Lanka Doctor and Evolution of E Health By Prof. Carlo Fonseka

Lanka Doctor and Evolution of E Health By Prof. Carlo Fonseka

I was born in the first half of the last century. During my schooldays I never heard of a computer. In the Colombo Medical School between 1955 and 1960 when our Professor of Physiology used a slide rule to do a quick calculation I was greatly impressed.


The reason was that its speed of calculation was very fast compared with the speed of my arithmetic.In the University of Edinburg between 1964 and 1966 when my PhD supervisor wanted to find out how much carbon dioxide was there in 189 liters of expired air we had collected from an experimental subject he did not use his calculating brain at all. He used his fingers to press keys in the only calculating machine in the laboratory of the Physiology Department. He multiplied 189 by 1000 and multiplied the result by 3.5 (i.e. % of CO2 in expired air) and divided the answer by 100 in a matter of a few seconds. When he pressed the action button in the calculating machine it began to work making a lot of noise and very soon the answer 6615 appeared on the display. I was amazed.


So you can imagine how – there is no other word for it – bamboozled I must be by the internet and the World Wide Web. To me it is a miracle. That is why I say that I believe in miracles. Whatever old fogeys like me may feel, however, the truth is that the internet and the World Wide Web are the dominating technology in modern life. Technology is, of course, only



one of the many forces shaping human behavior and history. Politics, religion, economics and culture are more important than technology in shaping the goals and ends of human life. Technology is only a means to pursue desired ends. But as one who believes that modern science provides the most reliable knowledge and information about our world on which to base our lives, I am very glad to send this message to the creators of the bit of technology called LankaDoctor.


LankaDoctor is the name of a website developed by a group of engineering students from our university system. In the recent past computer science seems to be attracting our brightest students and our engineering students from the University of Moratuwa have brought us great international prestige and honor. If I have got this right, 4 years in a row they have topped the list in the Google Summer of Code Competition for Free and Open Source Software Development. Sri Lanka can be properly proud of our engineering students. So far as I am concerned, anything in the field of internet that our engineering students are involved in merits my serious attention. LankaDoctor is an example.


I am told that FACE BOOK is the latest fad in the internet. If I understand it correctly FACE BOOK is a system of social networking which connects millions of people worldwide. For my part, I wonder whether a member of the species called Homo sapiens to which we all belong is biologically equipped to relate meaningfully to millions of others in our species. After all, as Professor Jared Diamond tells us in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel even as recently as 13,000 years ago human beings in all parts of the globe lived in small tribes of less than 100 members at the hunter gatherer stage of human evolution. This means that we have evolved to relate closely only to a small number of human beings. So it may be wise not to put too much of peoples’ profile information on a website. I hope the creators of LankaDoctor will have this in mind in their enterprise.


The menu LankaDoctor offers is very practically useful. It consists of


Find A Doctor


Medical Related Information for Medical Students


Details about Hospitals and Medical centers


General Health Information


I have little doubt LankaDoctor has the potential to satisfactorily fulfill its declared objectives. I wish these enterprising young men the very best.


Medical Web Site at UniverSL Software Solutions (PVT) LTD.

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Dr Rikaz Sheriff

Director, Western Hospital

Rikaz Sheriff is responsible for all aspects of innovation and strategy of health informatics solutions of LankaDoctor. Rikaz joined UniverSL Software after working for 5 years as a Senior Medical Officer at Western Hospital where he leads the business development unit with responsibility for marketing strategy, brand management, advertising, and consumer promotions.

He also serves as the chief coordinator for their kidney transplant programme. Rikaz is a life member of the Sri Lanka Medical Association and the Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka. Rikaz holds a MBBS degree from Baqai University (Pakistan) and a Master's degree in Biomedical Informatics from the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo. He also works as the Provincial Health Informatician for the Department of Health Services, Western Province.


Dr. Yapa Wijeratne
MBBS University of Perdeniya.
Medical Officer, Mawanella Hospital.

Yapa entered Faculty of Medicine in 2008, following a successful career at the Dharmaraja College, Kandy. While continuing his undergraduate career, he joined UniverSL Software. He completed his MBBS degree from University of Peradeniya & worked as a Temporary lecturer at Department of Basic sciences, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya. After completing his internship, he is still working at Teaching Hospital Peradeniya.