent of all preauthorization requests are approved within 6 hours and 65 per cent of all claims are settled within 3 days from the date of receipt.
• Timely preventive care goes a long way in attempting to reduce the cost of medical care. In a bid to optimize the cost of care, we have assisted the state government in conducting over 970 health camps, 780 special health camps and over 440 mega health camps all across the state.
• The floods in Chennai caused unprecedented havoc. Medi Assist played an active role in the rehabilitation of the affected families by conducting over 2,060 special flood health camps. We screened 1.11 lakh people and referred several thousands of them for further treatment.
• Our efforts have been recognized and commended. Medi Assist was conferred the prestigious “Best Practicesaward by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 2014 for the implementation of the scheme. We have also received over 25 other awards and appreciation certificates from various stakeholders.

Here are a few highlights of our journey together:

Target population: Families with annual income of less than Rs. 72,000
Sum Insured (Rs): Rs. 1 lakh/family/annum
Districts allocated: 10
Families covered: 50 lakh
Lives covered: 170 lakhs

The Tamil Nadu government is one of the governments we are pleased to work with. Stay tuned to read more about our association with other state governments in our upcoming blogs.

Affected by Demonetization? Opt for Cashless Medical Care with Medi Assist

ecashless-medibuddy-2The eCashless service from Medi Assist was recently covered by Business World. The article discussed how in times of demonetization, Medi Assist members can still avail all services covered under their health benefits policy in a cashless format. Here is an excerpt from the article.

“Medi Assist, a managed care organization, is helping millions of Indians ease the burden of managing medical expenses by making them cashless. The recent demonetization of high value notes, and the ongoing currency crunch in urban and rural areas alike, has left many Indian families worried about their immediate and imminent medical spend.

Medi Assist is making it possible for members to conveniently schedule their preferred medical service online using their MediBuddy mobile app and, importantly, availing all services covered under their health benefits policy in a cashless format”.

Click here to read the complete article.

Opt for a Speedy Reimbursement with Medi Assist

You are just about to be discharged from a recent hospitalization at a non-network hospital and you now plan to raise a reimbursement claim for your hospital expenses.

However, claiming a medical reimbursement for hospitalization may not be a straightforward task as there may be challenges involved in processing your claims. For example, there may be times when you may be required to submit additional documents and additional information on the treatment, which means sending multiple couriers. Moreover, the claim processing begins only after all your documents have been received in full, hence taking a longer duration to process your claims.

How would it be if you could enjoy a faster settlement of your reimbursement claim? Would it reduce your worries? Medi Assist can help you in doing this. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps.

1. Notify us in advance of your upcoming claim. This will help us be ready for your incoming claim.

2. Upload your documents online. We will check if we have received all the required documents and intimate you in case of any missing/additional documents that may be required so that you can upload them and avoid sending couriers multiple times. Medi Assist will also begin the process of settling your claims as soon as you upload all the documents on MediBuddy.

3. Send us the hard copy of all your bills and documents within 15 days from the date of discharge, as claims can be settled only upon receipt and validation of the hard copies.

So, fast-track your claim reimbursement process today! Watch the above video to know more.

ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ! Your Medi Assist Website Is Now Available in Kannada

Kannada websiteAs stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem of a diverse and multilingual country as India, we at Medi Assist understand the importance of communication and believe in reaching out to the masses. More often than not, communicating in one’s mother tongue is what proves to be the ice-breaker and helps one connect with people. Keeping this in perspective, we already have a multi-lingual website.

Medi Assist is now proud to announce that we have added yet another popular language to our list. Our website is now available in Kannada. The Kannada website was launched by Dr. S. Chiranjeevi Reddy, Dy. General Manager, The New India Assurance Co. Ltd in Bangalore.

You can now explore the Kannada website by clicking the following link:

https://www.mediassistindia.com/kannada/

MediBuddy App: Your World of Healthcare in Your Pocket

MediBuddy appAs a Medi Assist member, you already enjoy a host of benefits related to your health insurance and wellness on the MediBuddy portal – access to a wide range of network hospitals, hassle-free cashless hospitalization, seamless claims reimbursement submissions, online health records, an option to order medicines, access to comprehensive health check packages, and more.

How would it be if you were able to carry all these features in your pocket? The MediBuddy app helps you do exactly that.

The MediBuddy mobile app is a powerful self-help tool, which helps you access a wide range of information in real-time on your smartphone, making it your true health buddy in times of planned or emergency hospitalization. The app, available for Android, iOS and Windows smartphone, allows you to access the following:

  • Policy coverage and benefits, contact information, e-cards and so on.
  • Cashless claim procedures, network hospitals, claim status and so on before/during hospitalization.
  • Reimbursement claims procedure, claim status, feedback and more after hospitalization.

So, pocket your health buddy! And manage your healthcare benefits on the go!

Ordering Medicines Made Simple with MediBuddy

Falling sick or encountering a medical condition which requires treatment is a regular part of life. And with treatment comes prescription medicines which you tend to buy from a nearby medical store. But there may be a possibility that the medical store may have run out of the drugs. There is also no guarantee that the store may have an alternative medicine or the substitute may have the required composition prescribed to you. Moreover, why even go to a medical store when you can purchase medicines from the comfort of your chair?

Now order your prescription medicines from Medi Assist and get them delivered to your preferred location in a simpler and faster way. Watch the above video to know how.

The Medi Assist advantage

Buying medicines from Medi Assist has several advantages.

  • Assured availability of prescription drugs
  • Genuineness of medicines
  • Attractive discounts on MRP of medicines
  • Multiple payment options including cash on delivery or cashless if the prescription is covered under your insurance policy

So, order your medicines on MediBuddy and save your precious time and money.

Medi Assist Forays Into Outpatient Healthcare Delivery With MediBuddy Infiniti

MediBuddy Infiniti_PRIn an interaction with the media persons in Bangalore, Prashant Jhaveri, Chief Business Officer and Satish Gidugu, COO, Medi Assist spoke about the new offering from the organization, MediBuddy Infiniti. This is what Satish had to share:

“What differentiates MediBuddy Infiniti in the market is our curated network of hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centres. On Infiniti, you will find services offered by partner providers and specialist doctors that Medi Assist members have historically preferred and trusted for their medical needs. Our focus is on showcasing trusted providers rather than merely maximizing the number of listings.”

Scroll down to read the complete article or click here.

 

The Medi Assist Group, a managed healthcare organization, has launched MediBuddy Infiniti, the country’s first truly integrated online platform for discover, scheduling and management of curated  outpatient services. Infiniti brings together the might of 10,000+ trusted hospitals, diagnostics centres, medical clinics and authorized pharmacy partners in the Medi Assist Network to provide one-stop online platform for personalized outpatient services.

Medi Assist has delivered over 3 lakh health checks, 3 lakh+ outpatient consults and outpatient benefits of over INR 150 crores in the last fiscal.

Addressing media persons in Bangalore, Prashant Jhaveri, Chief Business Officer, Medi Assist said, “Seamless access to quality healthcare through the illness-to-wellness continuum at affordable prices is the need of the hour. We aim to leverage technology, partnerships and the magic of the human touch to deliver informed healthcare decisions to our members.”

Outpatient care is a recurring, and expensive, need for every family. A recent report by FICCI released in December 2015 suggests that primary healthcare accounts for over 70% of all medical spend and pegs the market at around INR 135,000 crores. The per capita spend of urban households on outpatient care is approximately INR 4,250 per person – a typical urban family of four adults, therefore, spends an average of INR 17,000/- per month on doctor consults, medicines and diagnostic labs.

With Infiniti, Medi Assist members will be able to discover, compare and schedule outpatient services of their choice, with a specialist doctor at their preferred network provider, at preferential pricing, on one comprehensive online platform.

Speaking about the latest offering, Satish Gidugu, COO, Medi Assist, said, “What differentiates MediBuddy Infiniti in the market is our curated network of hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centres. On Infiniti, you will find services offered by partner providers and specialist doctors that Medi Assist members have historically preferred and trusted for their medical needs. Our focus is on showcasing trusted providers rather than merely maximizing the number of listings.”

On MediBuddy Infiniti, Medi Assist members will find an exhaustive listing of OPD services including preventive care packages, health checks for chronic condition management, doctor consults and second opinion services, home healthcare, doorstep pharmacy, and other unique services such as genome mapping and instant doctor connect. Currently covering over 45 cities, Infiniti will grow both in depth of catalogue as well as reach across the country in the months to come.

Medi Assist’ inherent strength is its ability to help members reduce overall spend and convert their transactions into a cashless format. For example, over 50% of all inpatient claims administered are availed by their members in the cashless format.

Satish further added that, “Having worked relentlessly with our partners to simplify access and delivery of inpatient care in a cashless format, it is now time to move outpatient benefits into the cashless realm in a much bigger way. While the discounts offered by our partner providers reduce cost of care, these services can become completely cashless if the OPD expenses are covered under a health insurance policy or a sponsored corporate wellness program administered by Medi Assist.”

MediBuddy Gets Featured On Times of India

The Times of  IndiaPage  No 18 18 Oct 2016ChennaiMedi Assist’s tech-based self-help tool, MediBuddy, has gained significant recognition in recent times. The Times of India, after a recent interview with Prashant Jhaveri, Head Products and Strategy, Medi Assist, ran an article today on health tech startups in which MediBuddy has a significant mention. You can read the complete article here.

 

 

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MediBuddy Infiniti Is Now Live!

MB_InfinitiMediBuddy∞, India’s first Curated Cashless Network for Outpatient Services is now live! You can now select and book your outpatient services such as health check packages and doctor consultations from a range of trusted health service providers brought together on one comprehensive platform. You can also order medicines that will be delivered to your doorstep by our authorized partners. And all you need to explore this network is your MediBuddy account.

So, discover a superior way of managing your outpatient services.

Discover MediBuddy Infiniti today!

Know Your Claim Status, Anytime and Anywhere

Inpatient hospitalization is the time when you are likely to opt for a cashless or reimbursement claim. In either case, tracking your claim becomes extremely important. For example, knowing whether your cashless request has been approved helps you in being prepared for your out-of-pocket expenses.

However, tracking claims in traditional ways can be time-consuming as you may spend significant time and effort calling up your contact centre or TPA trying to know the status of your claim. You may also end up anxiously awaiting a notification without having a clue about your claim status.

Why depend on them when there is a simpler, smarter and efficient way of tracking your claim? With the MediBuddy app, you can know the status of your claim in real-time. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps:

  • Download the MediBuddy app.
  • Click the ‘Claims’ tile.
  • Search for your claim number and click ‘details’ adjacent to the claim number to view the claim status.
  • You can alternately use your mobile browser to log into the MediBuddy portal and track your claim.

So, start tracking your claims the smarter way with MediBuddy. Watch this video to know more.

Medi Assist receives Leadership Award

Rajasthan-awardMedi Assist received the Leadership Award at the Healthcare Summit held at Jaipur on 23d September 2016. The prestigious award was presented by Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste, Govt.of Rajasthan and was received by Prashant Jhaveri, Head Products and Strategy, Medi Assist.

Tech and Touch Redefine the Future of Healthcare

IIFL-PostIn a recent interview with IIFL, Prashant Jhaveri, Head Products and Strategy, Medi Assist, spoke about how the future of healthcare is being redefined with the use of technology and the role of Medi Assist in making this possible. Here is an excerpt on what he had to share.

“Our award-winning technology platform, MediBuddy, provides a range of tools that empower every stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem. The MediBuddy portal and mobile app help members access and manage their healthcare needs online, in real-time and on the go.

Hospitals use our MediBuddy+ portal to manage all cashless claims, from origination to settlement, online and in real-time. MediBuddy+ also allows medical centres to manage the booking and scheduling of wellness services, such as health checks, online.

