The smart way of providing Affordable Healthcare

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Affordable quality health care diagnostics must be available to both rural and urban areas

As India’s masses increase in affluence and awareness, they are demanding access to better health care. But the supply of conventionally-delivered health care services cannot hope to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. The clamour for specialists able to address issues beyond what often poorly-trained general practitioners can handle is getting especially loud. To understand the scope of the issue, here are the statistics for selected health care specialists in India vs the US.

Swasthya Sahaika Tanuja Kanwar (In Red n Blue) taking blood pressure measurements of Neelam Kanwar who had flue symptoms. In the process the Swasthya Sahaika asks some basic questions and takes BP, weights measurements and fill a form for the patients. Then she calls the call centre to ask about the diagnosis to prescribe the medicine to the patients.

In the next few years, the traditional model of selling diagnostic devices is going to be replaced with selling “diagnostics as a service”. Rather than paying for a diagnostic device upfront, a health centre will get a no- or-low-cost device installed and a technician trained. This device will be integrated through 3G/4G with a group of quality specialists who can deliver opinions on patient diagnostics within minutes. And the business model will be revenue sharing. This “diagnostics as a service” has the potential to increase the diagnostic device market size in India in magnitude, connect under-utilised specialists with previously-neglected populations, and usher in a much-needed realisation of the long-held vision of telemedicine.

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