Using Mobile Technology to Healthcare in India
The social enterprise Sevamob is fundamentally transforming primary healthcare in India through mobile clinics and a tele-health marketplace. The company has committed to reducing anemia by 30 percent, HIV transmission to children by at least half of the national average, and dental issues like caries by 25 percent, in the areas where it is active.
Sevamob provides primary health care and dental care to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid through a subscription-based model that combines local health teams with a network of specialists and a 24/7 call center for accurate diagnosis and treatment and leverages cloud-based mobile technology and data analytics to manage and monitor health outcomes.
In India, bottom-of-the-pyramid communities have limited access to affordable healthcare. As a result, the average life expectancy is 14 years less than that in the West, while the maternal and child mortality rates are eight times and 20 times higher, respectively, than those in the United States. But while healthcare represents a huge potential market in a country of 1.2 billion people, few companies have been willing to invest in building a health infrastructure for those at the bottom of the pyramid. Sevamob is a prime mover in the industry, combining primary healthcare and health insurance into a monthly subscription model that yields better health outcomes at a cost up to 80 percent less than other options.
Sevamob's innovative approach utilizes proprietary mobile technology, which can operate offline in remote areas. Mobile health teams are staffed with primary care doctors and supported by a 24-hour call center and a network of third party service providers (including pathology labs for advanced tests and hospitals) for continuity of care.
First-line diagnostic and treatment services can be accessed through 15 mobile clinics in 6 states in India, and the company provides additional access to remote communities through a tele-health marketplace. Sevamob's mobile clinics provide subscribers with rapid point-of-care diagnostics, treatment, generic medicines for common ailments, nutrition supplements, dental services like caries removal, vision services and nutrition counseling.
The company has also recently piloted clean birth kits for expectant mothers and provided sanitary pads to low-income women.
Mobile technology is a key innovation in Sevamob's business model: health teams at the clinics collect patient information using Android tablets and upload the data to a central cloud server. Cloud-based reports show health stats for that demographic group, including prevalent diseases and symptoms, to aid diagnosis. On each follow-up visit, the patient record is updated and stored in the cloud. Even training material for health workers is shared through Google Docs and doctors receive training via web conference as well as in-person.
Launched in 2012, Sevamob already does 20,000 patient consultations per month across six states. With this rapid growth, the company plans to further scale up its high-quality, low-cost service with the vision of serving 800,000 subscribers through its mobile clinics and 37 million users through its tele-health marketplace by 2019 to achieve better health.
Interview with Shelley Saxena, CEO of Sevamob