The MIS reporting and analytics capabilities of MediBuddy allow decision makers to make informed choices and effectively manage their healthcare portfolio.”

To read the complete interview, click here.

Medi Assist E-card: Your Online Identity Card

Getting hospitalized? Or any of your dependents getting admitted to the hospital? Then carrying a Medi Assist e-card is absolutely mandatory. It identifies that you and your dependents are insured under a health insurance policy and Medi Assist has been assigned as your third party administrator (TPA).

But carrying a physical card has its limitations. A physical card identifies only one person in the family. Also, the family member getting admitted to the hospital may forget to carry the physical card with them during the time of admission. Moreover, why even carry a physical card with you when you can carry an e-card?

Your Medi Assist e-card allows you to carry the details of all your policy’s beneficiaries on your smartphone. All you have to do is to show your e-card on the MediBuddy app when requested at the insurance desk at the time of admission. Watch the video to know how you can do this.

Maintaining Your Health Records Made Easy With MediBuddy

You know that maintaining your health records such as doctor’s prescriptions, health screen reports, scans and test reports, and hospital discharge summaries is extremely important for your future reference. So, you put all your records in a file and put it away in a safe place.

But there are several drawbacks associated with this. One drawback is that you need to be highly organized without which, you may misplace a record or file. This means, the next time you want to retrieve it, you may not be able to find it. Another problem is that physical records and files deteriorate over time. All these may prove costly in critical times. And then, there is the problem of carrying these bulky records with you every time you need to visit a doctor or a lab for a scan.

You can now say goodbye to these problems. MediBuddy, your health buddy, helps you maintain all your health records at one safe and secure place. Not only this, but you can access these records anytime, anywhere and never lose them again.

Here is how it works

• Go to your MediBuddy online portal, click on the ‘Records’ tile and sign into your account.

• Upload all the records onto the secured digital repository. In order to scan the documents, simply take a picture of them.

• Whenever you need to view or download any of these records, sign in or just enter your details to access them through the MediBuddy portal or app.

So, switch to a secure and efficient way of storing your health records and accessing them anytime, from anywhere. Watch the video know how simple storing and retrieving records is with

Say Hello to Better Data Management with Agent.MediBuddy

 

agent portal new featureAt Medi Assist, we constantly work towards enhancing the user experience for our customers and healthcare partners. Keeping this in mind, a few months ago, we gave you insurance agents a whole new transformed MediBuddy portal with improved features.

We have now gone one step further to make life easier for you. Till now, you have maintained the data of your customer policies handled by Medi Assist on the MediBuddy agent portal while maintaining data of non-Medi Assist customers on other data management platforms. We have now made it possible for you to maintain the details of all your customers and their policies on the agent portal. And this includes policies that are not administered by Medi Assist. This means that you no longer need to use multiple data management tools to maintain your customer data.

What’s more? You can also set reminders to stay updated about the upcoming policy renewals of your customers.

Our improved agent portal also enables you to:

  • Create your own preferred login to access your MediBuddy’s features.
  • Gain visibility into your customers and their policies
  • Get real-time status of your customers’ claims.
  • Instantly download e-cards for any of your customers anytime from anywhere, and
  • Use our map-based search to locate a preferred network hospital in your vicinity or filter network hospitals by insurers.

So, what are you waiting for? Log into your MediBuddy portal today and start maintaining all your customer records on one platform, specifically designed for you!

Medi Assist Wins CIO100 2016 Award

CIO100Medi Assist is the proud recipient of CIO100 award for the year 2016, often referred to as the ‘Oscar of the IT industry’ under the category ‘Information Mastermind’. This is recognition of MediBuddy as a revolutionary technology platform that revolutionizes the health insurance industry. The award was received by Himanshu Rastogi, CIO – Medi Assist.

Here is an excerpt from our project submission to CIO awards:

“MediBuddy is a revolutionary technology platform that transforms the health insurance industry at the very core. MediBuddy, with its diverse offerings for various stakeholders of the health benefits industry, makes the process of discovering, accessing, utilizing and monitoring health benefits seamless, real-time and virtually paperless. Here are some notable features of MediBuddy:

  1. Members can sign-up for MediBuddy with a username / password of their own choice. They can then access, raise, manage and track their claims in real-time using both the MediBuddy portal as well as the mobile app.
  2. Members can opt for eCashless on MediBuddy to obtain a provisional preauthorization from the comfort of their homes using their mobile app. Not only does eCashless eliminate all wait time and anxiety at the time of hospitalization, it also gives members full visibility into their cost of care and out-of-pocket expenses so members can plan all aspects of their hospitalization better.
  3. Particularly useful in the case of emergency hospitalization, members can use the GPS-enabled network hospital search to locate hospitals within their insurer network in their vicinity.
  4. Hospitals can use the MediBuddy platform to manage all cashless claims, from origination to settlement, online and in real-time. No more illegible faxes or emails; patients can now get their preauthorization much faster.
  5. With the ability to raise claims online and save all documents in digital format, MediBuddy makes the entire lifecycle of health benefits virtually paperless by saving all records on the cloud. Members can access records anytime, anywhere, and on-the-go – and forever.”

Medi Assist Gets Listed On CIO Review India

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Medi Assist Group has got listed on CIO Review India as one of the top ‘20 most promising medical technology solution providers 2016′ – an excellent validation of our technology platform, MediBuddy.

The September issue of the magazine carries a detailed article on how MediBuddy platform caters to our customers as well as various stakeholders. For example, the MediBuddy portal and app, our tech-based self-help tools help our customers avail cashless hospitalization, raise claims effortlessly and enjoy a host of other features designed exclusively to make healthcare actionable. The MediBuddy+ portal helps healthcare providers manage healthcare benefits from their end.

The article also talks about how Medi Assist plans to enable the MediBuddy platform to morph into a one-stop gateway for all healthcare needs of an individual.

Click the following link to read the complete article on Page 32 of the magazine

http://www.cioreviewindia.com/magazines/medical-technology-special-september-2016/

 

Namaskaram! Your Medi Assist Website Is Now Available in Malayalam

MediAssist Malayalam Website LaunchHealth benefits of an insurance policy are often a complex matter to comprehend, but it is something that everyone in the family should be aware of. It therefore, becomes imperative that everyone, including the senior members of the family, the rural sector and those benefiting from government schemes be approached in their own preferred language and native tongue. Keeping this in perspective, we already have a multi-lingual website. We are now proud to announce that we have added yet another popular language to our list.

Medi Assist is happy to announce the launch of our Malayalam website. The website was jointly launched by senior members of the insurance industry, Mr. John Philip, New India Assurance; Mr. K Jothinathan, Oriental Insurance; Mr. Abhijit Chattopadhyay, National Insurance; and Mr. V. Ramachandran, United India Insurance, alongside Dr. Vikram Chhatwal, CEO and Chairman, Medi Assist, in Kochi. The Malayalam version of the website can be explored by clicking the following link.

https://www.mediassistindia.com/malayalam/

Stay tuned, as we add more languages and say hello to you in one of your own!

Your Health Buddy Just Got A Make-over!

MB app playstoreYour very own MediBuddy app, that lets you manage your health benefits and wellness with ease, now has a new and upgraded version available on the Google Play Store! Apart from an enhanced look and feel, you will now enjoy a host of additional features such as:

  • Notifications on your phone – which keeps you informed of the status of your claims and other important information, even when you are not using the app or your device
  • Dynamic search for network hospitals on the map – which allows you to click anywhere on the map to locate a hospital
  • Use the app in offline mode – which lets you download and access your e-card, as well as the entire document repository
  • Take a picture directly from the app – to allow you to upload your prescriptions and other documents in an instant
  • Ability to change your password – to ensure safety of your account
  • Auto-upgrade for existing MediBuddy users – our promise of convenience holds true!

Navigate through the new and improved MediBuddy app today, and revel in the experience of an upgrade!

Don’t have the MediBuddy app yet? Download it today from the Google Play Store.

Stay tuned for more information on the exciting new features.

Blending Tech, Touch & Intelligence to Deliver on All Fronts of Healthcare

Prashant Jhaveri, Head, Products and Strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services recently wrote an article for the Business World magazine in which he discussed how TPAs are transforming from being just organizations that process  laims, into partners who help organizations solve for all realms of healthcare. He also discussed how organizations can choose a TPA partner who delivers on all fronts of healthcare– cost, excellence, insights and customer experience.

Scroll down to read the complete article, or click here.

“In many ways, Third Party Administrators (TPAs) are slowly stepping out from the shadows into a healthcare industry that is at the cusp of transformation.

Responsible for processing claims of the insured on behalf of the insurer, TPAs have for long ensured that stakeholders in the healthcare industry concentrate on their core competencies – insurers on underwriting risks and product innovation; medical care providers on enabling high quality of care; and corporate HR on elevating employee experience.

In recent years, TPAs have transformed into being much more than just an organization that manages claims; they are increasingly donning the role of a partner who helps organizations solve for all realms of healthcare and also makes health benefits actionable to their largely young and tech-savvy employee base.

If you are a corporate decision maker, choosing the right TPA can significantly impact the bouquet of services you offer to your people, the cost at which you make these available to them and also the employee experience you enable for them.

While cost has traditionally been the most important parameter applied to evaluate a TPA, in today’s day and age, your choice must be driven by many other aspects. Here is a contemporary guide to choosing a TPA partner who can help you deliver on all fronts – cost, excellence, customer experience and insights.

TECHNOLOGY

Choose a TPA who understands and leverages the power of technology. Adopting a technology-first approach to claims management can go a long way in maximizing productivity and minimizing inefficiencies. Your TPA should be capable of empowering your employees with self-help tools to independently access their e-cards and policy details, raise and track claims online, and access benefits on-the-go using their mobile phones.

Technology-oriented innovations like eCashlessTM can today give employees the ability to “book” a cashless hospitalization using a mobile app and reduce wait time at the hospital during admission by as much as 95 per cent.

The customer experience enabled during cashless hospitalization is a true litmus test for a TPA. TPAs who are able to leverage technology to simplify the process of choosing an ideal network hospital and also systematically reduce the time taken to process a preauthorization request would pass the litmus test with flying colours.

TOUCH

Choose a TPA who appreciates the fact that the magic of the human connect is irreplaceable. From enabling access to a predictable customer support and governance structure, to constantly engaging with your employees at various junctures of their healthcare lifecycle, TPAs must have the ability to truly touch every life they service.

At Medi Assist, we leverage two innovative consumer touch points at two opposite ends of the spectrum. With our CareRangers program, we check on the well-being of our members by their bedside at the hospital when the family in the throes of a medical emergency. On the other end of the spectrum is ChampCamp, our high-energy onsite event that has helped us create awareness about health benefits among more than 50,000 Gen Y professionals in less than one year.

OPERATIONS

Your TPA must demonstrate a deep understanding of their core operations – claims management – and also a willingness to constantly evolve with the rapidly changing world around them. Building robust systems that increase process accuracy and scalability, and adopting industry best practices such as paperless processing, digital receipt and storage of documents, real-time access, analytics, etc., can be significant differentiators for TPAs today.

Fraud and abuse control are a natural extension of strong operations. Your TPA must adopt the right blend of technology, to automatically flag suspicious activities, and people, whose timely intervention can safeguard the interests of all stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Couple these with the need to demonstrate full knowledge of regulatory norms, and compliance with statutory regulations and audit practices, and you have a TPA whom you can rely on to manage your health benefits conscientiously.

INTELLIGENCE

Partner with a TPA who empowers you to control and channelize your health spend effectively. TPAs have always been instrumental in reducing overall cost of care by enabling cashless hospitalization at preferred tariffs. TPAs are also entrusted with generation of MIS reports to evaluate adherence to SLAs.

