Sunday, 6 December, 2009

Mobile based Healthcare Models for Emerging Markets

The Mobile Healthcare Industry summit brought up all the stakeholders to discuss and share views on the best practices all across the world. The Post Conference Workshop led by me on “Mobile Healthcare Models for emerging markets” provided a participating opportunity for all players in the ecosystem to clearly define and strategize Challenges as well as opportunities in countries like India, South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia etc. I was pleased to see the overwhelming response and enthusiasm.

Some Key points that were discussed were why emerging markets? What is the role of mhealth in India, Africa etc.? Who will pay? Why will they adopt mhealth systems?

Pretti Lounamaa and Seppo Luede

suggested some very initial points to approach these methodologies. First, Size the market, when we are talking about market we are not only talking about the addressable market but also the number of stakeholders and customers who are willing as well as able to purchase or are interested to deploy. This was the thought that led us to reach to the next point of minimum base infrastructure available and required.
Dr Ruchi Dass- mhealth is quite new and thus the competitive indicators to develop or define a market size from the bottom up are absent and information about health providers, task force and expenditures from the top down lacks detail for India and other such developing countries. We Live in India where most of the people still don’t have their Birth Certificates. So we moved to Market opportunity and I suggested to start from somewhere like Joining Hands with Big hospital chains like Apollo. So we positioned mhealth as end to end as in to start with Education/awareness--------à Monitoring---à Data Access------à Disease tracking/Emergency------à HIS---à Diagnosis/Consultation. With a Doctor to patient ratio of 1:900, this looked like a reasonable solution to start with.
Per Ljungberg et al, have developed some very advanced and useful solution related to prevention and remote monitoring of patients, some of them also address wellness. Here, Per mentioned that how mobility appropriateness is necessary and how it is dependent upon a balance of technical performance, cost and efficacy. Talking about Bandwidth problems and connectivity issues, Per suggested that there is no point waiting for the 3G and other such advanced technologies to get deployed in developing nations, Some simple solutions can bring success to the overall approach as well.
Dr Ruchi Dass- Mhealth, ehealth, Telehealth and everything similar are facing the Silo based problems today as was clearly mentioned by Neil Jordan of Microsoft in his speech. Something is compatible to PDA, something to Laptops and something to mobiles. I feel that the technology should be backwardly compatible as well. It is difficult and practically impossible to scrap Windows 99, 2000 and XP when Vista arrives. Mhealth is not only aimed at moving to new healthcare delivery models but also to strengthen and transform the existing weak health systems. Some very simple solutions of Mhealth are Healthmate by Airtel in India, DrSMS by Kerala IT mission in Kerala, India and SIMPILL in Africa.
Dr Mohammad Arif Ali- Dr Ali suggested some systems overviews in particular like Success and Failures of Electronic Medical Records, What were the factors affecting? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Open Source software in terms of a Developing country perspective? Understanding Social Behaviors in a new country is as important as understanding the Government Policies. Dr Ali cited some such examples.
Dr Ruchi Dass- Mobile based primary healthcare management system in which each family/individual will have an up-to-date data will prove to be a valuable tool for maintaining, analyzing and interpreting enormous data. It will also be used to provide personalized attention to the consumer. One such example is:

Manfred Kube,
stressed that the healthcare industry is realizing inefficiency in the system and is moving towards a system in which connected applications aggregate, visualize and manage medical data on web-based platforms. He narrated some good examples of Data access which would provide clear picture for patients, doctors and service providers to all aspects of a patient’s health. Manfred wanted to understand the self care and home care market in India.
Dr Ruchi Dass- With so much of disease burden in India, Inefficiency should have no room, as it further delays access and cover, but big hospitals or Insurance providers show hesitation in buying and deploying a solution such as electronic health records etc. for two main reasons:
1. There is no public support for insurance companies as well as hospitals to do this, not even any motivation. Also they feel that it is a futile practice as Apollo group will never share their records with Escorts group or Fortis group and vice versa, so there should be a third party managing the same.
2. In case the third party comes as a Government regulation or policy with a different structure, this investment of the hospitals in medical records will go futile.
So, I suggested the role of Telecom operators in this, in managing something like this and charging consumers for the value add. See one example from HealthNet Global .

