The emergence of modern homeopathy

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Dr Mukesh Batra
Dr Mukesh Batra
Dr Mukesh Batra is the founder of Dr Batra's group of companies, a chain of over 200+ homeopathy clinics in seven countries and an FMCG brand. He is a Padma Shri awardee and a renowned author.

Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Samuel Hahnemann discovered homeopathy 225 years ago in 1796 in Germany. At that time, there were only 200 drugs available but today, there are 12,000 remedies available which are part of an international pharmacopeia. The World Health Organization established the International Pharmacopoeia. The Indian Pharmacopeia was established by executive orders of the Government of India in 1956, in connection with the Indian Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1940. 

Homeopathic remedies were first initiated in India around the nineteenth century. Homeopathy was brought to India through the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab and quickly spread throughout India. It was particularly popular in Bengal and Mahendra Lal Sircar was the first Indian to practice homeopathy.

Due to the personalisation and individualisation of homeopathic treatment, the task of getting the right remedy for the patient has been difficult. For example, there could be over 200 remedies for a simple headache. Its variations of locations and sensations make the job of a homeopath more challenging.  

Twenty years ago, different softwares were developed that helped to identify ninety thousand permutations and combinations for a single disease. One can get the top 10 remedies for any disease. This narrows down the homeopath’s choice to select the right remedy based on his experience. This ensures better patient outcomes than the ‘hit and miss’ methods used by homeopaths earlier.

Digitalising prescriptions

According to the Institute of Medicine’s (IoM) research study ‘To Err is Human’, medication errors cause at least an estimated 44,000 preventable deaths in the United States of America alone. Out of these around 7000 casualties are due to illegible shoddy writing of doctors in hospitals. There are no pharmacist courses available specific to reading prescriptions. Prescription errors in medicine were increasing day by day. Therefore, the necessity to digitise prescriptions is the need of the hour. We set up electronic case records at Dr Batra’s® way back in 1982. Electronically generated prescriptions do away with prescription errors. The growth of electronic prescriptions is projected to reach USD 4 billion by 2026.  Digitalization in homeopathy is something we started at Dr Batra’s® 40 years ago.  Over the years digitalisation in homeopathy at Dr Batra’s® has grown to 24×7 live connectivity across multiple geographies and locations. This allows for patient reviews and second opinions by senior doctors globally.  

Data mining past digital health records of over fifteen lakh patients not only helps us to know our patients better but also provides a useful tool for Artificial Intelligence to use our past experiences to benefit future patients. If 25,000 patients of Psoriasis have been treated and 5000 of them had stress as a cause and they were prescribed Natrum Muriaticum and if 90% of them got better with this medicine then Natrum Muriaticum will become the first choice of future prescriptions for patients who are suffering from psoriasis and stress. Using the experience of so many thousands of patients will ultimately benefit future patients coming into clinics.  

From challenges to changes

One of the greater challenges for all doctors today is patient compliance. Spoilt for multiple choices through aggressive marketing, a flood of friendly experiential advice from social media channels and not sticking to the advice of a single doctor or following the doctor’s instructions poses a challenge.  

Patients following the correct dosage regime is another challenge. This is more so in homeopathy, as homeopathic medicines are dispensed in a glass bottle with no restriction on the number of pills taken and with no pill segregation. There is no way to count the number of pills consumed by the patient. As a result, patient compliance and therefore patient benefit are compromised. To overcome this challenge, in 1982 at Dr Batra’s® we started blister-packing homeopathy medicines which are properly measured in pouches and filled by semi-automatic machines, untouched by hand. This enabled better patient compliance. A few homeopaths across the country are now dispensing blister pack medicines for their patients.   

Another change over the years in homeopathic practice has been the use of technology for diagnoses and adjunct treatment to get quicker results for patients. Instead of having subjective symptom judgments by homeopaths, we now have measurable objective methods to judge the success of our treatments. For example, in patients suffering from breathing disorders like asthma and COPD, at Dr Batra’s®, we conduct electronic pulmonary function tests in our clinics which measure the breathing capacity of patients, before and after treatment. Our results are, therefore, accepted by the scientific community and help in the acceptance of homeopathy. The homeopathic community is gradually moving towards measuring the success of treatments through objective clinical outcomes.  

The latest trend is to use aesthetic treatments with homeopathy to get quicker treatment results. We at Dr Batra’s® have done this successfully by using homeopathic products with Mesotherapy to get better results in patients suffering from hair loss and Hydra facials with homeopathy to benefit patients with skin diseases.  

Change as they say is the only constant. This is true of homeopathy as well. Adapting to modernization, homeopathy keeps itself young and contemporary. With its safe and holistic method of treatment, it is poised to challenge modern medicine.

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