Thursday, 19 December, 2013

Top 10 Tech Leaders- Perspectives by Information week

Mobility poised to play a significant role in healthcare’: Dr. Ruchi Dass, Founder & CEO, HealthCursor Consulting Group

An mHealth Evangelist, and Founder & CEO, HealthCursor Consulting Group Dr. Ruchi Dass, has been involved in specific healthcare IT, e-learning and ICT projects for the public/private sector in India.

In an exclusive interview with InformationWeek, she discusses how mobile phones have transformed the entire healthcare landscape and shares how mobile technology is propelling innovation in healthcare.

According to you, how is mobile phone penetration transforming healthcare landscape in India?  
While the Government is building more and more hospitals, the gap between the patient-doctor ratio is huge. For the next 20 years, the infrastructure will not be able to match the growing population of India. Hence, the next step is to create a model where one hospital supplies its service to 10 -15 nearby villages through the use of technology. Technology facilitates remote patient monitoring, enables safe data collection and dissemination, while reducing service costs.  To give a data point, every citizen in rural area has to travel a distance of 20 kilometers to avail healthcare facility. The need is to decrease the travel time, decrease the cost and make it more affordable and convenient. For this, the government started disseminating information and awareness through mobile phones. It also started educating rural citizens about the various free campaigns being conducted in their district.  Also, today the mobile phones worth only Rs 5,000-6,000 have smartphone capabilities. One can run apps that tell us if a person has got flu or not. This has empowered the rural population too. 

Saturday, 14 September, 2013

10 Influential Women in Health IT -By Dan Bowman

From government officials to hospitals administrators to patient advocates, women are making an impact in health IT by leading innovation and change in all facets of healthcare. We asked our readers to nominate the most influential women in health IT for our second annual list.

And boy, did they respond--it was tough to keep the list to 10. We received nominations for women who are changing the face of personal health data and patient engagement, advancing nurse informatics, promoting mHealth and tele-medicine, using technology to improve global healthcare, developing healthcare apps and more. 

Read more: 10 (More) Influential Women in Health IT - FierceHealthIT
Subscribe at FierceHealthIT

Sunday, 18 August, 2013

mHealth India- Insurance and technology

Inspite of low penetration of Health Insurance in India, inclination towards Prevention and wellness products and services is on the rise. Penetration of private healthcare insurance policies is less than 0.5% in India (Health insurance penetration in India is as low as 5%). If you live in the U.S, you would have come across this tagline many a times "Health Insurance companies investing in Wellness products to reduce claims and cut consumer costs". In India, it is Flipped!!!

As there is not enough health cover, more than 70% expenditure on health is out of pocket. Hence the consumer is now becoming more aware of his/her wellness and is taking initiative to invest in prevention and health checks himself. No wonder, there are a million wellness companies that have mushroomed up in the last 3 years and most of them are making money on a B2C/Retail approach for obvious reasons. We are starting to look at some Technology driven wellness companies including mhealth based ones and I thought it would be worthwhile to know more about the stakeholders, current trends and market dynamics in detail.

There are several reasons because of which the healthcare insurance penetration in India continues to be low over years in India. It is a shocking fact that some of the most poverty stricken countries have better insurance coverage than India. In some of the African countries, Insurance has joined hands with telecom companies to provide coverage, access and telephony as well. While most of the insurance companies wish to expand their access through every distribution channel, it is imperative that we learn from some of the new age models to dispense health insurance in India too.

Existing examples:

Simplee- A Palo Alto, Calif., startup unveiled Simplee, a free mobile app that enables you to carry your medical bills, outstanding claims and health insurance data on your Apple device when you visit the doctor, as well as pay your bill from your smartphone.

HealthCoach- Companies such as Healthrageous, Keas and ShapeUp are busy selling the idea of mobile health coaching to U.S. companies desperate to cut both their health insurance costs and losses due to absenteeism.

Bluebutton-The feds offer their own version of a mobile "medical wallet" called Blue Button, which enables Medicare recipients and U.S. veterans to access, download and store up to three years' worth of personal health records onto their computer, tablet, smartphone and other mobile devices.

An ideal mHealth framework may require the use of mobile technology for:
1. Awareness building
2. Policy comparisons
3. Market research
4. Marketing
5. Risk Modelling
6. Sales/Purchases
7. Policy administration
8. Billing
9. Claims settlement
10. Customer service

Inspiring trends:

Distribution and Marketing- Mobile network operators in Africa have identified the growing demand for financial services and micro insurance . Airtel Africa has partnered with MicroEnsure for Mobile Micro Insurance. The range of Airtel-branded insurance products includes life, accident, health, agriculture, and other forms of cover. 