John French -The presentation on Corporate Wellness was good and I would like to recommend Traffic light concept for Danger, Moderate and Healthy interests me the most.Wellness industry is growing at a very fast pace and basically most of the people who need mhealth technologies help are Old Age people who are not mobile, These people may need remote monitoring, emergency aid and other help at their convenience and this will be possible using technology and mhealth in near future.
Adesina Illuyemi explained that Health care delivery in the developing world often relies heavily on public sector services that reflect the political structures. Different provinces, districts and villages will have different health authority and facilities. Scaling up of the Healthcare systems is required, but these new models should be cost effective, made using appropriate technology and should be scalable. Cross sectoral public policies have constraints may include government bureaucracy and poor communication, connectivity and transport. He said that strengthening Healthcare systems in developing countries is a formidable task.
Dr Ruchi Dass – The obstacle that need to be overcome include appropriate model of healthcare financing, building physical infrastructure, assuring access to medications, qualified and dedicated workforce and efficient use of technology, including wireless and mobile technology. To ensure broad access to needed services adequate financing is required. The WHO recently suggested that $ 34 per person in spending on health could provide essential health services in low income countries to address major communicable and other diseases.
Mhealth may be able to support new systems of care that offer both generic and personalized health information in a more accessible, lower cost ways. Mhealth could decentralize effective care strategies into a community setting and develop larger networks for care.

Thanks for the participation!!!

Tuesday, 27 October, 2009

The Indian Wellness Industry

The other day I heard somebody saying that the Wellness industry in India is growing by 35%, However this Industry has no set parametres or Guidlines, It is still unaffected by recession etc. But to me it seems its like playing darts in the dark, you might get it and you can very well miss it. Looking at the fair extension of wellness also, If you see, Alternative Therapies have been practised in India for quite long, its just today that it is considered to be a part of wellness.
Vikas and I was discussing yesterday and He shared some good facts. There are clear customer preferences in each region with regard to each segment - alternate therapies are the most popular choice of people in southern India, while customers in north are inclined towards beauty. The maximum number of fitness and slimming centres are in the west etc. But why is Wellness a hot topic today? I guess, the the increased level of activity is arising from the entry of several providers such as organised Indian and international players, expansion by existing companies, strategic alliances and interest among private equity investors and hospitality and realty industries. So what is the step ahead to tap this $2.2 billion market?
First Point, according to me should be lauching standards. The Standards for Health and Wellness accreditation will require consideration of a variety of criteria in Wellness service providers. These would cover aspects like technology, trained manpower, infrastructure, customer safety, processes and controls among many others, statutory & regulatory compliances. The standards would lay down stringent regulations for service providers to obtain mandatory full accreditation of the total services offered.
Secondly, "Well begun in Business is half done", As per test marketing, feedback and need gap, we need to clearly define our products as well as services. In my new role, I have learnt that there are several challenges faced by users of wellness industry in this early growth stage. These challenges mainly revolve around the quality of the offerings, substandard facilities, poor infrastructure and untrained staff. In their zeal to win clients, the providers frequently over-promise and under-deliver, which leads to unmet expectations of the users.
Thirdly, LBS and Regional services are the talk of the town today, A key challenge for wellness players in India is to be able to regionalise their offerings across India, on account of significantly varying consumer preferences. The one standard ‘menu’ on offer approach is sub-optimal considering the widely varying customer preferences across India.
The Fourth step should be synergising and marketing cohesively.The ability to build collaborative distribution models with companies in allied sectors is a challenge. Being able to create synergistic structures would help to control costs of reaching out.
The Fifth priority should be balancing Finance and capturing catchments.A carefully planned portfolio of “footfall generators” and “footfall preservers” services is difficult to achieve but is a must to balance the financial returns of any company. It is also important for follow up, feedback, upselling and cross-selling.
Would like to know your thoughts, Comments welcome...

Thursday, 17 September, 2009

Wireless Healthcare in India- probabilities and Innovation

The goal of this Blog of mine is to gather an inter-disciplinary group to explore this hypothesis: that mobile-computing technology can enhance the health and well-being of Indians. For these Solutions and Services, I wish to define it under three sessions for e.g.

