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Showing posts from 2012

Featured post- mHealth fighting malnutrition

Melghat: a synonym for malnutrition
Malnutrition is a byword in the forested hills of the Melghat region inhabited mostly by Korku Adivasis. Every year 400-500 children between the ages of 0 and 6 die in the region, comprising Chikhaldhara and Dharni taluks, according to official figures from 2005.
The Problem: Thousands of kids die every year in the tribal area of Melghat (Maharashtra, India) due to lack of medical attention and nutritional support. Increased incidence and rapid spread of infectious diseases such as pneumonia, typhoid, and dysentery are primary cause of high child mortality. Situation worsens during monsoon when the food supplies are low and the communicable diseases are at their peak.
Melghat is also a place known for high infant mortality rate. Some reasons for the health crisis in Melghat include lack of infrastructure, under-equipped and under-staffed public health and ICDS centres, the tradition of early marriages and early motherhood, lack of sanitation and clea…

The Real India-mHealth & beyond Part 3

Tuberculosis- TB is caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, that the WHO says infects one third of the world’s population. Between five and 10 percent of infected people develop the disease and become contagious at some point in their lives. (For those with HIV or AIDS, however, the rate is much higher.)
The Bigger problem-India is the highest TB burden country with World health Organisation (WHO) statistics for 2010 giving an estimated incidence figure of 2.3 million cases of TB for India out of a global incidence of 9.4 million cases. The WHO statistics also show that India is 17th out of the 22 high burden countries in terms of TB incidence rate. The estimated TB prevalence figure for 2010 is given as 3.1 million. It is estimated that about 40% of the Indian population is infected with TB bacteria, the vast majority of whom have latent rather than active TB. Compliance issues in Treatment- To treat TB, the WHO recommends the so-called DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Sh…

The Real India- mHealth & beyond (Part 2)

Read The real India- mHealth and beyond- part 1 here

Doctor on Call Services- Rural India- The Doctor to patient ratio in Bihar is 1:3500, which is far behind the national average of 1:1700. Bhore committee, set up to recommend improvements in the Indian Public Health system, had suggested a ratio of 1:1000. It is felt that without addressing this problem, all promises made by the state government will remain a distant dream. 
There are around 30,000 registered doctors in the state – both government as well as those engaged in private practice. The condition is more or less same in the state of AP (Andhra Pradesh)  as well. In AP, around 6 lac (6,00,000) people go untreated every day.
Mediphone- A great example of 3 different stakeholders joining hands across the value chain in India. Medibank (Australia) ties up with Religare Technologies (A Fortis Company) and Airtel for launching the service to provide Medical prescription in less than $1 across India.
Service positioned for: 1. Middle c…

The real India- mHealth and beyond ICT

After spending 20 days on-ground with PHCs and while supporting some of the major initiatives in India, I was tempted to do some cut-throat analysis. I realized that 25% of the total Income generated in India is in the hands of mere 100 rich families. What's more! this huge gap is increasing day by day. After independence, the valley has only widened up between the rich and the poor and the growth that we envisage is still miles away from the hands of a common man.

Over 72%  (that would be over 620 million) of India’s population lives in its 638,588 villages. It is hard to believe but in India, a common man is most indebted to healthcare after dowry. Most families earn less than $1/day and some of the major initiatives by NGOs suffer as there is so much distrust about Government policies and efforts in the country.
In villages, healthcare in India still starts from Security, clean drinking water, better sanitation facilities and good roads. Then comes the demand for basic access to…

mHealth in India- What works and what not?

From remote monitoring to disease management, wireless technology is helping to improve healthcare outcomes and address the healthcare worker shortage. In the U.S., chronic disease treatment costs more than $1.4 trillion each year, but using mHealth could mean a savings of more than $21.1 billion per year.
But in India there is this unique pattern of adoption and push that is to be understood. Over the last decade, telehealth in India has been primarily facilitated and driven by government funding. The government now has a majorpolicy initiative in mobile health. However, in pursuing the broad initiative there is a danger that some of the smaller components can get lost, and this is probably what has happened to telehealth. Many government-driven telemedicine programmes have failed to live a long life. It is no secret that these programmes do not have a successful business model and die after the government grants run out. But if you are a medical device, mhealth app or Disease managem…

mHealth- Innovation for Maternal & Child Health in India

Dear Friends, It is been a while since I wrote my last post. Life hasn't been easy after we claimed the title of "the only niche mHealth consulting company" in India. But we are doing fairly good by going just well.

