In Singapore, Rahul Gandhi came up with the idea of connecting all MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines or scanners, and since then the internet is trying to decipher what exactly he meant and how is that going to help the humanity.
Rahul Gandhi had said that the entire healthcare sector on the planet would be transformed if all the MRIs were connected.
How to transform the healthcare sector?
Shri Shri Rahul Gandhi Ji : Connect all the MRI machines in the country pic.twitter.com/8hb0segVAy
— Tajinder Bagga (@TajinderBagga) March 9, 2018
A comment that initially drew nothing but laughter has now been turned into something that is in fact intellectually valid and visionary in nature. Some dynasty fans went on to say that those mocking Rahul Gandhi were morons and had no legitimacy to speak on this topic:
Morons on Twitter making fun of @OfficeOfRG remarks on linking MRI machines. It is perhaps too much to expect the faithful to have heard of Connected Health which is predicted as the future of HealthCare. Go Google.
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) March 9, 2018
While most of the commentators trying to rationalise what Rahul Gandhi said, had no domain knowledge themselves and were aligned to the Congress party or Congress-left ecosystem, some neutral observers too explained that some research in collating and understanding data of MRIs was underway. However, it was not clear if Rahul Gandhi is aware of these scientific developments:
There are some truly pioneering efforts being made through science, medicine, and technology, to make possible world-wide sharing of MRI data. Open fMRI (https://t.co/P1JCgQMyLI ) and Oasis Brains (https://t.co/cNXmtJ0ha7 ) just two examples. Neuroimaging data-sharing is here.
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) March 9, 2018
So did Rahul Gandhi really suggest a scientifically or technologically critical and novel idea? It depends on the benefit of doubt you are willing to give Rahul Gandhi for his intelligence and knowledge.
However, an interesting information that has come out in this debate, is that a part of the wisdom — which depends upon how liberally and favourably you are willing to interpret Congress President’s statement — demonstrated by Rahul Gandhi was already executed by Narendra Modi more than ten years ago when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The information came out when a doctor and a commentator-on-all-things got into a debate on Twitter over Rahul Gandhi’s statement, where the commentator-on-all-things was trying to mock Narendra Modi supporters. The doctor revealed that he had already participated in a pilot program on the digitisation of health records in Gujarat:
Internet connectivity and digital healthcare data management was Modi’s initiative in Gujarat state- I was a part of pilot planning team when Amarjit Singh was the Health Secretary. 2005-8.
Connecting MRI machines and selling patient data to Singapore is brainfart.
— Be’Havin! (@WrongDoc) March 10, 2018
The document on Hospital Management Information Services [pdf] shows that these ideas had been pursued years before the dynastic scion came up with his brilliant idea. Such a system was pursued as early as 2006 in Gujarat. The first paragraph of the executive summary of this report says:
“The Hospital Management Information System has been envisaged to help health administrators in Gujarat to exercise an enhanced monitoring control over the functioning of government hospitals by using decision support indicators, to assist doctors and medical staff to improve health services with readily reference patient records and a work flow enabled less-paper process and to provide efficient and timely treatment to patients through automatic alerts during patient treatment cycle.”
So Rahul Gandhi might appear to have a point, but he never made that point. The theories put forward by Gandhi’s supporters and opportunistic fence-sitters are incoherent to say the least, especially when Rahul Gandhi did not explain about what his idea of connecting MRIs was. This appears to be a classic case of drawing a target after the arrow has landed on a spot.