WEO welcomes Dr Sravanthi Parasa as new Chair of the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee. Below, Dr Parasa shares some of her ideas and expectations for her two-year term in that position.

What are the goals that you would wish the Committee to accomplish during both the COVID and immediate post-COVID eras?

The direct impact of COVID has already been significant on healthcare globally and gastroenterology and endoscopy has not been an exception to this. The goals for the committee include: 

  1. Understanding the impact of deferred care across different continents as it pertains to endoscopy and outlining strategies to mitigate it.
  2. Development of consensus guidelines for taking action to prepare for additional layers of impact as new variants arise to support endoscopists worldwide and the patients we serve.
  3. Developing strategies to continue learning opportunities for trainees, providing support for development of new techniques, technologies as it pertains to endoscopy.

What do you consider to be the main challenges in the next years?

COVID has changed the way we look at healthcare delivery worldwide. The main challenges for the next few years would be not only understanding the short term and longer-term consequences of deferred care but also direct and indirect health consequences of COVID – their impact on special populations.

Second, training in endoscopy and gastroenterology will undergo a monumental shift. Careful understanding and collaboration with global leaders to understand their pain points to provide support and guidance is important.

Once these are identified – creation, adoption and implementation of new strategies (solutions) will be an important challenge to overcome.

On behalf of Sravanthi Parasa, we would like to encourage you to reach out to us should you have any questions or ideas regarding the Committee and its activities. Message us at secretariat@worldendo.org or connect via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Sravanthi Parasa:

Sravanthi Parasa, MD, is a practicing gastroenterologist based in Seattle. She also has specialized training in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from University of Washington, Seattle.

She has published articles pertaining to COVID 19 and prevalence of GI symptoms, impact of COVID 19 on endoscopy. More recently she is working on understanding the prevalence and risk factors of gastrointestinal symptoms using large databases and machine learning applications.

COVID 19 has fuelled and accelerated the use of digital technologies to improve healthcare. Dr Parasa believes that incorporating technologies to address some of the challenges COVID has posed on healthcare could an effective solution.

Dr Parasa serves on several committees both in gastroenterology and computer science space. She has a passion to augment and advance clinical care through meaningful application of Artificial intelligence. She is also currently partnering with multiple world-renowned research institutes and serves as advisory board member to explore potential uses of AI and implement them in clinical practice. Examples include high-fidelity risk prediction models using Machine learning, application of computer vision, machine reading and natural language processing.