Daily medical suppport- How is it possible?
Wireless Healthcare- Major Challenges in Emerging markets
"Prevention"- Subscription based Awareness in underserved countries etc.
I would like to invite people working and involved in these areas to comment and bounce business ideas. In Indian Context, I would like to brainstorm about:
Services which meet the needs of healthcare trends in ageing, chronically ill markets
Public health sector innovation
WCDMA for mobile healthcare
Wimax for healthcare
Which technical platforms should be invested in now to ensure mobile healthcare services are effective and relevant in the 5-10 yr future?
The participants of this forum can also upload their videos, white papers and other relevant stuff -Just follow the steps below...

Tuesday, 15 September, 2009

Mobile based Healthcare - Top Stories

Mobiles have revolutionarised Healthcare, a big way, They are further going to make a mark in developing countries like India because of its reasonable penetration, Good subscriber base and ease to use.

The availability of low-cost mobile phones and the already broad coverage of GSM networks in India is a huge opportunity to provide services that would trigger development and improve people’s lives.

Today's Newspaper (Times of India) says- "3G Handsets to cost less thanRs. 5000 In a year"..Read more on Page 17 tuesday, September 15, 2009.

Yesterday, When a friend asked me - How secure will be the consultations provided by doctors over mobiles??, Say if somebody changes or tampers the prescription before it reaches the target consumer?, If there is some error in despatch , some inaccuracy etc., So till the time HIPAA compliance or HL7 server capacity is leveraged, Mobiles based Healthcare delivery will continue be a falcy. The Good News , Dr Neelesh shared with me on Health on Mobiles that there will be HIPAA compliant Doctor Diagnosis/consultations available now. The mVisum Medical Communication System is a communication tool that allows medical professionals to securely receive, review and respond to patient data recorded at the point of care.Information is transmitted via secure HIPAA compliant internet servers then transmitted through mobile technology to the required physicians’handheld smartphone.
Lets take an example , Have you heard of EKG, something like the picture below.We know this by ECG. A very common diagnostic procedure.

Using this service from mVisum, Of 600 EKGs read on a Blackberry mobile device, 599 were correct diagnoses.Great Accuracy. But is that 1% difficult to digest??

Lets move to privacy now, In order to take advantage of the technology, they use a GE Muse server and digital EKG. The mVisum software knows when an EKG is taken and grabs a copy (as does its internal EHR). If a call is placed regarding a patient, the cardiologist can scroll through the EKGs, locating the patient of interest and view the image off-site. Everything is server-based, so the EKG does not reside on the phone-when the physician logs out, there is no accessible data left on the phone. This is Great!

I was also impressed by's new concept. The Concept looks very interesting, But It costs a bomb, so not for rural market or to support connectivity in far flung areas. Folks in the UK have a new way to access medical assistance, i.e. via a 3G cell does not replace having a regular primary care MD, but it does cost...35 pounds per consultation...and accepts credit cards, pay pal, etc. It also offers the opportunity to create a personal health record prescriptions given here. Once you have completed your Medical Questionnaire your answers will be sent for review by a registered Medical Doctor who is insured to practice by the Medical Defence Union or Medical Protection Society. Video conferences should be started within 1 hour of the request and are 24/7...365 days a year...and if you miss you call after 2- attempts, you will have a cancellation fee of 15 pounds. To Read more click here.

Successful examples like Aarogyasri and DrSMS in India suggest utilising mhealth for social causes, Health awareness and prevention.
Some better examples for developing nations like India come from Frogdesign and Frontline SMS.

They Say -“In the developing world, lack of infrastructure prevents health workers from delivering efficient healthcare to rural areas. As health workers travel from clinics to reach isolated patients, they are often as disconnected from central clinics as the patients they are trying to serve. The mission of FrontlineSMS:Medic is to advance healthcare networks in the developing world by building and distributing innovative, appropriate mobile technologies. The centerpiece of our system is FrontlineSMS, a free, open-source software platform that enables large-scale, two-way text messaging using only a laptop, a GSM modem, and cell phones. We are also developing several applications for the FrontlineSMS platform that will enable better patient management, electronic medical records via the cell phone, cheap mobile diagnostics, and mapping of health services.”

“Project Masiluleke (which means “lend a helping hand” in Zulu) is using mobile technology to tackle the worst HIV epidemic in the world in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, where infection rates are over 40%. [frog design] is envisioning a solution that uses mobile technology in three crucial ways: 1) to encourage usage of low-cost diagnostic tools; 2) to walk patients through the testing process; and 3) to guide them into care should they need it, and encourage healthy preventative behaviors even if they don’t.”