This post of mine is centred towards Disease surveillance and missing links in India. Very recently when I joined the UN's Best Practices and Innovations Working Group for Maternal and child health, I went deep dive to understand the problems in this sector. The revelations were quite alarming... Infant mortality remains as high as 63 deaths per 1,000 live births. Most infant deaths occur in the first month of life, with up to 47 per cent in the first weekDiarrhoea remains the second major cause of death among children, after respiratory-tract infections. Unhygienic practices and unsafe drinking water are some of its main causes.India has an estimated 220,000 children infected by HIV. It is estimated that 55,000 to 60,000 children are born every year to mot…

mHealth India Plans 2012

Mobile Health is going to be a 3000 crore market in India by 2017. (Source PwC). M-health (use of mobile phones) and E-health are all set to make an entry into India's primary health centres (PHCs) and sub-centres as the health ministry plans to go hi-tech. Healthcare industry is expected to show a strong growth of 23% per annum to become a US$ 77 billion industry by 2012. One of the largest sector in terms of revenue and employment has grown at 9.3% per annum between 2000-2009 with a current size at par with fastest growing developing country like China, Brazil and Mexico.Driven by various catalysts such as increasing population, rising income levels, changing demographics and illness profile with a shift from chronic to life style diseases, healthcare industry is expected to move to levels of US$ 77 billion in next 3 years. (Source: ASSOCHAM).

Empowering rural India is of utmost importance and the government needs to do so by provisioning for broadband penetration and financial …

Facebook in mHealth- Games for the ailing World

Have you ever thought how can Facebook revolutionarize the way healthcare is taught, implemented and delivered in the world??

Can we use Peer Pressure to eliminate Obesity? Diabetes? High Cholesterol? For a minute, let us understand what is Facebook? 
Facebook is a great way to meet friends and keep up on what they are doing. Once you add a friend to your Facebook friend list you will always know when they are adding things to their blog or updating their profile. Users can create profiles with photos, lists of personal interests, contact information, and other personal information. Users can communicate with friends and other users through private or public messages and a chat feature. They can also create and join interest groups and "like pages, some of which are maintained by organizations as a means of advertising.

Why Facebook for mHealth? It has been found that people are looking for reliable information on healthcare products and services on the worldwide web. Google shows …

mHeath based Diabetes Management in India - Remote monitoring Tools

In the past we have read a lot of research projects that determine the outcomes based overview of Diabetes management and the use of remote monitoring tools. We have spoken to Doctors,  technologists as well as equipment manufacturers and all of these available tools represent a breakthrough for clinician/patient communication to enhance disease management and improve health outcomes.
However, for India we were yet to find out the drivers, challenges, consumer behaviour, expected adoption level and value add to the end users. Here is a recent study undertaken by HealthCursor Consulting Group India to understand the DM market better.

SURVEY questionnaire:
1. If you are given a Glucometer (blood sugar check machine) for free, will you check your blood sugar daily ? 1)Yes 2)No

2. Your mobile phone will automatically send this data to your Doctor. Your Doctor will then SMS, EMAIL or call you if your sugar is not in control. How much you will you easily pay for this service? (Note: the docto…

mHealth India | Press releases India

mHealth India | Press releases India
HealthCursor, a niche mhealth consulting company based out of India aimed at delivering Insight Driven Healthcare solutions while realizing the promise of a connected health future was launched today. Through HealthCursor Consulting, clients in the India, Middle East and North Africa will have access to leading experts based in the region, while also benefiting from the company's strong links with practitioner communities and regulatory bodies in developing countries. HealthCursor Consulting is launched in direct response to growing demand from clients in the region for mHealth consulting services, and is a natural complement to the Founder's expertise in Healthcare IT business management and financial services. "We are putting in a team together to innovate and deliver new value by improving health outcomes and look past standalone systems and find more ways to connect fragmented healthcare ecosystems in developing countries and suppor…