Your TPA must go one step further to help you analyse your portfolio and give you actionable insights – top ailments where your benefits are being spent, demographical contribution, year-on-year movement of incurred claims ratio (ICR) and, importantly, predictive analysis that can help you design your benefits programs effectively in the coming years.

Clearly, the role of a TPA has morphed in recent years – and interestingly, this transformation is led by the growing needs of your growing organization and the demands of your savvy employees. Let’s welcome this paradigm shift and prepare for a future where employee delight hinges as much on experience as it does on cost and other traditional parameters – with a TPA and an insurer partner who share your vision and can match your pace of growth”.

Me.MediBuddy.in: The Freedom to Enjoy Seamless Access to Health Benefits

At Medi Assist, we believe that self-help is empowering; and the rapid adoption of MediBuddy, our self-help technology platform, is a testament to this fact. MediBuddy, available both as an online portal as well as a mobile app, is today actively used by several million users; and we continue to add over 50,000 new users to the platform each month. And this is just the beginning…

A few months earlier, through Me.MediBuddy, we launched the ability for our retail customers to sign up and activate their MediBuddy accounts on their own without any intervention from us. We now make this capability available to our corporate customers too. Me.MediBuddy now is a common point of access for all our customers, corporate or retail, irrespective of whether a MediBuddy account has been set up earlier or not. Here’s a brief on how Me.MediBuddy works:

 

  • If you are an employee of an organization whose group medical cover (GMC) policy is managed by Medi Assist, you can begin the activation of your MediBuddy account by entering your employee ID, company name and birth date.
    • MediBuddy identifies you based on your inputs, and if a username has already been allotted to you to access your exclusive corporate portal, prompts you to sign in with your pre-defined credentials.
    • In case you don’t remember your credentials, MediBuddy allows you to securely retrieve your username and also reset your password. You can, of course, reset your password only using your registered corporate email ID.
    • If a single sign-on facility has been activated for your organization, you will be automatically taken to your company’s single sign-on gateway and no password would be required.

 

  • On the other hand, if no predetermined username has been defined for access to your GMC, you can sign up for MediBuddy with your preferred username and password.

 

  • If you are a retail policy holder, you can identify yourself with your policy number and Medi Assist ID (MA ID) and then sign up with a username and password of your choice.

 

Once you have signed up, you can enjoy seamless access to a wide range of services online – policy terms, e-card, eCashless for planned hospitalization, online submission of reimbursement claims, real-time claims tracking, online repository of medical records, and a host of other services.

 

What more, you can then use the same credentials to log into the MediBuddy mobile app (available for Android, iOS and Windows) for access to health benefits on the go!

 

What better way to usher in the 70th Independence Day of our country than empowering our members with Freedom of choice and the ability to Independently manage their health benefits? So, go ahead. Click here to sign-up and activate your me.MediBuddy account today!

Leave No Room for Doubt… Ensure That Your Customers Choose You!

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In this tech-age, our members are increasingly choosing the most convenient way to plan their hospitalization; through our revolutionary eCashless service on the MediBuddy portal and app, where your customers are able to get a provisional pre-authorization even before stepping into your hospital. And on this platform, they get the flexibility to pick their network hospital based on their location, room type requirement and any other amenities that they feel are important to them.

Your hospital fits the requirements of your customers perfectly, and you may be just in their vicinity. But unless you showcase it to them, they would have no knowledge of the same.

Your endeavor must therefore be to present yourself on eCashless while your customer is making his choice. A sure shot manner, in which you can achieve this, is by completing your profile on MediBuddy+.

Simply update the following information:

Location

When a customer chooses an eCashless hospitalization, a GPS enabled search helps to identify their location and give search results corresponding to the nearest hospitals that fall within the insurer network. If you are within reach, you must update your location in order to be seen on their eCashless page.

Rooms section on MediBuddy+

Your customers will be able to choose a room at your hospital based on:

• The type of room and room rent

• The number of beds available per room, and

• The amenities available in the room.

By making all of the above information available upfront, you make it convenient for your customer to choose your hospital over others!

 

Update your MediBuddy+ profile page today!

Thrill Your Customers With All The Information They Seek!

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All customers are unique and have their own set of requirements for out-patient services such as medical tests, consultations, and health checks. When it comes to making a choice of a health check package or a specialist, customers grade their preferences on different parameters; such as the list of tests in a package, rates and prices, doctor’s credentials, slot availability and so on….

In the universe of choices available today to Medi Assist members, you have the advantage of having qualified doctors on panel and health check packages at discounted tariffs, and MediBuddy+ lets you showcase this advantage on MediBuddy Infiniti, which is where our members are searching for you.

MediBuddy Infiniti is your curated network for outpatient services, where your potential customers get all the information they seek on one single platform. To be chosen by them, you must feature on that page where they are looking for you on MediBuddy Infiniti, which gets updated only when you complete your profile on MediBuddy+.

Update the Health Checks Section:

Simply populate the Health Checks page with the following details:

• The type of health package available and its price

• The tests and consultations covered in the package, and

• Any necessary instructions that need to be followed

Update the Doctor’s Section:

Add the following details regarding your specialist doctors:

• Qualifications and experience of the doctor

• Area of core specialization

• Consultation fees

• Availability

Don’t Remain an Option For Your Potential Customers, Become Their Choice!

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Hospitalization is an important decision for your customers. Be it for themselves, or for their loved ones, they are riddled with apprehensions and queries. They begin their search with a range of parameters in mind so that they are able to zero in on the best hospital that caters to their needs.

Even if your hospital has all the amenities that a customer is looking for, how do you make sure that you figure on their list? This is where your profile page on MediBuddy+ can help you!

With a completed profile page, you are able to provide your customers with all the information they are looking for at that critical moment when they are making a choice so that they choose you over others.

Also, more and more Medi Assist members are choosing eCashless for the convenience and simplicity which they experience when opting for a planned hospitalization. For your hospital to be chosen by such customers, you must feature on that page where they are searching for you, which gets updated only when you update your profile on MediBuddy+.

A detailed profile page can help you showcase, everything that a potential customer would want to know before they make their final choice.

• Showcase the health packages available to your customers along with package prices

• Update your doctors’ profiles

• Showcase the facilities and amenities available at your hospital

• Upload photos of your room types available to your customers

• Update your location, so that customers can find you easily through a quick network hospital search

Don’t lose out on the chance to turn up at the top of your customer’s list.

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Your Profile gives You the Power to be Discovered

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Now that you are familiar with the versatility of MediBuddy+, the next step is to leverage the unique features of MediBuddy+ to increase your discoverability among potential customers.

The profile that you create on MediBuddy+ is almost like a ‘feeder’ to the platform where 14 million Medi Assist members and your potential customers are converging for their in-patient and out-patient medical needs. It therefore, becomes essential for you to be present on that platform to showcase all your services during that critical moment when the customers are making their choice; and choose you over others.

Medi Assist members prefer to use eCashless on their MediBuddy mobile app to plan their hospitalization from the comfort of their homes – based on the room type, amenities, and pictures that you upload on your MediBuddy+ profile page.

And they discover a range of outpatient services – from the catalogue you populate on your MediBuddy+ on their exclusive cashless outpatient network, MediBuddy∞.

Complete your profile page on MediBuddy+ today to become your customer’s first choice!

eCashless

The eCashless feature is a hassle-free method to avail cashless hospitalization on the MediBuddy app. It helps save time for you and your customers by providing a provisional pre-authorization, even before they step into the hospital. The benefit of eCashless can be availed at any network hospital and also gives your customers full visibility into the costs of the hospitalization.

MediBuddy∞

MediBuddy∞ is Your Curated Cashless Network for Outpatient Services; where we partner to enhance access to a wide range of wellness services. Our members choose from a catalogue that you have yourself uploaded on our portal. Patients will be able to purchase and take an appointment for a wellness service online and you will have the ability to confirm the same in real time.

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We have some Good News!

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MediBuddy+ has now morphed into India’s first integrated portal for management of in-patient claims and out-patient services.
4500+ hospitals, just like you, bank on MediBuddy+ to manage all their cashless claims. We are happy to add another dimension to our engagement with you.

4500+ hospitals, just like you, bank on MediBuddy+ to manage all their cashless claims. We are happy to add another dimension to our engagement with you.

MediBuddy+ now aims to transform the way you can manage the critical aspects of your out-patient services; no more hassles with booking, scheduling or payments!

Get the MediBuddy+ advantage today by completing your hospital profile with the following details:

• Health Checks – Create a catalogue of health check packages including tests, tariffs etc. and schedule the same as per slot availability

• Doctors – Provide details about your specialists and schedule appointments based on their timings and availability.

• Amenities – Provide information on your best-in-class medical and general amenities

• Rooms – Upload pictures of the types of rooms available along with tariffs

• Location – Update your location on the map to make yourself visible during map searches

Log into plus.medibuddy.in to update your details today!

For any queries, please write to hospital.medibuddy@mediassistindia.com.

Obtain Pre-authorization within Minutes With eCashless

You have been advised a surgery by your doctor for a minor fracture. You are aware that you can avail cashless hospitalization at a network hospital covered under your insurer. However, obtaining pre-authorization on the day of admission can be a long and painful process as chances are that you may have to stand in the queue at the hospitalization insurance desk filling up forms while waiting anxiously for hours to know whether your request for cashless hospitalization will be approved.

Why not opt for a better way of availing cashless hospitalization for your surgery? Say hello to eCashless by Medi Assist. With eCashless, you can skip the long wait at the hospital insurance desk. Instead, you can avail the cashless facility from the comfort of your home, that too within a few minutes.

Here is a testimonial from Shylendra Kumar from DBOI Global Services who recently opted for eCashless.

“We are very much happy and satisfied with the initiative you had taken on our claim and the quick turnaround in getting our ticket approved knowing the urgency of the patient’s discharge from the hospital. You were kind enough while talking to us and understanding our requirements and our status in the hospital.

Appreciate your good work and effort involved in settling our claim”.

You too can avail the benefits of eCashless for your hospitalization. Watch the video to know how.

Making Hearts Smile

musical_elementsMedi Assist now has a Theme Song!

Titled “Making Hearts Smile”, this tune exudes the Medi Assist philosophy of making healthcare affordable, accessible, and actionable for everyone of our 140 million members.

What makes this theme song so much more special is that it is composed in-house; the tune is conceptualized and directed by some of your colleagues; every instrument you hear is played by a Medi Assist employee, and every voice you hear in the chorus is a Medi Assist voice.

Let’s celebrate the joy of working together, surrounded by incredibly talented colleagues, to make every heart smile – ‘coz the heart smiles only when it experiences absolute peace and unadulterated happiness.

Do listen and we hope you love it just as much as we do!

This tune is now the official call wait tune at our call centre! Want to make it your caller tune? Write to commshub@mahs.in and if we have enough requests, we will try to speak with the service providers and see if this can be done.

Network Hospital Search Made Easy

Deepa is pregnant and she has just completed her first trimester. Being a smart woman, she knows which doctor she should consult during her pregnancy, what diet she should follow, what exercises she should do, and where she should get her scans done during her pregnancy. She has even planned her delivery in advance. She knows that the best place to get admitted for her delivery is a network hospital covered under her insurer, as she has the option of availing cashless hospitalization and she has fewer out-of-pocket expenses to worry about. However, she has one problem – how to find out which hospital is covered under her insurer in her city?

Deepa’s husband Kiran has a simple solution for this dilemma. Being a Medi Assist customer, he is aware of the network hospital search feature available to him. Medi Assist’s network hospital search feature allows him to search all hospitals within their city, closest to their location. What’s more?  He can also filter his search based on the insurer and the specialty he is looking for. This helps him zero in on the closest hospital to their location, where Kiran can get his wife admitted when the time of hospitalization arrives.