Feedback and Suggestions Welcome!

1. How Should the Evolution of Mobile Healthcare Take Form? Simple or Advanced Services Development?

2. Where does mobile play a role - Limitations and Advantages, Extent of digitalisation, and support infrastructure required ?

3. Consumer Needs, Information Gaps and Role of the Ecosystem Player in the Healthcare Value Chain?

4. Challenges and things to watch out?

5. Exploration of Services and Evaluation of New Business Models?

Friday, 4 September, 2009

Eindia 2009 Conference

ehealth 2009 was a very successful conference this year.The attendence was very impressive and it was great to see Public sector participation there.

In my session, i.e. Online and Mobile Applications in Healthcare –
exploring new service channels and business models, Dr Rathan Kelkar, Director, Kerala IT Mission, Govt. of Kerala shared some of the robust Government initiatives as per Kerala's IT mission.Dr. SMS is one such Initiative.

The sole idea of the project is to help people to use their mobile phones to receive information on health resources and to provide the user with a comprehensive list of medical facilities available in that locality, such as hospitals having expertise in various medical specialties (Cardiology, Opthalmology, ENT etc).

To avail the facility the user has to send an SMS to a pre-designated number, the contents of the SMS should be the Pin code of the locality for which he or she wants to know about. This pilot was tried in Kozhikode District and after its success there, KSITM has rolled out the project in six more districts this year.

This session was one of the most interesting because of the Global participation.The stress was on Emerging markets and I was extremely happy to see participation from Dr. Shabbir S. Abdul, Researcher, National Yang Ming University, Taiwan; Dinusha Vatsalan, School of Computing, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
where e-health and m-health models in Healthcare are now taking shape.

Mr. Nivedan Sahani, VP Government and PSU Enterprise Services, Airtel- shared what Operators are doing in the m-governance and mobile applications arena to strengthen e-health in India. He explained the initiatives in terms of rural healthcare in India through Aanganbari Projects.The Health MATE product which Mr. Sahani showcased was developed under the Use Case scenerio that a Field agent records symptoms of patient in rural area, sends to city based doctor for his online prescription, delivers medicine to patient.

India is one of the fastest growing Mobile markets in the world.In September 2008, Informa Telecoms & Media conducted the annual Mobile Content & Services Industry Survey. Of the 307 telecom industry professionals who participated in the survey, 71% believed that social networking & community services will have a significant impact on driving P2P uptake of mobile content. Healthcare services can therefore be benefited using social networking to doctor to doctor, doctor to patient and patient to patient social networking.

When I was speaking about the Immediate Business models on the platform ehealth and mhealth in India, I talked about challenges, Infrastructure, Budgets and Feasibility.I talked about simple Business Models like Health Tips, Health awareness messages, Pill reminders, LBS and support with Healthcare facilities and personalised Healthcare.

SIMpill is a successful example of SMS, being used to help combat diseases.It is about making sure people take their medication. It was used during a 2007 trial in South Africa to ensure people took their medication for TB. In the pilot, 90% of patients complied with their TB medication compared to 22% to 60% take-up without it.

I talked about basic issues of Encouragement, Awareness and Assurance which are very critical and important in healthcare.India (as per Economic Times) will get back to 9% growth by September 2010- reiterating the Centre’s commitment to create more spending power in the hands of people especially growth of rural India. This will call for convenience and better health standards. Success will hence be particularly in the area of health awareness schemes and training health care professionals.

Mobile phones are generally affordable and available to the population at large, making them more accessible than computers and far more cost-effective than hospital beds.Therefore Mobiles in developing countries can boom the existing Telehealth and ehealth industry, by providing more reach, better impact and more involvement and awareness about such initiatives.

The Brainstorming went interesting when all revenue models started talking about the direct relationship between improved communication and access to health care, also Increasing numbers of subscribers and coverage reaching & superceding MDGs for connectivity.Where I was addressing Clear plans for sustainability,Mr. Nivedan Sahani rightly stressed on Training and capacity development.

Mr. KVRK Rao, VP Marketing, SG technologies, came across as a Knowledgeable Speaker talking about full network participation for Successful integration. He successfully cruised us through Creative combination of new and old technology in his new range of products.

