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India’s Most Remote Villages Are Getting Better Healthcare With This Cloud-Based Solution

In India, public health care is free, yet years of under-investment in public health means that facilities are also grossly understaffed and under-equipped. The country also has a massive resource gap of over 4 million health workers and, to compound problems, nearly 60% of existing health workers practice in urban areas.

With 70% of its people living in villages, often far from health care providers, it’s clear that there’s a lot of room for affordable health services to grow in India.

Aiming to bridge the poor health infrastructure gap in rural areas and tap into the $125 billion health care market, Sameer Sawarkar and Rajeev Kumar, founders of health technology company Neurosynaptic Communications, have built a cloud-based, point of care diagnostic equipment and telemedicine solution that enables remote health care delivery. 
Called ReMeDi (Remote Medical Diagnostics), it’s a comprehensive low-cost digital health solution, which empowers its over 8,000 health technicians — with little or no college education — to act as a proxy for doctors in rural areas. The technicians operate it in 2,200 villages across India, with a total population of 50 million people.

“ReMeDi links up health workers, health clinics, pharmacies, diagnostic labs, doctors, and central medical facilities. It has been built taking into consideration the skill-set and infrastructure issues, and hence can be operated even at low bandwidth by semi-skilled operators, with a little training,” says Sawarkar, adding that ReMeDi solution, launched in 2008, is also used by hospitals, clinics and non-governmental organizations.

Using ReMeDi, health technicians provide video and audio connect between patients located in rural areas and remotely located physicians, enabling real-time consultations. For example, when a patient arrives at the village center, the health technician takes vital signs, conducts basic diagnostic tests, and adds all relevant information into the electronic health record. The patient summary is sent to an offsite doctor, who makes a diagnosis and sends it back to the clinic with a prescription or referral for further care.

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