Now Deepa can rest assured knowing that she doesn’t have to worry about finding out where she can get cashless admission for her delivery.

You too can find out your network hospital through Medi Assist’s network hospital search. Watch the video to know how.

The Changing Face of TPAs

Prashant-JhaveriPrashant Jhaveri, Head, Products and Strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services, was recently interviewed by Healthcare Radius, a healthcare magazine for Indian healthcare professionals. Discussing about changing face of health insurance third party administrators (TPA), this is what he had to say:

“TPAs are an integral part of the rapidly evolving healthcare ecosystem – they are the bridge between insurance companies, hospitals and their customers, facilitating seamless access to cashless health insurance benefits. Going by the observable trends in the Indian healthcare industry, the role of TPAs is only going to widen in the years to come. TPAs play the unique role of an aggregator in the industry; they empanel hospitals into their network to enable cashless hospitalization for their members. TPAs bring insurance companies, hospitals, ambulatory healthcare service providers, pharmacies, corporates, and individuals together, and as the single point of contact for all of them, they manage a wide web of interactions seamlessly.

TPAs that can aggregate a wide spectrum of service providers will be in a position to attract many more consumers of healthcare. Service providers are also more willing to partner with TPAs that have a wide customer-base in a bid to reach out to a larger segment of the market”.

To read the complete article, click the following link:

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?pbid=900364d7-8bdf-4e78-a041-221f6e35ec15

Save on Your Maternity Costs With eCashless

Nina was overjoyed when she learnt that she was going to have a baby. At night, she lay awake dreaming of the endless cuddles, the cute little outfits and the warm feel of her new-born as she would hold it. But she realized that preparing for motherhood also meant numerous visits to her gynaecologist, tests, scans and the delivery itself; resulting in medical expenses for which she must plan today.

The wise girl that Nina is, she promptly realizes that her health insurance policy has a maternity cover that she can utilize, and make her expenses completely cashless. However, she does not want to exhaust her insured amount; whatever money she saves could get utilized for her baby, should the need arise.

With ample time on her hands, she decides to plan her maternity expenses the eCashless way through MediBuddy! Not only does she get full visibility in advance into the expenses that she will incur, but she also gets to avail provisional preauthorization at her chosen network hospital!

Here is how she did it:

  • She clicked the E-card tile on the MediBuddy mobile app/online portal to download her E-Card.
  • She then clicked the eCashless tile on MediBuddy
  • She searched for the hospitals within her insurer network and filters them by location, specialities, amenities, room types, packages etc., and picks the one that matches her needs
  • She entered the details of her impending hospitalization and sent intimation 48 hours ahead of admission.
  • She received a secure passcode confirming her provisional preauthorization.
  • On the day of admission, she presented her secured pass-code, Medi Assist E-card and photo ID card at the hospital and got green-channeled into the room of her choice!

Nina had a bonny baby and she was completely worry-free throughout her pregnancy, thanks to her smart planning.

Be smart like Nina, book eCashless from the comfort of your home and save on your maternity expenses!

Save Time on Your Hospitalization with eCashless

ecashless-medibuddy-2Time is of paramount importance when it comes to hospital admission. The prospect of going through the apparently time-consuming process of claims registration or obtaining pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization can seem to be a daunting task for a person who is already in the throes of a potential hospitalization.

Pre-authorization at the time of hospitalization always leads to a few tense moments. Besides leading to anxiousness about the estimated cost of treatment, the out-of-pocket expenses and availability of a preferred room type, family members also have to leave their unwell relatives unattended and wait at the insurance desk to get an approval for their pre-authorization for cashless treatment.

Medi Assist’s eCashless provides you a truly seamless cashless experience. It reduces wait time for pre-authorization at the hospital by as much as 90%. Patients can request a provisional pre-authorization from a laptop or mobile app, choose their preferred room type and get green channeled into their room on the date of admission. These go a long way in improving patient’s experience at the time of hospitalization.

Here is a testimonial from Sameer Lalani who recently opted for eCashless for his mother’s treatment. Here is what he had to say:

“Below is my experience post using the application:
Pros:
• User-friendly application – Right from viewing the list of hospital to download the E-Card
• Hassle free (No run around required with the TPA in the hospital)
• Less paperwork though does not compromise on the documentation process
• Reduced turnaround time as compared to approaching the TPA
• Regular SMS intimation informing the timeline for processing any request…

…The support provided by Medi Assist (Represented by Dr. Vishal) was amazing and has changed the perception in regards to the TPA’s”.

‘Namaskar’! Medi Assist website Is Now Available in Marathi!

Marathi websiteAt Medi Assist, we understand the importance of communication and believe in reaching out to the masses. More often than not, communicating in one’s mother tongue is what proves to be the ice-breaker and helps one connect with people.

Health benefits of an insurance policy is often a complex matter to grasp, but it is something that everyone in the family should be aware of. It therefore becomes imperative that everyone, including the senior members of the family, the rural sector and those benefiting from government schemes be approached in their own preferred language and native tongue. Keeping this in perspective, we already have a multi-lingual website up and running, and we are proud to announce that we have added yet another popular language to our list.

Medi Assist is happy to announce the launch of our Marathi website. The website was launched by the DGM of The New India Assurance, Mr. Dilip Sonawane in Mumbai. The Marathi version of the website can be explored by clicking on the link below.

Stay tuned, as we add more languages and say hello to you in one of your own!

mediassistindia.com/marathi/

How Ramesh Safeguarded his Sum Insured with eCashless

CostCutHappy-go-lucky and cheerful, Ramesh was popular in office and lived on the philosophy of ‘keeping life uncomplicated and easy’. Even when he realised that it was time his father got a knee replacement surgery, he was relaxed. He knew his company had insured him and his parents for a decent sum of Rs. 5 lakhs. He approached the best hospital in the city and asked for an estimated cost, which came to about Rs. 2 lakhs. Satisfied, Ramesh left the hospital with a smile.

One day, whistling his way to the cafeteria, he bumped into Suresh, his best friend and colleague from another department. They sat down for coffee, and Ramesh mentioned about his father’s impending knee replacement surgery and how he would smartly claim from the company-paid insurance. When he learnt of the estimate, Suresh became concerned. “My sister’s father-in-law also got the same surgery, for Rs. 1.5 lakhs. That’s Rs. 50,000 less than your estimate!” he said. “How does it matter?” laughed Ramesh, “I am not paying from my pocket anyway!” Suresh playfully hit him on the head, “and who is to safeguard your sum insured?” The puzzled look on Ramesh’s face made him realize that he had no clue about it.

Suresh stressed the importance of minimizing the costs for current hospitalization expenditures so that the sum insured is safeguarded for future use. “Your sum insured is fixed. The faster you use it up, the lesser you will have left for any expenditures you may want to make for other dependents!” He counselled Ramesh for a good 10 minutes until Ramesh realized his folly.

Since the knee replacement surgery could be planned in advance, he opted for the eCashless service provided by his TPA. The team at the TPA helped him to get full visibility into the costs involved in the surgery at a network hospital.

Ramesh actually ended up saving Rs. 50,000 of the amount from his sum insured, which he later used for his mother’s cataract surgery. And, he still had Rs. 3 Lakhs left that he could bank on for any other medical needs that his family may require.

That morning he woke up to see his parents in the balcony; his mother describing the new flowers in the Gulmohur tree, and his father standing strong on his two feet, with an arm around her shoulder. Ramesh now had more reasons to be happy.

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‘Vanakkam’! Medi Assist Launches Website in Tamil!

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We, at Medi Assist, understand the importance of communication, and believe in reaching out to the masses. More often than not, communicating in one’s mother tongue is what proves to be the ice-breaker and helps one connect with people.

Health benefits of an insurance policy is often a complex matter to grasp, but it is something that everyone in the family should be aware of. It therefore becomes imperative that everyone, including the senior members of the family, the rural sector and those benefiting from government schemes, be approached in their own preferred language and native tongue. Keeping this in perspective, we already have a multi-lingual website up and running, and we are proud to announce that we have added yet another popular language to our list.

The Tamil version of the website can be explored by clicking on the link below. Stay tuned, as we add more languages and say hello to you in one of your own!

mediassistindia.com/tamil

eCashless – Helping You Plan Your Hospitalization

ecashless-medibuddy-2Planning your hospitalization in advance can help you reduce your healthcare costs. The eCashless facility from Medi Assist not only helps you avail cashless hospitalization from the comfort of your home but also plan your hospitalization costs in advance.

All you need to do is log onto the MediBuddy portal or app and raise an eCashless request. Once Medi Assist receives this request, the request is forwarded to the hospital. Based on the recommended treatment, the hospital sends intimation to Medi Assist regarding the expected expenses for the treatment. Once this is received, Medi Assist applies your policy terms and conditions in order to calculate the provisionally approved amount for your treatment. You can view this on MediBuddy. This gives you an idea about the amount you should arrange for the surgery and plan your sources accordingly.

On the day of admission, all you need to do is take the patient to the hospital along with an e-card and photo ID and within a few minutes, the patient will be green-channeled into the operation theatre.

On the day of admission, all you need to do is take the patient to the hospital along with an e-card and photo ID and within a few minutes, the patient will be green-channeled into the operation theatre.

You can also raise reimbursement claims for the pre and post hospitalization costs as well as track your claims using the MediBuddy portal.

Here is a real life testimonial from Jeetendra Kulkarni from Intel who recently opted for the eCashless facility for planned hospitalization:

“I would like to thank you for providing the eCashless facility for a recent planned hospitalization in my family. Especially, I should highlight the assistance from your Dr Vishal through-out from the time of their involvement…

…I shall also be mentioning about this facility to our HR, as it was not available earlier and will be greatly helpful to all employees”.

Technology to Redefine Patient Care and Experience

Prashant-JhaveriPrashant Jhaveri, Head Products and Strategy, Medi Assist, recently discussed the importance of technology in patient care in a world where patient experience is becoming as critical a barometer as the quality of care”. This is what he had to share.

“As we gravitate towards a world where patient experience is becoming as critical a barometer as the quality of care, it is easy to see why technology is today a doctor’s best friend.

Technology for patient experience

There is a remarkable shift in the manner in which doctors engage with their patients. Doctors actively list their services on online portals and use social media for better outreach. They are comfortable with the idea of patient ratings and evaluation based on credentials, infrastructure, vicinity, cost, etc.

Hospitals use ERP systems to manage their business efficiently. Most network hospitals eschew faxes and emails to send patients’ pre-authorization requests and have adopted online platforms to manage cashless claims management online.

The advent of features such as eCashlessTM reduces wait time for pre-authorization at the hospital by as much as 90%. Patients can also request a provisional preauthorization from their mobile app, choose their preferred room type and get green channeled into their room on the date of admission. These go a long way in improving the patient experience at the time of hospitalization.

Technology for cashless care

Improving access to high-quality care and improving patient experience will continue to be the thrust areas of the future. However, another important dimension will come into play in the years to come – cashless care. Cashless facility is today mostly geared towards in-patient hospitalization. But as insurance products mature, cashless medical care will soon cover outpatient expenses and spend on medicines as well.

In the near future, patients will book their appointment for a consultation online, state their policy number in the request, make a payment for non-medical expenses via a payment gateway and carry their appointment confirmation and policy e-card with them to the medical centre on their mobile phone. They will be green channeled into the consultation room where the doctor will already have access to their e-records to review case history and latest statistics from their wearable device. After the consultation, the digital health records will be updated automatically with the doctor’s notes and prescriptions. The digital prescription for the medicines, also covered under the insurance policy, will directly reach the pharmacy. The patient will collect the medicines and leave the hospital after a truly cashless and paperless experience! Building a healthcare service providers’ network that is ready for this exciting future is the need of the hour.