The Session concluded on a clear picture regarding Value add for the consumer in terms of Enhanced quality of care, Enhanced disease surveillance and control as well as Increased productivity within health system and profitability for the provider so as to reduce feelings of isolation for health care workers as well as consumers as a part of the overall Healthcare services network in India.

Monday, 10 August, 2009

Mobile based Healthcare in Emerging Markets

Countries like Africa, India ,China where disease burden is high with infectious and communicable diseases and a number of lifestyle disorders adding up 1.2% annually to the ailing population, How can subscription based services using mobile phones penetration in these areas help the conditions improve? To start of with lets say we will start with pushing SMS to people who will subscribe for this at Rs. 30/month in India.

What all categories should be covered?
What should be the model which will define its success?
How far can we evolve this service?
I think of categories like providing Info about health awareness program, Diabetes, Hypertension, Pregnancy etc. What all do you think should be there?

Feedback welcome!!!!!!

Friday, 31 July, 2009

Healthcare Collaterals- Mobiles based Healthcare

Pharma Companies under Focus

How can Mobiles add value to the B2B order processing and Process Management?

Here you will have to go by the Healthcare Value chain. Mobility value add in Order processing i.e. B2B will be helpful only if:

It eases out product procurement and delivery

It helps stumbling blocks to improved value chain operations

For this one need to understand the strategies in three product areas i.e. pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and medical-surgical products and other such deliverables.Let's take the pharmacy market first!

There is already a scope for healthcare products/Devices and Pharma products as far as process management in the value chain are concerned.Introduction of M-commerce in health care value chain is also worth pondering over.

For eg. Mobiles can be useful in effectively managing a small scale industry supply chain.

Similarly, managing prescription order workflow in a pharmacy network can be done using mobile phones. A workflow may define a sequence of queues. To complete the distributed processing of the prescription order, the task object may be passed along the queues, where each queue corresponds to a portion of work in processing a prescription order. The original order data object may be referenced in the task object or passed along with the task object.

Value = a MOBILITY service provider in a B2B value model, the value that it will pass on to the entire workflow would primarily be:

  1. Effective Communications
  2. Process Productivity

The revenue for a service provider would be fee-for-service business model. For most of the Value chain, Big Pharma Distributors like ABC say for example operate on a buy/hold business model under which a company would purchase drugs from manufacturers in large quantities based on what their own pricing models predicted would happen to the value of the drugs. Then ABC would sell the drugs to its customers for a higher price than that paid for the drugs. This set up is also evolving today and shifting focus, which can readily be addressed by Mobile Phones.

Wholesalers are shifting rapidly to a new, fee-for-service pricing strategy- in which suppliers pay directly for wholesaling services rather than having those services bundied and paid for indirectly through gross margin and unseen discounts.

Free for Service Model using Mobiles:

ABC says “ABC has traditionally benefited from profits earned through buy-side opportunities from manufacturers .We have invested our profits in serving customers by dramatically increasing service levels over time. However, the manufacturers' model is changing, shifting to just-in-time inventory models that reduce our buy-side opportunities.”

ABC= “To support our investments in quality, technology and the future, we are making changes in how we do business. And while our goal is to insulate customers from changing economics whenever possible, we must make sure all our customers pay in a fair way for the value they receive." "We are moving toward a model in which manufacturers compensate us for distribution services on a fee-for-service basis."

Solutions/Services on Mobiles will help:

NEW Profits and Services
1. creating and managing service fee programs per contract
2. calculating, and managing fees as they accrue
3. setting up payment packages
4. accurately calculating payments based on incoming sales data
5. publishing this data to distributor’s (ABC) Pricing module on
6. a transaction-by-transaction basis

Traditional Profit margins:

The price wholesalers charged for servicing manufacturers dwindled down to a small, set discount

In today’s increasingly complicated supply chain, Mobile based (Solutions+ communications) contracts are a powerful tool for maintaining wholesaler relationships. Mobile based transactions as well as services will soon be used as a part of VAS to acquire data, manage inventory, and gain greater visibility into who’s buying once products. Because, although most of the companies want this feedback and snail-trail , they do not have the infrastructure to manage payments for these vital relationships.

