Mumbai: Virtual autopsies will soon be a reality in India — with the city’s BYL Nair Hospital taking the lead in this regard. It is going to be the first hospital in the nation to conduct virtual post-mortems. The technology, which is commonly used in countries like Europe, Malaysia, Switzerland, will now be available in Mumbai. However, there is no clarity on the exact date on which this facility will be made available to Mumbaikars since the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to float a tender for the technology.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean of Nair Hospital, said hi-tech diagnostic CT scanners with 3D imaging will be used to scan the body to help identify minute fractures and blood clots, which are invisible to the naked eye. “Usually it takes one or two hours for a post mortem, but with this technology, it will be done in 30 minutes. This will not only help provide more accurate analysis, but also faster reports and ease the burden on forensic experts,” he said.
Idzes Kundan, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Health, said that the tendering process for this project is yet to be undertaken and the total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 15-20 crore. “We will be taking advice from doctors on this project. Once the tendering is done, it will begin on a pilot basis and if we get a positive response from the hospital, it will soon be undertaken in other civic-hospitals,” said Kundan.
Group Leader of Samajwadi Party in the BMC, Rais Shaikh, said that families are traumatised on seeing the cut body of their deceased kin, but the new digital process will ensure that bodies are intact. “We have welcomed the move of the civic body as it was a long-pending project. Through this technology, bodies handed over to relatives would have been subjected to minimal invasion,” he added.
He further said a similar proposal was made nearly four years ago to provide such a facility in Sion Hospital, but the BMC had declined the move. “Finally last week, BMC health officials held a meeting and approved the idea of starting it in the civic-run Nair Hospital,” said Shaikh.