Technology to deliver healthcare to rural India

Cashless facility outside the realm of in-patient hospitalization is also critical for the Government to implement the Universal Health Coverage program. In fact, managing health benefits for a large, diverse and populous country like India is no easy task. Technology plays a critical role in Government programs that provide health cover to millions of indigent Indians across multiple states. Biometrics-based e-cards for beneficiaries, paperless admission and claims management at network hospitals, SMS- and mobile app-based claims tracking for beneficiaries, integration with government systems for utilization tracking and MIS reporting, data analytics that empower government decision makers to derive intelligent insights from the enormous amounts of data collected from across the nation; technology must necessarily be at the heart of any initiative to administer such significant public healthcare schemes.

The time is ripe for all stakeholders in the healthcare industry to innovate and, importantly, collaborate with each other to utilize a common technology platform that can give Indians seamless and potentially cashless access to high quality healthcare anywhere in the country.”

Medi Assist Receives Appreciation from Visva-Bharati

TestimonialMedi Assist’s Kolkata office has yet received another feather in the cap!! Visva-Bharati recently expressed their satisfaction with Medi Assist’s services as a dependable and responsive TPA for the Vidyarthi Mediclaim Policy, through a letter of appreciation. The following is an excerpt from the letter.

“We express our satisfaction in dealing with you as a dependable, responsive TPA for our Vidyarthi Mediclaim Policy. Right from issuance of Mediclaim cards following new enrolment, claims, processing, approval of cashless authorization, generation of settlement of claim – so far you are delivering to our satisfaction”.

44,000 Health Conscious Techies Bat for Wellness and Fun with ChampCamp

IMG_0054ChampCamp from Medi Assist is in the news again. The interactive wellness program that includes health-related games, fun, and social engagement, was recently covered in detail by Business Wire India.

Scroll down to read the complete article, or click here.

Medi Assist, a managed healthcare organization that offers corporate wellness programs, has introduced ChampCamp, an interactive wellness program that includes health-related games, fun, and social engagement. In less than six months, ChampCamp has reached nearly 44,000 employees from more than 15 leading companies. Companies that have experienced ChampCamp are unanimous in their opinion that the format delivers lasting employee delight. Employees at Flipkart recently gave ChampCamp a happiness score of 4.6 out of 5.

ChampCamp has registered up to 40% increase in participation of employees at onsite health benefits and wellness events conducted for the likes of Flipkart, Adobe, Wipro, Persistent Technologies, Exilant, Syniverse, nVidia, Intel, Sabre, Nothern Trust and more.

“Holistic wellbeing is the key to employee welfare and happiness. Organizations, particularly in new-age sectors such as IT, ITES and e-commerce, see a direct correlation between corporate wellness programs and employee productivity,” says Satish Gidugu, COO, Medi Assist. “Unlike traditional programs and sessions, ChampCamp is an innovative onsite program that uses a combination of games, quizzes and engagement to appeal to young professionals,” he adds.

The need for wellness is equally understood by employees and organizations. A key employee retention strategy for corporates, such activities also promote work-life balance among employees. Ironically, however, budgets allocated towards wellness activities are often under-utilized due to low turnout during wellness events. This is primarily due to their staid program design; youngsters prefer activities that they can engage in with friends and share on social media. ChampCamp addresses this latent need for young professionals to go social with their wellness goals.

Persona-based, targeted communication appeals to the different audience profiles among employees; group fitness challenges encourage people to bring their friends along; theme-based games engage participants while they wait for their turn at the onsite event, and social engagement activities convert plain-vanilla camps into a fun filled event for employees.

About Medi Assist

Medi Assist is transforming the Indian healthcare ecosystem by making healthcare more accessible, affordable and actionable for millions of people around the country. It is changing the way the various stakeholders of the ecosystem – insurers, insured and medical service providers – interact with each other; while influencing the ecosystem to cover many more lives that today remain unserved.

A Red Herring Asia award winner in 2014, Medi Assist has been widely recognized for the innovative use of technology in the healthcare industry. The company has also been listed as one of Forbes India’s Hidden Gems in 2014. For more information, visit www.mahs.in.”

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Visits Medi Assist Enrolment Centres

c201b887837182895d28d6e3b6212d11The Medi Assist enrolment centre at Devasara village in Kawarda district had the privilege of having the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh, during the enrolment of beneficiaries for the RSBY and MSBY schemes. About 54 out of the total 56 targeted beneficiaries in the village got enrolled.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister did an online distribution of the cards to all the beneficiaries enrolled into the scheme. He also had a few appreciative words to say about Medi Assist’s work towards the enrolment of beneficiaries to these schemes.

Kawarda District has been allotted to Medi Assist with effect from 1st April 2016.

eCashless: Enhancing Your Cashless Hospitalization Experience

Prashant-JhaveriPrashant Jhaveri, Head, Products and Strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services, was recently featured in an article on Healthcare Executive. He discussed how eCashless makes it possible to plan a cashless hospitalization from the comfort of your home. Here is what Prashant had to say:

Healthcare, Insurance and Technology

“Medical inflation in India stands at 12-15 percent as against a global average of 6-7 percent. With the cost of medical care constantly increasing, there is little doubt that more and more people will opt for health insurance policies to hedge themselves against the risk of high out-of-pocket expenses.

Cashless hospitalisation is one of the primary benefits availed by insured members. But, for a person who is already in the throes of a potential hospitalisation, the prospect of paperwork to obtain pre-authorisation for cashless hospitalisation can often seem to be a daunting task. In the case of an emergency hospitalisation, customers often seek instant guidance on choice of network hospital, cost of treatment, expected out-of-pocket expenses, necessary paperwork, etc.

Third party administrators (TPAs), as the conduits between the insurer and the insured, attempt to make these crucial touch-points as customer-friendly as possible; and technology plays a significant role in realising this goal. In fact, health benefits administrators cannot reach their true potential by merely processing claims. They must morph into technology and implementation partners and transform patient experience before, during and after hospitalisation.

Consumer Happiness during Planned Hospitalisation

Technology has significantly redefined consumer experience, wherein anything from a train ticket, to groceries or a family vacation can be accessed with the flick of a button on your smartphone. The time is ripe to leverage technology to enable the same experience within the healthcare industry, and certainly within the health benefits industry.

Pre-authorisation at the time of hospitalisation always leads to some tense moments. Predominantly a manual process, until the recent advent of online cashless claims managements systems, cashless hospitalisation requires members to obtain a pre-authorisation form at the insurance desk at the hospital, fill up the form in conjunction with the treating doctor, send it to the TPA via fax or email, await the approval from the TPA and then be ushered in for a cashless admission. Family members would often have to leave their unwell relatives unattended and wait at the insurance desk to know the status of their pre-authorisation request. This often leads to an agonising wait and loss of precious time for the insured as well as the hospital. This apart, there is also a lot of anxiety about the estimated cost of treatment, availability of a preferred room type and the out-of-pocket expenses that the family would have to incur.

The key to consumer satisfaction during hospitalisation lies in encouraging members to plan their hospitalisation with as much care, and importantly as much ease, as possible with the help of technology. Features such as eCashlessTM today make it possible to plan a cashless hospitalisation from the comfort of your home, with a smartphone, even before the expected date of hospitalisation.”

You can click here to read the entire article.

Network.medibuddy.in: Enhancing Your Network Hospital Search

Network Hospital   Medi Assist Insurance TPA Pvt. Ltd.Gagan from Gurgaon is working in a software company and is a member of the Medi Assist family. His father needs to undergo an emergency surgery. Gagan has enrolled his father as a beneficiary in his company’s group medical policy. He is aware of the cashless hospitalization facility available as part of his medical policy. Being smart, he searches for the nearest network hospital using 4 simple steps and gets a cashless hospitalization for his father.

Enhancing network hospital search

Searching through a vast network of hospitals can be a challenge. To make it easier, we gave you a map-based search on your MediBuddy app, where you can locate a network hospital close to your preferred location conveniently at your fingertips, be it planned hospitalization or an emergency.

Besides the MediBuddy app, you now have an additional option to search for our network hospitals. Welcome to network.medibuddy.in, the portal that gives you a list of our network hospitals in your city.

Finding a list of network hospitals in your city is simple. Here is how you can do it in 4 simple steps.

1) Go to network.medibuddy.in.
2) Select your city from the “Quick city selection” (or) enter your city in the search option to find the list of hospitals.
3) Select your insurer’s name from the drop down. If you do not know your insurer’s name, enter your employee details and click search to find the network hospital.
4) You will be shown all the network hospitals in your city.

So, get smart like Gagan. The next time you have an emergency hospitalization, act quickly and with confidence. Find a network hospital closest to you and get your loved ones immediate medical attention. You might also want to view this video to understand how to respond to medical emergencies and avail a cashless hospitalization.

Simplifying the Healthcare Ecosystem the TPA Way

Healthcare - Folder Name in Directory.Dr. Vikram Jit Singh Chhatwal, Chairman, and CEO, Medi Assist has written about how changing lifestyles of people, increasing awareness about holistic well-being and raising income levels of the middle class are increasing the expectations of Indian consumers from the healthcare industry. He also wrote about how Third Party Administrators (TPAs) are helping insurers in providing quick and hassle-free health benefits administration at lower costs.

 

To read the complete article, click the following link.
https://www.idfc.com/pdf/report/2013-14/Chapter-11.pdf

 

A World of New User Experience with MediBuddy+ v2.0

The MediBuddy+ portal for hospitals empowers you to move your entire claims management process online. From raising pre-authorization requests online for eCashless claims to enjoying faster settlement of outstanding claims, MediBuddy+ helps you extend cashless hospitalization to your patients with great ease.

Now,we are bringing to you MediBuddy+ v2.0, with improved features and a whole new user experience.

What has changed?

The following are a few feature improvements available now in your MediBuddy+.

1. Notifications

The new notifications tile automatically notifies you about new addition to claims or change in claim status, beginning from logging a new cashless/eCashless claim up to the claim being settled in case of approval.The notification tile also notifies you about the claims that have been approved, denied as well as claims being processed.

Apart from being updated about change in claim status, you can perform several necessary actions, which include raising enhancement costs for additional inpatient treatment, submitting missing documents and discharge documents.

2. Simpler claims search

The new version of MediBuddy+ offers you a simplified and unified claims search, instead of having multiple and distributed filters. The various search criteria include claim number, patient name, inpatient number and NEFT/UTR number. Besides a unified search, you can also search for claim details using the claim status including active claims, claims for which documents are awaited and claims that have been settled.Besides these, you can update patient’s date of discharge.

3. Submit discharge anytime

If you have found it difficult to submit a patient’s discharge on the tool when a patient’s claim was already being processed, you can now relax. You can now submit the patient’s discharge at any point of time, irrespective of whether an earlier claim is under process or not.

So, welcome to MediBuddy+ v2.0!! Welcome to a whole different world of user experience.

Plan Your Hospital Admission with eCashless

surgery-688378Ramya from Kanyakumari has been advised by the doctor in the outpatient department (OPD) to transfer her husband to the inpatient department for surgery in the coming week. Being a person who manages everything in the family in a planned way, she wants to convert her husband’s outpatient-to-inpatient transfer into planned hospitalization. For this, she chooses the eCashless facility from Medi Assist.

Ramya logs onto the MediBuddy app on her smartphone and submits an eCashless request for her husband’s surgery well in advance of the hospitalization. Medi Assist instantly gets a notification of the request and forwards the request to the concerned hospital. The hospital sends Medi Assist an estimated cost of treatment.

Medi Assist next validates the request and sends a provisional pre-authorization along with a secure passcode to Ramya. Medi Assist also sends her the approximate cost and approved cost for the surgery. Ramya can track all this on MediBuddy and plan accordingly for the co-pay in advance.

