Globally, yoga is becoming popular and its health benefits are no longer just restricted to physical wellbeing- it also helps in reducing stress. Dr Raghavendra Rao, GM, Clinical Excellence, HCG and CEO Aayu Healthcare interacts with Usha Sharma and talks about yoga’s benefits and its role in chronic diseases management
Tell us the objective behind partnering with Dozee?
Dozee came up with a wonderful non-contact device to measure vitals, stress and sleep. They came to me with a proposal for using this device in our hospital for data acquisition. We realised that we should be doing more than just monitoring or diagnosing a medical condition. We should be offering solutions as well. Seeing that Dozee measured stress, we came up with an idea of using yoga interventions as a solution to manage stress and mooted the idea of relaxation response. Dozee modified its software to measure relaxation response and came up with a meditation app. Yoga with this technology makes sense as the participants would be able to gauge their progress in practice and the device will act as a bio-feedback to help patients improve their relaxation response to the cues and instructions. We thought of creating a delivery platform AAYU Healthcare where we can offer yoga-based solutions to patients and where patients can monitor their progress on the app. We are in the process of releasing a smart ‘yoga mat’ that measures stress and guide you to relaxation.
Presently, there are several wearable devices in the market. How such tech lead innovation in healthcare will improve the scenario?
There are several wearable devices in the market but none of them is non-contact in nature. Secondly, these wearables have not been standardised in clinical settings and have high rates of error and can not be relied upon clinically. Dozee, right from the beginning has worked towards perfecting their algorithms and are now in a commanding position to use the same.
How complementary therapies will help medical treatments? Are there any substantial studies available?
Yoga as a complementary therapy is quite popular and has been used to treat a host of conditions ranging from autism to Alzheimers disease. The number of research publications on yoga has increased nearly four-fold in the last four decades. Yoga is now being used in almost every major hospital in the United States and is used as a form of therapy in conjunction with modern medicine. There exists evidence for its use and therefore it is now called ‘integrative medicine’.
How meditation can improve the present healthcare scenario in India? And what efforts/initiatives have been initiated by the government?
Regular yoga and meditation are known to reduce distress and stress in patients by ushering in the relaxation response. By repeated practice and by going deeper into this response, one can reduce symptoms such as anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc.
On the World Yoga Day, what message would you like to give to the community?
Work the body and calm the mind through yoga. Make yoga a part of your life.