Pratibha Healthkon Bridges the Urban-rural Divide for Enhancing Primary Healthcare Delivery

Primary healthcare delivery has improved continuously over the past 70 years but remains inadequate for accessible and affordable healthcare to the Base of Pyramid population in the rural areas. Patients not only lose a day’s wage, but the sheer effort to access a qualified doctor literally kills them financially and physically in some cases. 98% of the doctors reside in semi-urban or urban areas necessitating 45% of the rural population to travel between 7-28 kms to access a qualified doctor in what may be seen as an urban-centric healthcare delivery mechanism. The huge gap for much needed access to primary healthcare needs to be bridged, thereby impacting basic treatable health outcome of many millions of people in rural India.

Tarun Bhargava, Co-founder and Technical Advisor said, “Healthkon replicates an ‘in-clinic’ experience remotely by coupling Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with an award-winning ASHA+ multi-vitals monitoring device made available at the patient end. This solution enables both the doctor and the remote villager to have a meaningful interaction in three simple steps – firstly, capture past medical history, secondly measure current vitals and lastly a consultation using the HD quality video interaction that requires extremely low bandwidth which aligns with the currently available rural connectivity infrastructure. This interaction helps close the loop on consultation and follow up treatment.”

Pranay Garg, Founder & Managing Director said, “Healthkon as a company envisions simplifiying primary healthcare delivery through a bottom-up approach, consequently connecting the entire healthcare system.” Their solution connects Sub Centres (SC), the most peripheral points of contact in the existing public health system to the Primary Health Centres (PHC), that are manned by qualified doctors. A SC typically caters to a population of 5000 villagers in the plains and 3000 villagers in the hills. A PHC addresses upto five SCs thereby managing a population of 20-30,000 villagers as per existing guidelines. By connecting SCs to PHCs or other hubs where doctors are available, Healthkon’s platform delivers basic healthcare to the villages, rather than pushing them to physically go the distance to PHCs located many kms away.

Pranay was excited to share news that Healthkon telemedicine platform integrated with ASHA+ devices, is currently deployed in Aurangabad Tehsil of Marathwada, Maharashtra through five Sub Centres covering more than 25,000 villagers. Seth Nandlal Dhoot Hospital positions itself as the hub that provides medical cover to these centres in a PPP arrangement with the Maharashtra government.

Pratibha Healthkon is a social impact startup established in November 2015. It was incubated by NASSCOM 10000 warehouse and is based out of t-hub, Hyderabad. The project was selected for the Microsoft Bizpark+ program wherein $120,000 cloud credits have been provided for it to develop and scale the existing offering.

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