On the day of admission, all she needs to do is take her husband to the hospital along with an e-card and photo ID and within a few minutes, her husband will be green-channeled into the operation theatre.

She can also raise reimbursement claims for the pre and post hospitalization costs as well as track her claims using the MediBuddy portal.
You too can plan your outpatient-to-inpatient transfer in a planned way with eCashless. So, opt for eCashless and plan your hospitalization today.

CareRangers – The Army of Goodwill Ambassadors who Care for You

care coordinatorTouching lives, making a difference to our members, and becoming an indispensable part of everyone’s lives with meaningful solutions and offerings, is how we begin to define customer engagement at Medi Assist.

One of the most crucial touch points for us as your health benefits and wellness partner is in-patient hospitalization – the time when you or one of your loved ones is admitted at a hospital; the time when you utilize our core service, cashless hospitalization; and the time at which, more than anything else, you look forward to some reassurance that everything will soon be alright.

For the first time in the health benefits industry, we present CareRangers, our ambassadors whose sole mission is to personally touch you and your family and enquire about your well-being during a hospitalization.

Who is a CareRanger?

Think of our CareRanger as a friend who calls upon you during a hospitalization in your family and gives you timely help with matters related to your cashless hospitalization. Our CareRangers meet you at your network hospital, put your family members reasonably at ease and help in addressing any concerns you may have with respect to your claims.

Before they take leave, our CareRangers ensure that you are equipped with one or more of our channels for self-help to track claims and also manage your health benefits with ease in future. For example, you may learn about how you can track your claims using our MediBuddy mobile app, or how you can opt for an eCashless hospitalization in case of recurring treatments for chronic conditions or how even your senior relatives can get an instant update on your claim by simply sending an SMS to our registered mobile number.

Our CareRanger initiative has already touched hundreds of lives in several cities around the country and the response from our member has ranged from happiness to extreme delight! It is our endeavour to continue to live by our philosophy of “Going beyond impersonal channels and personally touching lives each day in ways often unanticipated by our members.”

Eliminate Waiting Time at the Hospital Insurance Desk With eCashless

ecashless-medibuddy-2David from Mumbai needs to take his father to the hospital for dialysis every week. He already knows where he needs to take him for his dialysis. He wants to choose cashless hospitalization but he also knows that it involves standing in a long queue at the hospital insurance desk. Being a recurring treatment, David does not want to stand in the queue every week to get his father’s dialysis done.

Instead, he chooses the eCashless facility, an innovative option available for Medi Assist members for planning their hospitalization. With eCashless, he knows he can skip the long wait at the hospital insurance desk every week. Instead, he can avail the cashless facility from the comfort of his home.

Being a smartphone user, David opens the MediBuddy app and submits an eCashless request for his father’s treatment. He uploads the doctor’s diagnosis, prescription, and other details to avail the facility. In a few hours, his claim is provisionally approved by Medi Assist and a secure passcode is sent to him.

On the day of treatment, David takes his father to the hospital, along with an e-card and photo ID, presents the secure passcode for eCashless at the insurance desk. The hospital uses the passcode to unlock the approval letter. David’s father is green-channeled into the dialysis room within minutes. This way, David completely cuts down his waiting time at the insurance desk.

Should you or any of your family members need to obtain recurring treatment, you too can eliminate the waiting time at the hospital’s insurance desk for a recurring treatment. Just download the MediBuddy app on your phone and opt for the eCashless facility today.

Nurturing the TPA Industry

budgetThe Union budget for the financial year 2016-17 was presented by the Union finance minister today. In this context, Prashant Jhaveri, Head of products and strategy at Medi Assist, was recently quoted in India Infoline and Financial Chronicle. Speaking about the growth of the TPA industry, Prashant highlighted the growth trajectory of the retail segment and also touched upon the likely investments required by the industry in the years to come.

Click the following links to read more.

http://www.indiainfoline.com/article/news-top-story/nurturing-the-tpa-industry-to-make-cashless-hospitalization-ubiquitous-116022600266_1.html

http://www.mydigitalfc.com/policy/everybody-wants-something-you-me-today-267

Plan Your Hospitalization Costs with eCashless

eCashless_logoChetan from Bhopal has been advised to undergo a surgery for his broken ankle. He also knows where he can get the surgery done. However, he does not know the exact cost of the surgery and what portion of the cost will be covered by his insurance policy so that he can arrange the remaining amount. Moreover, he cannot stand in a long queue at the hospital insurance desk in his present physical condition.

Fortunately, his friend is aware of the eCashless facility from Medi Assist which can help Chetan avail cashless hospitalization from the comfort of his house. He also knows that when he requests the eCashless facility, along with obtaining cashless treatment, he will also get to know the approximate amount covered by his policy. So, he recommends eCashless to Chetan.

Chetan logs onto the MediBuddy app and raises an eCashless request. Once Medi Assist receives this request, the request is forwarded to the hospital. Based on the recommended treatment, the hospital sends intimation to Medi Assist regarding the expected expenses for the treatment. Once this is received, Medi Assist applies Chetan’s policy terms and conditions in order to calculate the provisionally approved amount for his ankle surgery. Chetan can view this on his MediBuddy app. This gives him an idea about the amount he should arrange for the surgery and plan his sources accordingly.

You don’t need to visit the hospital to avail cashless facility. You can avail it from the comfort of your home and get an idea about the approved amount for your treatment. Just download the MediBuddy app or log into www.mediassistindia.com to request eCashless today.

Welcome Your Bundle of Joy with eCashless

pregnancy-792742_640The first eCashless request comes from Kashmir. Sunny and Aditi, a young couple from Kashmir, are looking forward to welcoming their little one into this world. Sunny is a member of the Medi Assist family. Being well-informed about Medi Assist services, he decides to opt for the eCashless service for planning his wife’s hospitalization.

Sunny wants to make this moment special for both of them by staying with her while their child comes into this world. With the eCashless option, he can also request for a preferred hospital room type. So, he logs on to his MediBuddy app, provides the necessary details, selects a preferred room type and sends the request.

Within a few hours of sending a request, Sunny gets a provisional pre-authorization from Medi Assist, which he can track on his MediBuddy app. He also receives a secure passcode. On the day of admission to the hospital, he takes his wife to the hospital, along with a photo-ID and his Medi Assist e-card, and presents the secure passcode at the insurance desk. He instantly receives his pre-authorization approval letter. In a few minutes, as per his previous request, Aditi and Sunny are green-channeled into his preferred type of room.

Sunny is absolutely delighted about the way cashless hospitalization is changing. Be part of this change. In the case of a need for planned hospitalization, think eCashless and nothing else.

3 Easy Steps to Access Your New MediBuddy Agent Portal

Healthcare - Folder Name in Directory.If you are an insurance agent, you may have already experienced our MediBuddy Agent portal. Let us make the experience more refreshing for you. Medi Assist welcomes you to the transforming world of MediBuddy with exciting new features. The new portal has features that are aimed at helping you, the insurance agent, take control of your customers’ health benefits and empower you with all the information you need to serve them better.

What are the features available to you?

The following are some of the features available to you:
– You can now create your own preferred login to access your MediBuddy’s features.
– You can gain visibility into your customers and their policies. Now, you can also know when your customers’ policies are due for renewal.
– You can get real-time status of your customers’ claims.
– You can instantly download e-cards for any of your customers anytime from anywhere.
– You can use our map-based search to locate a preferred network hospital in your vicinity or filter network hospitals by insurers.

In order to access these new features, you must first activate your account in the new portal.

How do you activate your account?

Activating your account is simple and secure. You need to just follow three simple steps:

1. Identify yourself

You need to identify yourself using your Agent ID & policy details of two of your customers. The policy details that are to be provided include their policy numbers and the policy holders’ name.

2. Update your contact details

Enter your contact details in the given fields. Make sure that you have entered your correct email ID and mobile number to which a secure one-time password (OTP), which is mandatory to confirm your login, will be sent.

3. Choose your preferred login

You can now select your own username and password to create your preferred login. Use the OTP you have received to confirm your profile.

You are now ready to use the portal. Click Login on the top of the page and use the credentials you have used for logging into your account. You can see all the policies for all your customers, download e-cards for them, see when their policies are due for renewal, and do much more.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

Cashless Hospitalization – What You Should Know

Cashless hospitalization is a facility provided by the insurance company where the policy holder can get admitted and undergo necessary treatment without paying the hospital directly for the medical expenses. The eligible medical expenditure which is incurred is settled by the insurance company directly with the hospital. You can avail cashless hospitalization only in the hospitals that are part of your TPA’s network.

At Medi Assist, you can avail cashless and eCashless hospitalization at our network of hospitals. Following is a step-by-step procedure of availing the facility from Medi Assist.

1. Intimate us about your hospitalization at least 72 hours before hospitalization:
• MediBuddy: Intimate Cashless tile (or)
• SMS: CLAIM INT to +91 96641 72929 (or)
• Email: claimintimation@mediassistindia.com (or)
• Toll-free number: 1800 425 9449

2. Present your Medi Assist E-Card at the hospital during admission along with any other legally accepted identity card.

Note: You can log into your Medi Assist online portal and click Generate E-Card to instantly generate and print out an E-Card for any beneficiary.

3. Ensure that the hospital sends your pre-authorization form to Medi Assist:
• MediBuddy+ hospital portal: Log the request online (or)
• Email: cashless@mediassistindia.com (or)

4. Track your claim in real-time:
• Click the Claims tile on MediBuddy (or)
• Log into www.medibuddy.in and click the ‘Claims’ tab (or)
• Visit track.medibuddy.in to search claims by Claim ID, MA ID or Employee ID
• SMS “Claims (Claim Number)” to +91 96631 49992

5. Medi Assist sends the approval to the hospital. Further enhancement approvals may be issued on request, subject to terms and conditions of the policy.

6. In case, the request cannot be approved or if the expenses are not covered by your policy, you will have to settle the hospital bill in full and subsequently raise a reimbursement claim after discharge.

Note: Denial of a pre-authorization request must not be construed as denial of treatment or denial of coverage.

7. After discharge, the hospital will send all the documents related to your claim to Medi Assist for settlement.

Do Note:

• The hospital will ask you to pay for all the non-medical expenses in your bill.
• You will have to pay for all pre- and post-hospitalization expenses. These can be claimed only after the settlement of the main hospitalization claim.
• At the time of discharge, check and sign the original bills and the discharge summary. Do carry home a copy of the signed bill, discharge summary and all your investigation reports for future reference.

eCashless

You can now opt for cashless hospitalization using Medi Assist’s eCashless facility. With typical cashless hospitalization, the pre-authorization process takes time and this can be stressful especially on the day of your admission to the hospital as you have to wait for long hours at the insurance desk at the hospital. With eCashless, you can obtain a provisional pre-authorization well in advance of your hospitalization. All you need to do is carry your ID card, provisional pre-authorization on your MediBuddy app and your Medi Assist E-Card while getting admitted to the hospital.

To know more about how you can opt for eCashless, click here.

Note: In case of suppression of material facts or misrepresentation of facts by the hospital or the insured, the pre authorization issued for the cashless facility will stand cancelled. The insured will be liable to settle the hospital bill in full.

Claims Processing and Settlement: What You Should Know

Whether you have opted for cashless hospitalization or reimbursements, you are bound to make a claim if you are covered by a health insurance policy in case of hospitalization. With Medi Assist, your claim processing and settlement becomes simpler. Here is what you should know about getting your claims settled by us.