Connecting intermediaries, customers and surveyors- ICICI Lombard India's mobile initiative started simply enough, with a set of basic applications that gave customers a consolidated view of all their policies, a reminder service to renew a policy, and a way to track the status of a claim. But as they matured with the mobile platform, they re-visited the paradigm and devised new ways to provide customers with more value-added and user-friendly features. This is however restricted to Auto insurance only.

 Encryption, Transactions and handling customer grievance- Public sector general insurance company United India Insurance launched a mobile-based real-time fund transfer facility for payment of premium. M-Power enables customers to renew their policies and also remit the premium for approved proposals. To use this facility, one has to get an MMID (an identification number called - mobile money identifier) from his/her bank and enable one’s mobile with the application given by the bank. However, there are only 10 banks on board with this platform. This initiative follows the launch of its Internet-based sales, customer grievance portal and information-cum-sales kiosks.

Sales, awareness and providing access- Bima, a young Swedish microinsurance company, is using mobile phones to sell as many as three billion new insurance policies to the global poor. Bima, that has begun to access this untapped market, is now one of the largest mobile insurance platforms in the world. In just three years, Bima has acquired 4 million clients in Africa and Asia and is adding 400,000 new subscribers per month. Bima has been tackling many of the obstacles—education, pricing, premium collection—that prevent poor people from obtaining such benefits. For instance, Bima products such as life, accident and health insurance cost "as little as $0.20 to $6.00 a month. Last month, Leapfrog invested $4.25 million in Bima, which will allow the company to expand even further within Africa and Asia as well as reach into new markets in Latin America.

                                                                                                                                To be contd..

Interesting read:
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield taps Cognizant to support its mobile technology initiatives.
RelianceLife eyes expansion in health insurance space

Sunday, 21 April, 2013

Health startups that interests @HealthCursor @medmocha

Zipdial | India ZipDial is a unique company from Bangalore, India, that monetizes from missed calls. Its business model has caught the attention of Singapore-based Jungle Ventures who invested in the startup this week. Plus, ZipDial unveiled some expansion plans. | Vietnam is a healthcare social network community in Vietnam. It is basically a combination of electronic health records, a social network to allow patients to rate health care, healthcare information, promotions connecting with partners, and tools to help you keep up your health.

Operation Smile | India is a healthcare social impact organisation. Cleft Care Centres provides year-round free reconstructive surgeries to children who suffer from cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

Podimetrics is developing a high-tech shoe insole for diabetics

Simplee helps people manage their out-of-pocket healthcare costs which, on average, run about $3,600 a year for a family of four. The platform shows you how much money you’ve spent on healthcare, the status of your insurance deductible, your health savings account balance and transactions, and where there may be errors in your bill—an important feature considering some sources say about 80% of bills contain them.

GAIN is an iPhone and Web app that lets you quickly create custom, pro-quality workouts to do at home or the gym. The app instructs you on how to perform each exercise and how many sets and reps to do for each, depending on your goals and fitness level. The app also quantifies your performance using an in-built tracking and analytics system.

alt12 apps‘s pink pad is a health and lifestyle tracker with an  integrated online community to connect women.
Gilbert Guide is a comprehensive senior housing guide and homecare directory for aging parent
Evoz allows for remote baby monitoring
Docphin allows health care providers to access, organize, and share medical news research
UnitedPreference has developed Tailored Spend, a virtual currency used to purchase only items conducive to a healthy lifestyle
Medmonk is the easiest way for pharmacies to get their patients discounts of 90% or more on prescription medications

Medmocha is a new concept to link health innovators with small angel investors.

Friday, 18 January, 2013

Innovations in healthcare-A report published by HealthCursor Consulting Group

Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, The Honorable President of India unveiled a 50 page report at the ASSOCHAM's 10th Knowledge Millennium Summit on Jan 16th 2013. The report was titled "Innovations in Healthcare" and was authored by Dr. Ruchi Dass, Founder and CEO, HealthCursor Consulting Group. HealthCursor was the exclusive knowledge partner to ASSOCHAM for the event. The analysis and the findings in the report were well appreciated by the Industry leaders during the event.

A considerable amount of time was spent in  amalgamating the vast amounts of knowledge banks from the different actors in the healthcare ecosystem to present an innovation led heath care vision 2020 for India. The report envisages the theme of "Curing the Incurables-sharing of Innovations" for the 10th Millennium summit of ASSOCHAM. The Event drew attendance of the Who's who in the industry with Noble Laureates like Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Recipient of Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for his revolutionary work on characterizing the method that cells use to degrade and recycle proteins using ubiquitin; President of India Honourable Shri Pranav Mukherjee ; Mr. RajKumar Dhoot, President ASSOCHAM, Dr. Rana Kapoor, Founder, Managing Director and CEO, Yes Bank Ltd. and Padma Bhushan Dr. B. K. Rao, Chairman, Knowledge Millennium Committee, Ex –Chairman, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Dr. H. K. Chopra, Chief Cardiologist, Mool Chand Medcity as keynote speakers.

