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Innovation & Creativity


        The Center for Rheumatic Diseases (CRD) was founded in 1996 by Dr Arvind Chopra, MD, primarily for promotion of community based projects, creation of an ongoing clinical and research database, and storage and maintenance of patient records, in rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine. However, in time, CRD has become a center for WHO-ILAR COPCORD (Community oriented program for control of rheumatic diseases) Bhigwan - Pune District (a village 100 kms from Pune, Maharashtara, India), industry sponsored drug trials, rheumatology oriented database-soft ware development, research in modern medicine-Ayurveda interface, developing validated quality of life/health assessment instruments and certain laboratory based projects, and recently NMITLI (New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative, an undertaking of the CSIR, Govt of India to achieve leadership position in certain niche areas- Ayurvedic based drugs in this case) Arthritis Project. In addition, CRD is the key center for The Bone and Joint Decade-India: National Action Network 2001-2010 (a program launched world wide under support from WHO and UN, and endorsed by Govt of India) and MAI (Mission Arthritis India, a patient support group launched in Pune).

        Numerous projects have been conducted with international collaboration and support. Notable amongst these are antiarthritic Ayurvedic drug development and trials, validated modified Indian version of Health assessment Questionnaire, antinuclear antibody detection under light microscopy from filter paper blood clots, immunogenetic HLA DR studies.

        In 1999, the center was awarded recognition as a ‘research institute’ for doctorate and post-doctorate research studies in bio medical sciences, anthropology, health sciences, basic medical science and behavioral science by the University of Pune. Locally, CRD maintains close academic links with University of Pune, BJ Medical College (Dept. of Preventive and Social Medicine), Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital and Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College (deemed university).

         Being a non-Government organization, CRD and its research programs have been patronized by several senior and distinguished citizens from Pune, including senior academia. Some of these patrons collectively formed Arthritis Research and Care Foundation (ARCF) as a public charitable trust, and the same was registered as a Society and Trust in Mar 2002. As per the ARCF constitution and objectives, CRD and all its research and community service programs have now become functional components of the ARCF. As per the guidelines issued by University of Pune and Govt of India, an ‘Ethics Committee’ and a ‘Scientific Advisory Board’ have been constituted by the CRD.

        ARCF - CRD has also been recognized as a Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO) by DSIR – Government of India in 2002.

        CRD is constantly in the process to narrow the vast gap present in the Indian data on Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disorders. Based on the Bhigwan COPCORD model, a similar study was launched in Pune (Narayan Peth region) in 2004 under the auspices of BJD India. Over 9000 population were screened and patients of RMSD were given free of cost medical consultation and laboratory investigations.

        CRD also has a well organized library with journals and books pertaining to Rheumatology. It also has a good collection of Ayurvedic Texts.

        The database projects in CRD broadly cover community medicine including the WHO –ILAR programs (COPCORD), free community arthritis camps, therapeutic evaluations/clinical drug trials and development-in particular the NMITLI Arthritis Project, patient referrals, and basic laboratory sciences. Recently a database for anti-nuclear antibodies and HLA DR has been created. Numerous user friendly, flexible, expandable and statistically worthy programs connected with these latter projects have been developed. The center has Internet connectivity and LAN, and has executed major data management and on-line transfer in the past with Boston Biostatistics Institute Inc., USA. Though SAS was used in the latter project, it is the SPSS package that is popularly used in the center for statistical purpose. Gradual transition from FoxPro to Visual Basic, under the guidance of a competent programmer, has led to the success of well monitored database management. ’

Hermes Doctor House, Hermes Elegance, Convent Street, Camp, Pune – 411 001, Maharashtra, India.
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