Amity University organizes webinar on “Improving Health Care Supply Chain in India with Technology”

New Delhi: CII School of Logistics, Amity University organized a webinar on “Improving Health Care Supply Chain in India with Technology: Lesson learnt from Covid 19 Pandemic”, to provide students with information on the challenges in the healthcare supply chain management in India and to provide a way forward with the implementation of new-age technological tools during Covid 19. On this occasion, Dr. Anita Kumar, Director, CII School of Logistics, Amity University, welcomed the guest- Dr. Nitin Aggarwal, Joint Director, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India. During the webinar, Dr. Aggarwal presented several case studies on the diagnostic toolkit development, medicines, oxygen and essential items and non-availability of hospital beds during the second wave of the Pandemic.

He outlined the Government’s two phase strategy for the vaccination programme- the initial phase (Jan 13th onwards)would include the healthcare workers, people with comorbidities and population older than 60 years,; the second phase which started from May 01 would include everyone above 18 years. The distribution flow of the vaccine from the government was -Central Government to purchase 50 percent from SII and Bharat Biotech and give to the state governments and the remaining fifty percent vaccine would be purchased by the state governments to provide to private hospital institutions etc. Discussing the challenges in vaccine supply, he said that the main factors were: lack of cold chain storage network, tracking of vaccines, inadequate supply of syringe, glass vials and trained manpower etc. Technology (Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Blockchain can play to monitor the transportation of the vaccine and staff can be cross-trained to provide multiple job functions. Dr. Aggarwal also said dashboards should be used to monitor the vaccination administrative work and manage back-end supply chain. While discussing the oxygen supply case, he commented that the demand increased from 3842 MT to 6785 MT in just ten days during the second wave. The government immediately responded to the crisis and diverted Oxygen used in the industrial units to the states and also imported from abroad. Regarding the supply chain of medicines and other essential items, Dr. Aggarwal said that in order to improve the supply chain, supplier layers should be reduced, products should be monitored with artificial intelligence, and tracking devices and dashboards should be used to monitor the supply chain from the source to the customer. New business models or e-supply chains should be developed, communication levels and protocols should be improved for effective cooperation between the different entities of the supply chain. A valuable suggestion given by Dr. Aggarwal was, that Emergency Media Broadcasting policy should be formulated to prevent spread of rumours and false information. To summarise, he proposed following solutions to improve the healthcare supply chain in India: implementation of digital technological tools such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Dashboards; smaller supply chains with few layers; new business models to suit the growing demand; restructuring policy for risk analysis; and multi-skill employee recruitment and biometric tracking of cross-functional power.

Dr. Anita Kumar, Director, CII School of Logistics, Amity University said as the entire world is facing health crisis during the second wave of Covid 19 , leading to demand and supply mismatch of hospital beds, shortage of healthcare items like oxygen, vaccine, medicines. Severe measures have been taken by the government to address the gap but there is lack of transparency and availability of authentic information. We have organized this webinar to discuss the challenges and propose measures to strengthen the overcall the healthcare ecosystem in India.