Citizens' Issues
Dole out cash to workers if you want them fit
New York : Fit workers lead to better productivity and if you want your employees to be physically active, start rewarding them with financial incentives, a team of researchers including an Indian-origin scientist has said.
 
According to the researchers, the combined incentive scheme worked best at getting people to exercise more as providing individual rewards may be less effective because there is not enough social reinforcement from peers. 
 
"Better to try a combination of individual and team incentives," said Mitesh Patel from University of Pennsylvania.
 
"The findings provide a better understanding of how team-based models and financial incentives can be used to change people's behaviour towards better health and how physical activity interventions and wellness programs can be better designed," added Patel in the paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. 
 
For the study, the researchers challenged 304 employees from an organisation in Philadelphia and divided them into 76 four-member teams to take at least 7,000 steps a day. 
 
Participants received daily feedback on how well they fared. Smartphones were also found to be a hassle-free and more objective way to monitor a person's physical activity. 
 
The results showed that the combined incentive scheme worked best at getting people to exercise more. 
 
Participants in this group averaged 5,280 steps per day -- 1,446 steps more than the control group. 
 
People tend to be more engaged when they are offered variable rewards such as through a lottery or drawing than through a constant payment, the authors noted. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Government buying boosts tablet PCs sale in India: Report
New Delhi : Thanks to government buying, the sale of tablet PCs in India rose marginally in 2015 with 4.4 million devices sold across the country -- registering a growth of 13 percent over 2014, a report said on Wednesday.
 
According to the "India Annual Tablet PC Market Review, CY 2015" by market research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), Samsung, Datawind and Micromax took the top three leadership positions in the tablet PC market in 2015. 
 
"The marginal rise in tablet performance could be attributed to a few government deals. However, with the rising demand for phablets/smartphones, the challenge for the industry would be to make it more exciting and bring in features attracting consumer segment especially, which should be other than the screen size," said Tanvi Sharma, analyst for tablet devices at CMR, in a statement.
 
The appetite for cellular access devices is increasing in India where three of the four devices sold in 2015 were supporting cellular internet access technologies.
 
The uptake of 4G-enabled tablets is also on the rise with a little over seven percent of the total tablets shipped supporting 4G, the report found. It said 4G tablets formed 9 percent of the total Tablets shipped.
 
iPad sales dipped 22 percent in units while Android was still the "default" OS choice with 92 percent share. Windows rose by one percent at three percent.
 
"The trend could be seen shifting towards convertibles tablets that come with a detached keyboard. At the same time, price sensitive consumers are resorting to sub-5K band instead of 5k-10k tablets, which was the trend last year," Sharma said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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'Time to take robotic surgery to the masses'
New Delhi : Multi-disciplinary robotic surgery has proved its efficacy in India in just five years and it is now time for the government to step in to ensure that it benefits the masses, say top robotic surgeons.
 
The intervention is needed so that more people can opt for robot-assisted surgeries to treat various medical conditions -- including cancer. Such surgeries involve minimal blood loss, quick recovery, shorter hospital stay and a faster return to normal life.
 
"The Centre and state governments must provide robotic surgery units at premier institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), PGIs and 200 medical colleges across the country so that the benefits reach the needy," says Dr Mahendra Bhandari, CEO, Vattikuti Foundation, a US-based non-profit promoting robotic surgeries across the world, including India.
 
Currently, close to 30 health facilities are performing high-end robotic surgeries (here, we need to exclude laparoscopic or basic lithotripsy methods altogether) to treat various complicated health conditions.
 
Of these, 12 are in north India (including AIIMS, Apollo, Max Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Fortis, Medanta); eight in western India (Jaslok Hospital, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Tata Memorial Hospital); seven in southern India (Apollo Hospital, Chennai and Hyderabad, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, and Aster Medicity, Kochi); and one in Kolkata (Apollo Gleneagles Hospital).
 
Two more robotic machines are on their way and will be installed this month - one each in the west and south.
 
In 2015, nearly 190 robotic surgeons in India performed over 4,000 procedures in the areas of urology, gynaecology, thoracic, paediatric, general surgery, head and neck and bariatric (weight-loss) surgeries.
 
"The government has the responsibility to ensure treatment to people who can't afford private health care. I do believe that two-fifths of Indians below the poverty line can't be deprived of medical attention for long," Dr Bhandari, who spent nearly four decades practising cutting-edge medicine in some of the best-run government institutions in India, told IANS.
 
The Vattikuti Foundation is behind the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where Dr Bhandari is working as director, robotic research and education.
 
Robotic surgery is preferred over traditional laparoscopic techniques because robots operate in 360-degree mode and can reach difficult-to-access parts -- such as stomach blood vessels -- with ease. Moreover, robotic suturing is far more accurate, causes less blood loss, sees faster recovery and leaves practically no scars.
 
"Compared to laparoscopic procedures where there are longer hospital stays and over a month-long rest period, those undergoing robotic surgeries are back home in two-three days and return to normal activities within three weeks," says Dr Arun Prasad, robotic surgeon (institute of robotic surgery) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
 
"The surgical robot with four arms can reach organs and areas where human fingers can't. The three-dimensional (3D) view that can be magnified multi-fold helps the surgeons achieve precision that is hard to match," informs Dr Bhandari.
 
The greatest impact has been in cancer surgery; it is now possible to remove tumours from almost any organ in the abdomen or chest with great precision and accuracy while saving normal and healthy tissues.
 
"Patients recover much faster, have significantly less pain and have decreased chances of developing complications as compared to conventional surgery. Dearth of adequately trained and experienced robotic surgeons is a limitation which we have to strive to overcome," says Dr Gagan Gautam, head of urologic oncology and robotic surgery at Max Cancer Centre in Saket.
 
Dr Gautam has performed over 500 robotic procedures since 2011. From 2009 to 2011, he pursued a two-year clinical fellowship in robotic urological cancer surgery at the University of Chicago.
 
Dr Tarun Mittal, laparoscopic and obesity surgeon at Sir Gangaram Hospital, firmly believes robot-assisted surgeries will only increase in the next three to five years. But it will require government intervention.
 
"The government should make an effort to create awareness among the masses, laying emphasis on the success rates of such surgeries. They can make these robot-assisted surgeries as part of the 'Make in India' project, making it cost-effective by providing subsidies so that it reaches the common man," Dr Mittal told IANS.
 
Dr Sanjay Gogoi, director (urology and renal transplant), Fortis Memorial Research Institute, says that the government should take the initiative to convince insurance companies to cover robotic surgical procedures.
 
"Moreover, it should reduce the duties on imported robotic consumables. This will greatly reduce the cost of the procedures," Dr Gogoi told IANS.
 
For Dr Bhandari, robotic surgery in India is already significantly cheaper, when compared to the west. "I do hope that the cost of robotic surgeries will come down further. How soon and by how much the cost will come down is difficult to answer as of now," he adds.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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