World
Silver lining of the Greek and China crisis: Oil capitulation
Indian bears are pressing the sell button hard taking cues from the Chinese stock market sell-off and the possible contagion effects of a Grexit on peripheral Europe. 
 
Yes, the China fall is extremely worrying. This is not only because of the steepness of the fall and the scary margin debt levels the rally had been built on but the fact that Beijing has failed to stem this capitulation. The belief that the Chinese authorities has a stronghold on the domestic economy - from inflation to property markets to equity and FX markets - has been shattered. The so called "Beijing put" has vanished. 
 
Copper is a commodity known to have a PhD in economics. The metal, which has in the past predicted many economic booms and busts, is on the verge of a major technical breakdown. There certainly seems to be more global economic pain ahead.
 
But within this gloomy context (at least from India's perspective), a commodity sell off has been a net positive. Oil prices have dropped by more than 15 percent with both crude benchmarks - WTI and Brent - showing no signs of a trend reversal. Add to this that the market will soon start focusing on the potential Iran deal breakthrough. When the US/European sanctions on Iran crude are lifted, Iran can and will restore its production of one million barrels per day  fairly quickly. Iran's oil minister has told OPEC ministers that this supply can hit the market in less than six months.
 
As things stand now, there is a low probability that Fed chief Janet Yellen will raise rates in September. The US federal funds rate futures market certainly believes that is the case. Considering that a September liftoff was the base case scenario just a few weeks back, the delay in monetary tightening will support emerging markets ex-China. 
 
The above two factors - delay in US rate hike and the fall in oil prices - should finally encourage our conservative "star" central banker to step up the interest rate easing cycle in India. India badly needs a considerably large fall in capital to revive our investment cycle. 
 
The RBI has been behind the curve and Governor Raghuram Rajan must act urgently. This is not the time to be talking about global coordinated monetary policy and "depression like economic conditions". 

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What's up, Doc, or should that be WhatsApp, Doc?
As more Indians join social media platforms, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, among others, are helping to reach out to patients, guide them for treatments, provide counselling post-surgery and create close-knit support communities
 
When you fall ill or want to seek medical advice, who do you turn to? Your family doctor or the neighbourhood medico, of course. But, say experts, you may have now another possibility: social media.
 
As more Indians join social media platforms, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, among others, are helping to reach out to patients, guide them for treatments, provide counselling post-surgery and create close-knit support communities.
 
"We are frequently using WhatsApp, Skype and Viber to reach out to patients. Currently, we have over 180 patients connected via WhatsApp and over 30 through Skype who are receiving online rehabilitation training," says Dr H.S. Chhabra, medical director and chief of spine service at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi.
 
At present, there are 143 million social media users in India, including 25 million in rural India. By 2020, India will have at least 1.4 billion mobile subscribers, according to a latest report by Swedish communication technology and services provider Ericsson.
 
The medical trend has been catching up fast with the Indian health providers. Take the case of Anil Kalra, 27, who was diagnosed with a severe spinal cord injury in December 2012. After the surgery at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, he underwent rehabilitation for four months.
 
While recovering, doctors provided him health tips post-surgery via skype for 45 minutes daily for six weeks. After the online counselling period, Kalra is a happy man now. "Kalra's case demonstrates the importance of internet and social media platforms," Dr Chhabra told IANS.
 
Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynecologist and obstetrician at New Delhi-based Nurture IVF Centre, has been using social media platforms for patients' benefit. "I use Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube to have a constructive dialogue with my patients. Social media is enabling collaborations in the context of health care which is essential in promoting awareness via sharing testimonies, providing support and advocating best health practices," Dr Bajaj said.
 
The power of social networking in medicine should not be underestimated. "Many patients are joining us via social media. Many of them have received key knowledge about their ailments and possible treatments on Facebook and WhatsApp," says Dr S.S. Sibia, medical director at the Sibia Medical Centre in Ludhiana that is famous for non-invasive treatments for various diseases.
 
This has saved many lives, he adds.
 
At Max Super Speciality Hospitals in New Delhi, WhatsApp has connected several breast cancer patients with specialists who are available for counselling round the clock.
 
"We have radiation oncologists and onco-surgery specialists on the WhatsApp group. So if a patient posts a query, whichever expert is available to answer at that time, addresses the query," said Dr Anupama Hooda, director (medical oncology) at Max Hospitals.
 
At times, patients share general health tips, anecdotes and organise activities like yoga with group members.
 
"We have more than 75 active members on WhatsApp and are strict about the content being posted. It is not an entertainment group - it's only for support purposes," Dr Hooda emphasises.
 
In a recent survey involving 2,250 people in the US, nearly 57 percent said they were interested in using Facebook and e-mails to reach out to doctors for managing health better.
 
Nearly 46 percent of patients wanted to use e-mail to track their health progress, said the survey from Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
 
"We do use social media to counsel our patients and take queries from post-surgery long-distance patients to resolve their concerns," comments Dr Deep Goel, director (department of bariatric and gastrointestinal onco-surgeon) at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.
 
"We also have a WhatsApp group of our bariatric patients who remain in touch with surgeons and dietitians," he informs.
 
Social media's use in health care is limited in India, though.
 
"Social media can be a double-edge sword for health experts because communication over e-mails and instant massaging may not provide the complete profile of the patient," Dr Hooda emphasises.
 
"Drug prescription and final diagnosis should be done only after a through physical examination," Dr Goel stresses.
 
Social media, however, is a great platform to understand the epidemiology of diseases.
 
Moreover, social media can play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between doctor and patients.
 
"Facebook and Twitter can play a major role in mending the increasing distrust between the patients and their doctors," say the experts.
 
According to Dr Samir Parikh, director (mental health and behavioural science) at Fortis Hospitals, social media is helping provide emotional and practical resources to patients and creating awareness about other health-related issues.
 
"Social media is also breaking stereotypes, giving lifestyle and health tips, facilitating behaviour changes and, ultimately, helping people lead healthier and safer lives," Dr Parikh says.

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