Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ayurveda goes Online

In my previous post,I had spoken about the Ayurveda portal and how it can be used to learn about Ayurveda and to find doctors all over the world. Recently I came across an article in the media stating that NIA (National Institute of Ayurveda,Ministry of Health) ,a branch of government plans to open up consultancy services for patients around the world. The website is expected to start in a month and will initially offer consultancy services to patients.Later they plan to start telemedicine. (Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred via telephone, the Internet or other networks for the purpose of consulting, and sometimes remote medical procedures or examinations)

The following are the objectives of the NIA -
  1. To promote the growth and development of Ayurveda.
  2. To produce graduates and post-graduates in all branches of Ayurveda.
  3. To conduct, research on various aspects of Ayurveda.
  4. To provide medical care through Ayurvedic System of Medicine to the suffering humanity.
  5. To provide and assist in providing services and facilities of the highest order for research, evaluation, training, consultation and guidance to Ayurvedic System of Medicine.
  6. To conduct experiments and develop patterns of teaching in under-graduate and post-graduate education in all branches of Ayurveda.
Here is what Institute director Mahesh Chandra Sharma had to say -

"With our online consultancy service, people will be able to report their illness on NIA's website. Operators will forward all queries to the expert concerned and submit back his or her advice. Ayurveda consultants anywhere in the world can also seek advice on treatment of a particular illness," Sharma told IANS.

Since Ayurveda is a globally recognised phenomenon and is seen as an alternative treatment, it plays an important role in Wellness Tourism as well. Ayurveda can play a major role in augmenting inbound traffic and the hospitality industry has identified both Wellness and Medical Tourism as potential growth area. This website is a good initiative from the NIA and it will be interesting to see whether it can live up to its own objectives of spreading Ayurveda to the world and providing medical care through Ayurvedic System of Medicine to the suffering humanity.

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