Saturday, November 10, 2012
The Real India- mHealth & beyond (Part 2)
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 class population especially in Tier 1 cities where access to health information is there but people demand convenience and don't wish to drive down to a clinic for trivial issues especially in the wee hours. Hence Consumer is willing to pay for a service where he can get OTC prescription over the phone for conditions like stomach ache, Headache and food-allergies.
2. Population in Tier 3 cities where access to health information is not much, there are myths around certain conditions, patients need second opinion and counselling to make informed decisions and where acute health services aren't available 24X7. Hence Consumer is willing to pay for a service where health specialists can help understand these conditions and available treatment methodologies better.
3. Home bound and elderly population that needs long term continued care and attention.
Service is now evolving to:
1. Set up Helplines in conjunction with state governments for rural people as well as for the under-served across India.
2. Develop mHealth apps for mobile phones for population that wish to browse, read and understand health information and then impart it to the whole community (like Aanganwadi, ASHA workers). Also, develop apps for premium smart phones.
3. Provide Health classifieds services "Healthline 24X7" for finding the right doctor say 0.5 miles away from your house, look for a clinic that accept credit cards and Paediatric doctor who does home visits.
STARTUP Idea- By 2020, it is estimated that depression will be the second biggest cause of morbidity after heart ailments, as it triggers various other diseases by lowering immunity and increasing malignancy. Unfortunately, in India, people don’t take the disease seriously and it goes untreated in almost 80-90 per cent of cases due to stigma, myths, and lack of awareness. Even though crores of rupees have been sanctioned for National Mental Health Programme, the money does not reach where it should because of corruption. 90% depression cases stay untreated in India. We need a dedicated HELPLINE for supporting depressed patients in India today.
Potential: There is a great potential for this. Depression is the most common mental ailment after anxiety disorder afflicting around 15-20 per cent of the population. An estimated 75 per cent of people who commit suicide are found to be suffering from depression. With treatment, 70-80 per cent of depression cases can be cured. If neglected or left untreated, depression increases steroid levels, which in turn reduces immunity, decreases bone mineralisation leading to osteoporosis and early arthritis. In the long run, it increases the risk of malignancy, heart attacks, and decreases the chances of recovery from chronic and cardiac ailments by 2.5 to 3.5 times.
To be continued..........Ideas welcome...........
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