Will come up with more…

Copyright @ Ruchi Bhatt ,Canadian Guild 2008

Sunday, 26 July, 2009

Mobile based Healthcare model

Mobile based Model- The Process and the Differentiation

Value Chain

Healthcare Social Linkups

In September 2008, Informa Telecoms & Media conducted the annual Mobile Content & Services Industry Survey. Of the 307 telecom industry professionals who participated in the survey, 71% believed that social networking & community services will have a significant impact on driving P2P uptake of mobile content. Healthcare services can therefore be benefited using social networking to doctor to doctor, doctor to patient and patient to patient social networking.

Will this work?

Mobile operators and service providers are increasingly integrating social networking and community features in their value added services. For example, if we look at some of the popular mobile music services such as MusicStation, Cyloop Mobile, Shazam, Bebo Mobile and Vodafone Music Reporter; they all include community features. Prima-facie looks like it will work for Healthcare based Information as well, Reason being:

  1. “Word of Mouth” (as in endorsement of a particular treatment, mode of treatment, prevention or home based healthcare) spread is high in healthcare related business. Also, there is a preponderance of data that confirms that word of mouth remains the most trusted form of advertising across the globe. According to, Vision of People Picking Providers Based on Price and Quality Information Far from Reality (So here comparisons database don’t work), Word of mouth is the most effective marketing for medical practices. Specialists generate new patients mostly from physician referrals.
  2. Spending Power (See todays news Economic Times- INDIA will get back to 9% growth by September 2010- reiterating the Centre’s commitment to create more spending power in the hands of people especially growth of rural India. This will call for convenience and better health standards. Success will hence be particularly in the area of health awareness schemes and training health care professionals. Mobile phones are generally affordable and available to the population at large, making them more accessible than computers and far more cost-effective than hospital beds.
  3. Encouragement and Assurance Say a doctor recommends an insulin pump for a newly diagnosed diabetic, here the patient has no idea what that is, so it can be scary for him. In that case, going to a handy mobile community and being in contact with others who have the same thing happening to them can be reassuring.( SMS to encourage medication- SIMpill is another example of SMS, being used to help combat diseases. This time it is about making sure people take their medication. It was used during a 2007 trial in South Africa to ensure people took their medication for TB. In the pilot, 90% of patients complied with their TB medication compared to 22% to 60% take-up without it.)
  4. Support Groups - According to the Jupiter Research report, 17 percent of "online health connectors" said they used the Internet "to get emotional support" for a health condition. Mobile based social networking would help connect patients to each other through disease-specific online communities, virtual support groups, real-time Web chats, and other features whereby patients share experiences and advice, and even rate their doctors.

Value Added Services in Healthcare

Customized knowledge services company Boston Analytics forecasts a 50 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in India's Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS) industry that will lead to a US$348.8 million market by 2009.Timely convergence of a saturated mobile voice market, little government involvement, an emerging ecosystem and rich consumer demand will lead to rapid development and adoption of Healthcare VAS content within the country. Last year, the Government of India, through its enterprise -- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) -- soft-launched third generation or 3G services in Delhi.

Competitive Landscape of VAS


Computer weekly

Consultant Live

All Business

Cellular News

IMRB, Boston analytics

Wednesday, 24 June, 2009

Health On Mobiles

Shift from Communicable to Chronic Disease
Over the next 10 years the cost of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke will take a tremendous toll on the national incomes of developing world countries.

Mobile based Healthcare can be further enhanced to address these challenges using tools currently available. For example, just as SMS alerts are useful in raising public health awareness of communicable diseases, these same types of alerts can be used to ensure patient adherence with treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes. SMS alerts can be sent out to address chronic diseases and mental health issues in urban areas such as smoking cessation and nutrition reminders.

Enhancing Mobile based Healthcare
Addressing future health needs will be facilitated by the development of mobile technologies and network expansion. The key technology trends in mobile technology continue to be the same trends that have characterized technological progress for the past 40 years: miniaturization, greater speed, and cost reduction. These advances are reflected in mobile telephony by some of the advancement issues shown in Table above.

Noteworthy Points:

Greater range of services becomes possible with more uniform, faster, and more affordable broadband access;

greater access and coverage expands the ‘subscriber’ base, building volume, creating incentives for players, and helping push sustainable mHealth applications beyond simple one-way data services.

Health experts note that within the next 15 years, policymakers and health providers
in the developing world will be forced to turn their focus to prevention and early detection rather than late-stage treatment of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, as well as to the health needs of an aging population.These changes are being caused by trends such as migration from rural to urban areas, economic growth, and changing dietary habits.

