Sanjeev Arora, MD, FACP, FACG, is the Director of Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). He is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC), Albuquerque, USA. He has been involved in management of viral hepatitis for over 20 years, and led the development and implementation of the Hepatitis C Disease Management Program at UNMHSC.
Dr. Arora developed the Project ECHO® model as a platform for service delivery, education and evaluation. Using video-conferencing technology and case-based learning, primary care clinicians and health care providers from rural and underserved are trained and mentored by ECHO®’s medical specialists to deliver best-practice management of complex health conditions in their communities. A key component of the ECHO® model is an innovation known as Knowledge Networks, in which the expertise of a single specialist is shared with numerous primary clinicians through teleECHOTM clinics, thereby increasing access to care in rural areas without having to recruit, retain and fund additional clinicians.
In 2007, Project ECHO® came in first among more than 300 entries from 27 countries in winning the Changemakers award. This international competition was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson and Ashoka Foundations to identify programs that are changing the paradigm of how medicine is practiced.
Dr Sanjeev Arora visited NIMHANS on 10th February 2014. He met faculty who are planning to develop ECHO model of knowledge network in specific areas. He delivered a guest lecture for staffs and students of NIMHANS regarding Project ECHO. He highlighted its application in training manpower in chronic complex disorders like dementia, addiction, chronic pain, Hepatitis C etc.
NIMHANS is planning to collaborate with ECHO, US to implement similar programme in the area of Addiction. This will help in developing manpower, decreasing the disparity of care and reaching out underserved population by use of technology.