Access to appropriate health care in India is dependent on location, socio-economic status, wealth, gender and education. Seventy percent of Indians live in rural areas and 75% of Physicians work in the City. Most of the nearly 1 billion rural Indians lack access to basic health care. The poor infrastructure in rural India makes it impossible to retain doctors in villages; who feel that they become professionally isolated and outdated, if stationed in remote areas.
There has been a considerable amount of interest to harness technology to help minimize the differential distribution of health care services. Around the world countries have adopted technology to provide access to health care in remote areas. India itself has partnered with Dell to provide a platform to allow screening of non-communicable diseases in remote areas.
The Maya Devi Hospital has successful built a sustainable foundation to allow the board to look at innovative programs that ensure health is provided through all stages of life but still adheres to its principles which are:
- Sustainability- the program should be run and be sustained locally
- Culturally appropriate- it has to be an acceptable practice for the locals
- Financially feasible- ongoing operational costs show be reasonable and sustainable
- Clinically indicated- A clear needs based assessment is done and identified an appropriate solution
On a visit to the Maya Devi Hospital a number of board members carried out a needs based assessment. In discussion with the local doctors, the following areas were identified as high priority:
- Medical record keeping that will allow hardware integration
- Data collection which will allow us to gather real time to data that then goes on to inform how we distribute our resources.
- Telemedicine system to allow virtual consultations to occur with specialist in the nearby city
- A Primary Preventative Program to allow us to screen for non-communicable diseases.
The board is now moving forward with adopting an E- Health platform that will allow us to meet all four priorities. Our hope is to have the first pilot up and running by Spring 2020.