As developing countries like India, tackle and make significant improvements in the spread of communicable disease, average income levels increase along with average life expectancy. Even a slight increase in income contributes to changing dietary habits and Lifestyles.

Late detection of these diseases leads to lower survival rates and reduced life expectancy, and has negative consequences for social and economic development. Developing countries are therefore being confronted with a double burden of treating and containing the spread of communicable diseases while combating a wide range of unfamiliar health challenges.

Read More here...

Wednesday, 13 May, 2009

Customer Relationship Strategies in Health Industry - Role of CRM

Improve physician segmentation and targeting

With the proliferation of multiple channels there is the need to be able to gather information from multiple sources to better target physicians and maximize sales impact. Only a CRM lets you respond quickly to changing market conditions by providing analytics that are built into the sales force automation and marketing applications, to better target physicians and maximize sales impact. You can use the applications to realign your sales force quickly, validate an alignment before deploying it in production, and model several alignment strategies. Concurrently, you can maintain historical views of alignments and territories to comply with federal regulations. To help unify your sales efforts, the application supports cross-functional processes such as customer targeting, samples and territory and objectives management. The application can be used both online and offline, the sales representatives can easily create target lists to plan routes and calls, add appointments to their calendars, invite medical education event attendees, and more, thus improving their overall sales effectiveness.

Healthcare practitioners and managers increasingly find themselves in clinical situations where they have to think fast and process myriad diagnostic test results, medications and past treatment responses in order to make decisions. Effective problem solving in the clinical environment or classroom simulated lab depends on a healthcare professional's immediate access to fresh information. Unable to consult a library for information, the healthcare practitioner must learn to effectively manage knowledge while thinking on their toes.

CRM and Knowledge management

CRM also supports Knowledge Management (KM) and in turn KM holds the key to this dilemma in the healthcare environment. KM places value on the tacit knowledge that individuals hold within an institution and often makes use of IT to free up the collective wisdom of individuals within an organization. Healthcare Knowledge Management: Issues, Advances and Successes will explore the nature of KM within contemporary healthcare institutions and associated organizations. It will provide readers with an understanding of approaches to the critical nature and use of knowledge by investigating healthcare-based KM systems. Designed to demystify the KM process and demonstrate its applicability in healthcare, this text offers contemporary and clinically-relevant lessons for future organizational implementations.

CRM and Integrated Delivery Systems

Hospitals and integrated delivery systems (IDS) are constantly seeking ways to form the perfect triad: (1) enhance revenues, (2) reduce costs, and (3) provide state-of-the-art patient care. One of the methods used to bring in additional dollars is promoting a multifaceted range of hospital services, such as lab, imaging, rehabilitation, home health care, cardiology, etc. Hospitals exploit a number of marketing strategies such as advertising, news bulletins, field representatives, and health fairs.

The first thing that people need to understand about “brokering strengths” is that one cannot do it de novo. You must have an existing relationship with the customer. In the case of a community-based hospital setting, it is usually not an issue because there are existing rapports with the local providers that may use the hospital for one or several components. Unlike the black-and-white capabilities of advertising and newsletters, the marketing person puts a human touch behind the interaction. He or she needs to function as more than just a vendor of services. He or she must make available several components in such a way that these capabilities contribute to an expansion of the doctor’s success. The term used to define this marketing wherewithal is “cross-selling.”

CRM and Cross selling

Hospital cross-selling is a potentially powerful weapon—and it has become a necessary one due to the competitive pressures from commercial companies and the necessity of growing hospital revenues. Administrators task many of their departments to significantly grow revenues each fiscal year, and the field person plays a large role in that initiative. So Hospitals can cross-sell to their laboratory chains, Wellness Centers and others.

The lab generates around 70 percent of clinical determinations in a patient’s chart. This decision making, however, increases to 80percent to 90 percent if one combines diagnostic imaging. Consequently, from a volume and profitability point of view, it is understandable why hospitals want to market both entities. But it doesn’t rest with lab and imaging. The attraction of selling “one-stop shopping” is mighty marketing fodder. There is often an entire suite of services that the hospital wants to market to area providers.