Technology at your disposal

Cashless or reimbursement; planned or emergency hospitalization; treatment at a network hospital or non-network hospital – as a holder of a Medi Assist card, you are eligible for hassle-free claims settlement. What more, we leverage technology at every step to help you raise requests easily, track claims in real-time, obtain approvals faster and receive reimbursements quicker:

Medi Assist Online Portal: The Medi Assist online portal allows you to add / modify beneficiaries to your policy, generate your e-card, raise reimbursement requests online, and also scan and upload your medical records to maintain your electronic health repository.
MediBuddy Mobile App: The MediBuddy mobile app allows you to send claims intimation, view policy details, browse network hospitals in the vicinity and importantly, track the status of your claims in real-time using your smartphone. All the functionality of the app is also available on our mobile-friendly portal, www.medibuddy.in.
MediBuddy+ Hospital Portal: This portal allows hospitals to raise and track cashless claims online. By eliminating disparate channels of communication and by moving all interactions onto an online portal, we help you obtain pre-authorization approvals faster.

Cashless Hospitalization

Following are the steps to make a claim for cashless hospitalization.

1. Intimate us about your hospitalization at least 72 hours before hospitalization.
2. Present your Medi Assist E-Card at the hospital during admission along with any other legally accepted identity card.
3. Ensure that the hospital sends your pre-authorization form to Medi Assist.
4. Track your claim in real time.
5. Medi Assist sends the approval to the hospital. Further enhancement approvals may be issued on request, subject to terms and conditions of the policy.
6. In case, the request cannot be approved or if the expenses are not covered by your policy, you will have to settle the hospital bill in full and subsequently raise a reimbursement claim after discharge.
7. After discharge, the hospital will send all the documents related to your claim to Medi Assist for settlement.

To understand in detail the cashless and Medi Assist’s eCashless process, click here.

Reimbursement

You can claim a reimbursement after discharge. Following are the steps to claim reimbursement.

1. Intimate us about your impending claim.
2. Present your Medi Assist e-card at the hospital during admission along with any other legally accepted identity card.
3. Submit your reimbursement claim online within 7 days from the date of discharge.
4. Send the original documents to Medi Assist Insurance TPA Private Limited within 30 days from the date of discharge from the hospital. You can either request your HR team to forward your documents on your behalf, or submit them at the Medi Assist Onsite Kiosk if applicable or courier them to the Medi Assist branch servicing your account. Visit our website, www.mediassistindia.com, for branch addresses.
5. Track your claim in real-time.
6. The medical team at Medi Assist processes the claim.

Following are the documents that you should submit while claiming a reimbursement:

• Original hospital final bill
• Original numbered receipts for payments made to the hospital
• Complete breakup of the hospital bill
• Original discharge summary
• All original investigation reports along with prescriptions
• All original medicine bills with relevant prescriptions
• Original signed claim form
• Copy of the Medi Assist ID card or current policy copy and previous years’ policy copies (if any)
• Covering letter stating your complete address, contact numbers, and email address (if available).

To know more about reimbursement claims, click here

Hospitalization, Claims and Expenses: Things You Should Know

As humans, we are bound to fall sick and get treated. We may even get hospitalized at some point of time. As a person who may be covered under a health insurance policy and opting for hospitalization, these are some basic things you should know about hospitalization, claims, and expenses.

Read on to know some of the basics of hospitalization.

Hospitalization

Hospitalization can be of two types:

  • Planned hospitalization
  • Emergency hospitalization.

Planned hospitalization happens when you have ample time to plan your admission to the hospital. For example, if your doctor advises a surgery for hernia anytime within a couple of weeks, you have time to plan your hospitalization. Emergency hospitalization happens typically in case of emergencies such as domestic accident or a road accident. One cannot plan such a hospitalization.

Benefits of planned hospitalizations

If you are aware of the fact that you or your family members require hospitalization in the near future, you can send prior intimation to Medi Assist to plan your hospitalization. Not only does this ease the admission and pre-authorization process, but it also helps reduce your overall cost of treatment wherever possible.

Once Medi Assist receives the intimation, we will help you plan everything including choosing a network hospital, opting for discounted packages, if available, and planning for cashless hospitalization. Here are the advantages of a planned hospitalization:

• You get a green-channel hospitalization which means that the hospital is aware of your impending admission and your wait time on the date of admission is significantly lesser.
• The Medi Assist executive helps you compare tariffs and facilities at various network hospitals so you can make an informed choice.
• You have the benefit of opting for discounted packages, negotiated by Medi Assist exclusively for our members, along with the benefit of cashless admission, wherever applicable.
• Even if your policy places a cap on your hospitalization expenses you can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by choosing the discounted price available to you as a Medi Assist member.

Hospitalization expenses

Expenses associated with hospitalization can be classified as follows:

Pre-hospitalization expenses: When you’re unwell, you will most likely consult a physician first, who gets relevant investigations done before advising hospitalization. Such medical expenses incurred before hospitalization are called pre-hospitalization expenses.
Hospitalization expenses: All expenses incurred as part of your hospital stay as an in-patient can be termed as hospitalization expenses.
Post-hospitalization expenses: Some part of your treatment may extend beyond your hospitalization. It may involve follow-up visits to the doctor, prescription medication, further investigations, etc. Such medical expenses are called post-hospitalization expenses.
Domiciliary hospitalization expenses: This typically includes expenses related to domiciliary hospitalization – at-home medical treatment for more than three days for cases which in the normal course would require hospitalization. The exact circumstances / terms / exclusions related to domiciliary hospitalization would be spelled out in your policy document.

Apart from hospitalization expenses, your health insurance policy may also cover pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, and offer a cap for domiciliary expenses.

Claims

Depending on the situation and your policy coverage, you can make two types of health insurance claims:

Cashless: The essence of cashless hospitalization is that the insured need not make an upfront payment to the hospital at the time of admission. You may not have any out-of-pocket expenses towards hospitalization in this scenario. Cashless hospitalization can be availed only at a Medi Assist network hospital and upon approval of your pre-authorization application.
Reimbursement: A reimbursement claim is one where you pay all the expenses related to the hospitalization of the insured and claim a reimbursement of your expenses after discharge. Reimbursement claims may be filed in the following circumstances:
– Hospitalization at a non-network hospital
– Post-hospitalization and pre-hospitalization expenses
– Denial of pre-authorization for cashless facility at a network hospital.

Visit our website, www.mediassistindia.com, for the updated list of network hospitals.

Your Third Party Administrator: What You Should Know

If you are covered by a health insurance policy, you will be allocated a third party administrator or TPA by your insurance company. However, most people are unaware of who a TPA is or what a TPA does. Here is what you should know about the third party administrator.

• If you are reading this, this means that you have probably been assigned Medi Assist as your TPA for health insurance benefits managed by your organization. As a member of Medi Assist family, you are eligible for hassle-free health care insurance claims administration.

• What this really means for you is that, if you or any of your family members is covered under the insurance policy, we handle all the paperwork related to your claims. Wherever possible, we give you the benefit of cashless hospitalization; and we ensure that your claim is settled at the earliest.

• As a member of Medi Assist, you are not only entitled to hassle-free claims, but also several other health benefits.

• However, you should understand that TPAs are not the same as insurance companies.

What a third party administrator (TPA) does

A TPA is appointed by your insurance company to process your claims. This means that whenever you raise a claim for hospitalization for yourself or any of your family members covered under the policy, a TPA processes these claims.

What a TPA does not do

• Decide who is covered and what ailments/procedures are covered under your policy. Your insurance plan dictates these.

• Control your policy terms and conditions. Your insurance policy is developed by your insurance company.

• Decide admissible/non-admissible expenses. Your insurance policy dictates that.

• Approve/disapprove claim without reason. TPAs process claims strictly based on your policy terms and conditions.

6 Steps to Enjoy Host of Wellness Services

wellness checkHealthcare goes beyond in-patient hospitalization. It includes eating healthy and living a healthy life. An important part of maintaining good health is getting a periodic health check, regular lab tests and scans done. But running around in search of these services may be quite confusing and time-consuming.

How would it be if you could access a world of healthcare and wellness services on your palm? And how would it be if you can obtain them as a personalized package? Now, obtain access to a host of health and wellness services including annual health checks, specialist OPD appointments, lab tests and investigations, and much more through just a click.

Here is how you can obtain these services

1. Go to your MediBuddy app or the MediBuddy online portal

2. Click the ‘Wellness’ tile

3. Select the type of wellness program and package you want

4. Select your preferred network medical center

5. Select your preferred date and time

6. Book your appointment.

It is as easy as that. So, just pick up your phone or laptop and opt for your required health service today.

E-Card: An Efficient Way of Identifying Beneficiaries

ID cardDid you know that carrying a Medi Assist card is mandatory during your hospitalization? A Medi Assist card gives the hospital a confirmation that your insurance company has appointed Medi Assist as your TPA. However, carrying a physical card is often a challenge. A physical card gives confirmation of only one beneficiary in the family who is covered by Medi Assist. There is no guarantee that the beneficiary will carry a copy of the card while getting admitted to the hospital. Another challenge is that the card can either get lost or deteriorate due to wear and tear. Moreover, why do you want to carry around a physical card when you can carry an E-Card?

The Medi Assist E-Card helps you in carrying the details of all the beneficiaries of the insurance policy on your phone, instead of carrying individual physical cards. All you need to do is to flash the E-Card on your MediBuddy app upon request at the insurance desk in the hospital at the time of admission.

How can you do this?

Obtaining a Medi Assist E-Card is very simple. You can do it in two ways.

1. Logon to ecard.medibuddy.in and click ‘Download E-Card’.

2. Enter your Medi Assist ID/Employee ID/policy number or your claim ID.

3. Fill the other mandatory fields and click ‘View’ to verify and confirm your details.

4. You can now download the E-Card.

5. Alternately, go to your MediBuddy app. Click the ‘E-Card’ tile and enter your details. You can now view the E-Card on your app.

So, switch to a more efficient way. Download your E-Card today.

Medi Assist Launches its Portal for Retail Policy Holders – me.medibuddy.in

MediBuddy retail

Dr. S. Chiranjeevi Reddy and Satish Gidugu at the launch of me.medibuddy.in, Medi Assist’s portal for retail policy holders

January 29th 2016 was a monumental day for Medi Assist with the launch of me.medibuddy.in, the portal by Medi Assist aimed at retail policy holders. The MediBuddy retail portal aims at giving retail policy holders complete charge of their health benefit management and give them access to various self-help features.

Dr. S Chiranjeevi Reddy, DGM of New India Assurance launched the MediBuddy portal for retail policy holders. Also present during the launch were Ms. Neerja Kapur, Regional Manager, Mr. JK Rao, Health Manager and Dr. Sunil Nakka, New India Assurance. The MediBuddy retail portal is the first portal in the country to provide retail policy holders complete access to their health benefits.

Medi Assist has set another precedent in the industry.

me.MediBuddy.in: The Portal That Puts You at The Centre of Our Universe

If you are serviced by Medi Assist under your group insurance policy, you may have already experienced our MediBuddy online portal and app. However, if you are a retail policy holder, you will not be completely exposed to the MediBuddy online portal due to limited access. As part of group policy, you are already assigned user credentials which you can use to gain access and manage your health benefits and services. However, as a retail policy holder, you do not have the necessary credentials to gain access. This means that you have no control over how you manage your health benefits.

Now for the first time in the industry, retail policy holders who are serviced by Medi Assist can claim access to their own online portal.

Welcome to me.medibuddy.in, the portal that empowers every retail policy holder to take full charge of their health benefit management and give them access to various self-help features.

How can you do this?

Claiming your online portal is a 3-step simple process. Simply follow the steps given below.

1. Identify yourself

a. Visit our online portal me.medibuddy.in.
b. Enter your Medi Assist ID (MAID) or your health insurance policy number.
c. Enter your full name as mentioned in your policy document and your date of birth in the DD-MM-YYYY format.
d. Click Identify. MediBuddy identifies you and retrieves your basic profile information.

