Smart Village – A Healthcare Initiative by CARE Foundation by S G Prasad
The Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, USA in collaboration with the Government of India is establishing its first Smart Village Prototype in India, located in village Mori in the East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh. The Smart Village concept encompasses various areas like connectivity, farming, safety and security, healthcare, education and skill development and energy solutions. The 1 Million For 1 Billion (1M1B) Foundation is currently working with UC Berkley to identify potential healthcare partners for setting up Smart Villages.
CARE Foundation & CARE Hospitals, in partnership with 1M1B, have taken the lead in providing healthcare solutions through the digital platform by using Internet of Things (IoT) based medical devices and setting up skill development training centres, wherein local workers can be trained to become potential nurse doctors or physician assistants. The services provided and the possible outcomes would be:
- Telemedicine centre with focus on consultations by General Physicians and specialist consultation in various disciplines and nutrition education, thereby creating accessibility for quality healthcare and wellness.
- Possibility of extending home healthcare services at the village level using appropriate technologies, thereby ensuring “continuum of care”.
- Healthcare skill development, training and certification at the telemedicine center, thereby ensuring local capacity building leading to employment.
A holistic approach would require a slight paradigm shift from a patient centred care to people-centred care. People-centred care is care that is focused and organized around the health needs and expectations of people and communities, rather than on diseases. While patient-centred care is commonly understood as focusing on the individual seeking care, people-centred care while including these clinical encounters, encompasses attention to the health of people in their communities and their crucial role in shaping health policy and health services.
From being just a Diagnostic – Cure Model of healthcare it is imperative that we focus towards Prevention – Wellness. The new model approach should be “Wellness-Prevention-Diagnostic-Cure”. Integrated health services should adopt an interdisciplinary approach, encompassing the management and delivery of quality and safe health services so that people receive a continuum of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, disease-management, palliative and rehabilitation care services, through the different levels and sites of care within the health system, and according to their needs throughout life.
The vision of the Smart Village prototype is to demonstrate frugal technological solutions, with a business model wrapped around it, at affordable price points for the villagers. The intent is to develop cases powered by technology that enables building of a Smart Healthcare Center (Anytime Anywhere IoT Clinic). As a part of the pilot study for a duration of one month at Mori village, 40 teleconsultations have been successfully completed using our in-house developed digital platform. As a part of the Smart Village Program “CARE Hospitals-1M1B Telehealth training centre for empowering healthcare workers with digital technology” was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr N Chandrababu Naidu on 29 December at Mori village.
– S G Prasad