CRM as Expanding the Relationship

Most industry analyses show that it costs about six times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one. On the other side of the coin, it is widely accepted that the cost of losing a customer must include all of the hidden costs of lifetime potential spending, not to mention bad press. Therefore, from a business standpoint, it makes sense not only to do what is necessary to retain current customers but also to expand relationships with those customers. In addition, many astute business leaders strongly believe that if a customer relationship is not advancing, then it soon may be retreating. The field representative plays a significant role in building and growing the bonds between doctor’s offices and the hospital. He or she should aim to intensify the affiliation after the initial sale is over. Cross-selling strategies embody a terrific opportunity to realize both organic growth and help in advancing the rapport.

CRM and Up selling

CRM is not only about Marketing new products or selling via channels, it’s also about:

Selling the right products to the right members at the right time.
Personalizing member communications.
Measuring cross-selling and up-selling in relation to the totality of the member experience.
Increasing member lifetime value and profit per member.

Customer Analytics via CRM assessment is very critical in retaining customers in healthcare. As the role of today's contact centers continues to evolve, the need for successful cross-sell and upsell programs, strategies, tactics and agent sales performance becomes increasingly important. To improve results, contact center agents need to grow beyond service thinking and become sales successes using customized CRM.

Wednesday, 15 April, 2009

Customer Response Management and Intelligent Marketing

Better managed Portals: Remember when simply establishing an online presence was a big deal?

The healthcare industry is reacting to:

  1. Empowered consumers who are seeking information on the Internet in record numbers
  2. Dissatisfied consumers who are willing to spend their own money to get the care they want
  3. Consumers who want to manage their own care and have greater access to their physicians.

CRM enabled Health Portal allows you to respond to all of these trends. As an integral part of a comprehensive CRM solution, the health portal is a password-secure, health management tool. Because one web model no longer fits all consumers, the CRM has to be custom made, personal and flexible.

Patients can keep all of their health and insurance information in one place, make appointments and requests via e-mail with their physician's office, receive information on subjects they choose, receive reminders about medication schedules, classes or exercise timetables and other health calendar entries, participate in support groups, and keep health journals.

You build trust, strengthen relationships, and learn more about what your patients want and need so you can constantly adjust and fine-tune your programs.

Better Pharmacies:

Increase productivity and cut costs - View your contact and health information on one screen. Track all your patient correspondence. Slash data entry time when you import price spreadsheets directly into your system. Instantly manage your margin.

Easy e-commerce – Customized CRM provides your customers with an easy-to-use online shopping cart that makes buying effortless – and keeps you in control.
Simplify your supply chain - With CRM technology and marketplace experience, you can easily fill from anywhere in the world.

Get prescription approvals - quickly & easily CRM receives prescriptions in electronic format then “attaches” them to your customer files. When you use CRM, doctors login and approve prescriptions over the web. Approval is instant, and the system provides a complete audit trail.

Your Customers will love you for letting them track their order – and you’ll save money - Your customers can log into the CRM system and see the status of their order from your web site - greatly reducing expensive call center volume.

Your data is safer than ever before - CRM servers are double redundant and feature up to seven layers of encryption.

Better Organized Labs:

CRM models for Labs and medical devices industry is almost the same.

CRM describes how pharmacies can use IT to better:-

1. identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities-
2. identify partnership and collaborative agreements for new product development-
3. identify creation of profit from interaction with key opinion leaders and influencers-
4. realize increased collaboration with distributors to promote channel efficiencies-
5. create more highly trained, motivated and pro-active sales forces-
apply customer segmentation strategies to positively impact the bottom line and- manage employee knowledge to drive innovation .

CRM- The strategic Importance:

Nearly 42 percent of the respondents indicated that CRM was a valuable tool for their customers, 29 percent thought CRM was valuable, but difficult to sell and install, and 16 percent said that CRM is something they need to carry just to be competitive.Seventeen percent of the partners said that the average deal size was $250,000 or above, while 32 percent indicated it was between $10,000 and $49,000.

Those figures include hardware, software and service sales.Fifteen percent of the partners responding claimed that between 75 percent and 100 percent of their total revenues come from CRM service and sales, 19 percent generate between 25 percent and 75 percent of total revenue from CRM, and 25 percent make 10 to 25 percent of revenue from CRM.

The research showed that Microsoft, with its MS CRM, which came out nearly a year ago, has made--and will make--the most impact in the CRM space. Siebel was voted second, and Best Software was a close third.

Will come up with more..
Any queries or suggestions pls feel free to write to me..

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