“4 years of hard work has finally borne fruit. Here is the first Picture of our Patent applied, high-tech, narrow-track, one patient, micro-ambulance cum tele medicine enabled rural Health platform, the AmbuPod. This low-cost vehicle will enable health care and ambulance services at the most distant of villages. A disruption in Health care it truly is. We propose to unveil it at the Auto Expo at Pune, India on the 13th of Jan 2017.” -Words of Mr. Dorairaj.
Much has been written about the woes of rural healthcare in India, whether it be a shortage of doctors, low penetration, lower quality or just plain apathy. Regrettably, there have been no real answers to these questions, since motivators for viral growth are missing. Private entities look for profits that are difficult to come by and government entities are tied down by corruption, red-tape, disconnect from rural masses, unrealistic planning and inefficient implementations. So is the rural health-care issue unsolvable? No, not really, all we need are the following:
1. rural access to qualified medical staff on a daily basis.
2. 24/7 Emergency services that move a patient to a hospital within the ‘Golden hour’
3. Ethical and caring daily primary care services with seamless transition to secondary and tertiary care
4. Care being made available within a 2 mile radius of the user’s home
Now the tough question: How do we make this happen for a 840 million population, with a limited budget? With the present setup – not possible. But if we innovate, think out of the box and think laterally – IT IS POSSIBLE. The two core ingredients required are (a) a way to bring down rural clinic/ambulance costs drastically and (b) use of force multiplier technologies for clinical services.
Thanks to the newly invented ‘AmbuPod’, point ‘a’ stands resolved (visit www.ambupod.com for details). The AmbuPod is a low cost, patent (applied), fully loaded, (BLS/ALS) micro-ambulance cum primary care clinic that is green and has almost zero maintenance costs. Wrt to point ‘b’ which revolves around efficient use of scarce medical manpower, a combination of telemedicine, touch and feel services and a win-win-win business plan would need be tailored for each state or country. Fortunately, there are ready plans for India, the African subcontinent and poorer countries in the far east.
We must however bear in mind that, to initiate such monumental changes, it is necessary for governments to open their eyes to changing paradigms and accept the realities of healthcare needs and the aspirations of rural populations, in the 21st century.
Lavanian Dorairaj MD
CEO and MD, HCit ConsultantPune Area, India