The report is a practical document. The concepts, case studies and knowledge summaries mentioned in the report focus on action and their immediate purpose is to help policy-makers and program managers turn promises into implementations by 2020. There are many things we should and can change to get better value from the significant resources we dedicate to health care. If we could cite just one change that would make health care more sustainable, it would be transforming the front door to the health-care system. With this report we aim to highlight successful examples for a health-care system that thrives on efficiency, productivity and best practices. The clarion recommendations from the report intend to suggest an infrastructure and policy framework which will bring about a transformation into the Indian healthcare system.

With this report, Healthcursor's vision is to bring this transformation in the healthcare enterprise of the future defines an approach which will support alignment and integration of key sectors affecting healthcare performance, innovative strategies ensuring all members of healthcare ecosystem work in synchronicity. A health innovation framework for action which can guide the design and implementation of policies to bring about this definitive change and boost national capacity for innovation is also being proposed. 

The current economic crisis provides an opportunity to reshape current healthcare system but the recent economic turmoil coupled with the high cost of economic recovery will likely limit the availability of health-care rupees. Hence, innovation that reduces the spiraling health-care costs, raises productivity and improves health outcomes is the best option for delivering a sustainable and scalable healthcare system.

We at HealthCursor strongly recommend innovation which is all encompassing, at every corner of the system and every level of the organization. These innovations should be held to an evidence standard but without holding them hostage to resistant establishments. In this report, it is not our purpose to grade  Indian healthcare system on its performance as many studies have already addressed this quantitatively and qualitatively.

There are huge challenges in bringing together bodies of technical knowledge in just a few pages for such a diverse audience. As such, these recommendations represent a first modest attempt to rise to the challenge. And much has been learnt in the preparation process – several valuable lessons for future summaries and for making the HealthCursor's knowledge management system dynamic and responsive.

Ultimately, the best lessons will come from reactions and feedback from the wide range of actors who read this report. We welcome all comments and suggestions (please submit to:

Dr. Ruchi Dass
CEO, HealthCursor Consulting Group, INDIA


Very informative and also very focused. - K.Chandrasekhar, CEO, Forus Health Pvt. Ltd.- Winner of the Samsung's Innovation quotient award.

Excellent insights on the path breaking work happening on ground in healthcare - nice work!- Dr (Maj) Satish S Jeevannavar, Director- NationWide Primary Healthcare Services Pvt Ltd.- Company that bought the Family Physician concept back in Primary care in India.

Found the report to be very comprehensive. One report that touched upon all aspects of health from an innovation perspective whether it being service models, technology led initiatives or public private programs.- Pankaj Vaish- CEO, Healthfore (Religare Technologies)- IPIHD Innovators

Gives a good overview.- Dr. Zeena Johar, President, IKP Centre for technologies (ICTPH)

Report Reviews:

Professor - Healthcare IT, International Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR )- Dr. Dass’s  ASSOCHAM report on “ Innovations in Healthcare”  has showcased on the strings of frugal innovations in the last decade that has happened in the Indian diaspora,  quite comprehensively. This report would certainly inspire every  reader and health professional  to strive and contribute towards making healthcare in India  more accessible, affordable and accountable to the masses. The message is clear and simple, more and more technology driven frugal innovations using 'Public- Private- Participative frameworks' in healthcare is bound to alleviate health indices in India !

Hospital Administrator and NABH empanelled Assessor and a prolific writer on healthcare matters.

Read Report review by Dr. Sanjeev Sood here

The salient features of the report ‘Innovations in Healthcare are-
1. It offers practical and actionable insights into delivering innovations in healthcare. The focus of this report is to highlight the low hanging fruits to deliver an innovation led health framework using technology and also define road map for the future.
2. It discusses the innovations in the sphere of public health and providing primary healthcare services to the rural population to achieve MDGs by enhancing accessibility, affordability and quality in healthcare delivery.
3. The report is comprehensive in its scope and content and covers the entire spectrum of healthcare services and players in ecosystem at various levels to improve healthcare outcomes and reducing disease burden at community level.
4. The report is well illustrated with recent success stories and case studies in innovations in  healthcare.
5. The report makes a lucid reading along with well illustrated diagrams, pictures and boxes.
Overall, it shall serve as a useful resource and companion  for HCOs, healthcare executives and managers, physician executives, public health administrators , biomedical engineers , medical device manufacturing companies and policy makers.


PREPARE for Impact- Artificial Intelligence Promises a New Paradigm for Healthcare

From interpreting lab tests, simplifying in-vitro fertilization, and personalizing cancer care to monitoring surgical video in real-time o...