2. Complete your profile

a. Click the pencil icon to edit your profile.
b. Do enter your correct mobile number and email ID. Your secure one-time password (OTP), which is mandatory to confirm your login, will be sent to them.

3. Claim your preferred login!

a. Create your own account with your preferred username and password and sign up!
b. You will receive the OTP to your registered email ID and mobile number. Use this OTP to confirm your profile and claim your preferred login.
c. You can then use these credentials to login from the next time onwards.

The me.Medibuddy.in advantage

• With me.medibuddy.in, you have the freedom to create your own personalized credentials.
• Find our network hospitals close to your preferred location.
• Maintain your health records online and gain access to several healthcare and wellness services such as E-Card, prescription medicine and many more from the end of your fingertips.

With me.medibuddy.in, you can completely change the way you go for cashless hospitalization. Try our eCashless service to gain a pre-authorization well ahead of your hospitalization.

So, try me.medibuddy.in now and gain control over all your health benefits and wellness!!

4 Easy Steps to Speed-up Your Reimbursement Claim Settlement

health insuranceClaiming reimbursement for hospitalization may not be a straightforward task as there may be several challenges involved in processing your claims. There may be times when you may be required to submit additional details or documents, and additional information on the treatment. Moreover, the claim processing begins only after all your documents have been received in full. The time taken during the entire process can be stressful.

How would it be if you could enjoy a faster settlement of your reimbursement claim? Would it reduce your worries? Medi Assist can help you in doing this. All you need to do is intimate us of your upcoming claim online before the hospital discharge and upload your documents online on discharge. An advance notification of a reimbursement claim helps us to be ready, and uploading your documents online helps us start working towards your claim processing immediately.

How do you fast-track your reimbursement claim?

Fast-tracking your reimbursement claim is now simple. Just follow the steps below and we will help in settling your claims faster.

• Notify us in advance of your upcoming claim. Go to your MediBuddy app or medibuddy.in and click the ‘Reimbursement’ tile. Fill in the details and click ‘Intimate’. You can also intimate us about your upcoming claim by logging on to the MediBuddy online portal.

• For submitting all your documents online for a reimbursement claim, login to the online portal and fill up the necessary details. Just take a picture of your documents and upload them onto the portal.

• Once you have uploaded your documents online, we will check if we have received all the necessary documents. We will intimate you in case of any missing/additional documents that may be required, so that you can upload them before you courier us all the required documents. This will help you eliminate sending couriers multiple times and stop worrying about unnecessary delays.

• Medi Assist begins the process of settling your claims once you upload the scanned copies of documents on MediBuddy. However, do not forget to send us the hard copy of all your bills and documents you have uploaded within 15 days from the date of discharge, as claims can be settled only upon receipt and validation of the hard copies.

So, what are you waiting for? Fast-track your claim reimbursement process today.

3 Simple Ways to Track Your Claim in Real-time

health insuranceTracking claims becomes extremely important if you plan to raise a claim for hospitalization. If you plan to opt or cashless hospitalization, pre-authorization is an important process that determines whether you qualify for cashless hospitalization. Depending on the sum assured for your treatment, you can be prepared with the amount you have to pay from your pocket including co-pay. On the other hand, if you plan to raise a reimbursement claim, you are bound to go through significant amount of paperwork before your claim gets settled. The claim settlement may also get delayed due to insufficient or incorrect records. Tracking your claim in all these scenarios becomes absolutely necessary so that you can plan your next step in advance.

But, making a claim and tracking it using traditional ways can be quite overwhelming as you may end up spending significant time trying to track it without obtaining a satisfactory response.

Now you have a smarter and efficient way of tracking your claim in real-time using the various options Medi Assist provides. Want to check the status of a reimbursement claim or want to know if your request for cashless hospitalization has been approved before hospitalization? We can help you do this in real-time and from anywhere.

How can you do this?

Medi Assist provides several options to help you keep track of your claim based on your Claim number, Medi Assist ID, email address or mobile number. Here are the options you can use.

– Use your MediBuddy app and click the ‘Claims’ tile. Enter your claim number and other details to track your claim. Alternately, you can use your mobile browser or go online to track your claim on medibuddy.in.

– You can also go to track.medibuddy.in and enter your details to search for your claim details.

– Opting for our SMS alerts is another good way of keeping track of your claim. Just SMS Claims [Claim Number] to +91 96631 49992 to obtain real-time status of your claim.

So, why lose sleep on inconvenient claim tracking processes? Self-help is empowering. Choose one of the aforementioned options and keep track of your claim in real-time.

Now Order Medicines to Your Doorstep

medicine

Falling sick and getting treated is an inescapable part of life. And with treatment comes prescription medicines, which can be bought from a medical store close to you. But there is no guarantee that the medicines prescribed to you are available at the medical store. There is also no guarantee that the alternate medicine provided by the pharmacist has the required composition prescribed to you. Moreover, why go to a medical store when it can come to you?

Now you can just order your prescription medicines from us and get it delivered to your doorstep in a simpler and faster way.

 

This is how you can do it

• Go to the MediBuddy online portal and click the ‘Medicines’ tile.

• Enter the patient details, delivery address where the medicines need to be delivered, and preferred time of delivery.

• Upload a copy of your valid prescription. Search for your prescribed medicines and place the order.

Medicines will be handed over to you upon validating the original prescription.

Why order from us?

While you can go and buy your prescription medicines from your closest medical store, here are the advantages of ordering your medicines from us.

• Assured availability of prescription and specialty drugs.

• Genuineness of the medicines you are buying from us.

• Attractive discounts on MRP on the medicines you are buying.

• Multiple payment options – Cash on delivery, credit card, Medi Assist prepaid card, or cashless if the prescription is covered under the insurance.

So, why wait in a queue at the medical store without the surety of getting the prescribed medicine? Order from us, and save your precious time and money.

3 Simple Steps to Maintain Your Personal Health Records Safely

How do you usually maintain your health records? We bet, you maintain a file of all the prescriptions, scans and tests, health screening reports, discharge summaries, and store it in a safe place. However, there are several problems associated with maintaining physical records. One problem is that you must be extremely organized in order to make sure that you keep the records in the same file in the same location every time you take it out. If not, they can never be found when you need them the most due to misplacement. Another problem is that paper can deteriorate over the years. You may even end up losing an important record and this may prove costly to you. Do not forget about the cumbersome process of carrying a physical record with you every time you travel.

Now, it is simpler to maintain all the health records in one place and never lose them again. Moreover, you can access your record anytime and from any place you want. How can you do it? Simply use the MediBuddy app or online portal.

How does it work?

• Go to your MediBuddy online portal, click on the ‘Records’ tile and sign into your account.

• Upload all the records onto the secured digital repository. In order to scan the documents, simply take a picture of them.

• Whenever you need to access any of these records, sign in or just enter your details to access them. You can view your documents on the MediBuddy app and download them from the online portal.

So, say good bye to the inconvenient ways of storing your health records. Switch to secure and efficient ways of storing them securely and accessing them anytime and from anywhere.

Have you tried a Planned eCashless Hospitalization?

eCashless has something for everyone in the health insurance ecosystem. For you and me, eCashless offers a hassle-free method to get a provisional preauthorization before hospitalization using your MediBuddy app. For hospitals, eCashless the a great way to plan reservations and improve patient experience. And for the health insurance industry, eCashless means taking one definitive step into the future – a future driven by technology, mobility and extreme customer delight.

Here is how it works!!

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Read the whole story here-
Medi Assist introduces ‘eCashless’ feature to book cashless hospitalization

Medi Assist India Revolutionizes Cashless Hospitalization with eCashless

Medi Assist launches eCashless, a feature on their MediBuddy mobile app that allows members to plan a cashless hospitalization from the comfort of their homes before being admitted to hospital. Instead of queuing up at the hospitals, preauthorization request can be raised in just a few clicks. Member receives a secure passcode on the mobile app, straightaway walk into the hospital and presents the secure passcode along with a valid photo ID proof.

With the launch of eCashless, both the patient and the hospital are able to plan the hospitalization comfortably and well in advance. This marks one more step to improve our customer experience at the time of hospitalization.

 

Click here to see our eCashless video :

https://www.mediassistindia.com/ecashless/

The world is discovering  eCashless . Click the link below to read more:

http://tinyurl.com/hxcb2m5

Infographics

Reimbursements

Reimbursement Claims

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eCashless from Medi Assist

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Planned Hospitalization

Visit Medi Assist

Visit Medi Assist

Say hello to eCashless

Say hello to eCashless

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Track Your Claims

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Help us Deliver our Promise

Get The app Now !

Get The app Now !

Enrollment in Three Simple steps

Enrollment in three Simple steps

MediBuddy

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Health Care and Health Insurance

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Cashless Hospitalization

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Intimate Reimbursement

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Wellness with Medi Assist.

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Personalizing your world of Health Care .

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MediBuddy Begins with ME !

MediBuddy Begins with ME !

A New Age Portal For the New Age Agent

eCashless, THE most convenient way to avail cashless hospitalization, is here!

Consider how you plan a vacation today. You don’t wait for hours at the travel agent’s desk; you don’t stand in the queue for your train or air tickets; you simply use your smartphone and plan your vacation online. The simplicity of booking and scheduling makes the holiday even more enjoyable.

Now consider how you plan a hospitalization in the family. After consultation with your doctor, you walk into the hospital on the finalized date of admission for the procedure. You join the long queue at the insurance desk to apply for a preauthorization. And while you’re away there, your family waits anxiously for you at the ward. “Why doesn’t someone think of a better way to get this done more efficiently?” you think to yourself.

We did! Presenting eCashless from Medi Assist, a whole new way of experiencing cashless hospitalization. eCashless gives you the power to get a provisional preauthorization even before you walk into the hospital. Here’s how it works:

  1. You opt for an eCashless using your MediBuddy mobile app and enter basic details about the treatment.
  2. Medi Assist sends your request to your chosen network hospital.
  3. The hospital provides an early estimate for the treatment and forwards your request to Medi Assist.
  4. Medi Assist releases a provisional preauthorization to the hospital. Simultaneously, you receive a secure passcode for your request.
  5. On the date of admission, you walk into the hospital and show your secure passcode at the insurance desk.
  6. The hospital “unlocks” your provisional approval with your passcode and instantly hands over the preauthorization.

The result, no waiting, no queues, no last-minute decision making and much lesser anxiety. What more, a planned hospitalization with Medi Assist also helps you reduce your out of pocket expense by opting for preferred discounted tariffs.

So the next time you’re planning a hospitalization, don’t do it the traditional way – make it eCashless, make it really, really easy.

Network Hospital Search: It’s as simple as a map with you at the centre!

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You’ve heard about this fancy new restaurant and want to find out where it is located. So you pick up your smartphone, open Maps, enter the name of the restaurant and locate it on the map.

If finding a restaurant can be so easy, why not network hospitals? After all, the urgency associated with finding a hospital is far greater than that associated with locating a place for leisure activity.

And so, we decided to transform the way Medi Assist members find and locate network hospitals – using just your location and your maps. Here’s how:

1. Open your MediBuddy app. (Don’t have it yet? Get it today from your app store today). But just in case, you can also visit medibuddy.in and click the Hospitals tile.

location

2. Set your location, either your current location or change the location as necessary.

3. Choose your insurer so you see only those hospitals that are in your insurer network. (This is important because cashless hospitalization is available only at network hospitals.

4. Voila, you can see all your network hospitals! You can also change the search radius to increase your search area.

Radius

Not only do you get the location of the hospital along with all their contact details, you also have a clear visual indication of the route. Really, really simple, isn’t it? Try it and let us know what you think.