Country of Operation
- Piramal Healthcare LimitedFor-profit
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryE-swasthya is a Social Initiative of Primal Healthcare Limited, a first-of-its-kind telemedicine-based model for providing primary care in Rajasthan, India that aims to address the absence of doctors.
Only 30% of Indians have access to modern medicine and Piramal e-Swasthya was created to explore ways to dramatically increase that number while building a profitable business model. Our dream is to democratise healthcare and give the average Indian access to what many consider a luxury today
Key program components
The project has the following components:
Piramal Swasthya Sahayika (PSS): are local literate women who act as the communication link between the patient and the doctor. The women undergo a rigorous training program in which they learn to collect simple diagnostic information and provide preventive medicine, first-aid and customer service. These women are given a medical kit, marketing material and a mobile phone. They are then assisted in setting up a tele-clinic (PSS Centre) at their own homes.
During a consultation, a PSS records patient history through a simple one-page form, measures vitals such as blood pressure, temperature, weight and then calls a remote paramedic based out of a call center in a city (currently Jaipur, India). This process takes close to 5-7 minutes per patient.
Call Centre Paramedics: After talking to and examining the patient, the health care worker communicates this diagnostic data through a cell-phone to centralized call centre paramedics. The paramedics are mainly graduates who have been trained to use a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) to diagnose the problem. As prompted by the software, the paramedic asks a series of questions to the health worker, who in turn asks the same to the patient. The responses are communicated back to the paramedics.
CDSS: Based on the data made by paramedics, CDSS gives a provisional diagnosis and prescription. CDSS can process over 70 ailments. This takes a total of 5 minutes.
Doctor: One doctor per every six to seven paramedics reads through the diagnosis given by CDSS and edits as necessary. At this point, the patient call is live and the doctor can talk to him/her, the PSS or the paramedic if needed. This is currently observed only in 10-15 percent of the cases. The doctor then approves or modifies the diagnosis and prescription provided by the CDSS. This is vocally transmitted to the patient through the health worker, and the doctor spends about 45-60 seconds in this process. A SMS is also sent to the health worker and the patient. This makes the entire process at the Call Centre to 7 minutes. The total cost of treatment is between Rs.30 - Rs.50, depending on the medical condition.
The PSS Centre is also a village-level pharmacy stocked with medicines necessary to fill the basic prescriptions recommended by the call centre. The health care worker also conducts preventive health workshops, which generate awareness about issues such as sanitation, nutrition and first aid. This model provides reliable, high quality health care at a villager's doorstep through cutting-edge technology developed from sophisticated diagnostic protocols. This program now operates with an annual budget of $500,000.
As of February 2011, PSS has treated 40,000 patients in 200 villages.