How Healthcare Startups In Tier II And III Cities Are Solving The Problem Of Access In Their Hometowns

Reality hit home for Ayush Mishrawhen he was in his hometown, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, and had met with a near fatal accident. Finding medical attention proved to be nearly impossible.

That’s when he experienced first hand the demand-supply gap in healthcare in small towns and villages in India where many have to walk five to 10 km to reach the nearest healthcare facility.

It is no secret that access to affordable quality healthcare in India is a challenge. According to the National Health Profile data of 2018, there is one allopathic government doctor available for 11,082 people in India, while the recommended ratio is one for a thousand people.

Looking at this problem, several startups have come up with unique solutions. And it the same problem that led Ayush to start Tattvan e-clinicin 2017. It is a telemedicine healthcare clinic that aims to transform healthcare services in remote regions across India and other parts of Asia.

Providing access 

While Tattvan is based out of Gurugram, the problem of healthcare and its accessibility is being solved by many startups from the Tier II and III cities itself.

“It just isn’t the access to healthcare facilities but also access to the right form or kind of treatment,” says Dr Kiran Kanthi, a practising anaesthesiologist.

“Over eight lakh newborn babies die in India every year. Many from neonatal jaundice. If they get the right treatment at the right time, they can be saved,” says Kiran.

It is to change this status quo that he launched Lifetron Innovations, a medtech startup based out of Hubli, Karnataka. He has built a low-cost, portable, bedside neonatal phototherapy unitthat can be used in any kind of rural or remote healthcare setup.

Kiran has also been running a neonatal nursing care centre for over 20 years in Bagalkot, North Karnataka. His nursing home is one of the few in rural Karnataka that has a neonatal intensive care unit equipped with phototherapy treatment.

A report in IBEF suggests that the current supply of healthcare providers in Tier II and III cities are mostly dominated by doctor-owned small to mid-sized centres offering a few basic specialities.

And startup founders believe that there is a need for reliable and portable devices in Tier II and III cities, which not only provide access but also make testing reliable and easy.

“While this facility (phototherapy device) is easily available in most large hospitals, newborns in rural areas often don’t have access to this facility, which can easily prevent unnecessary deaths,” Kiran says.

The need for reliable medical devices in the country is also growing. There are larger organisations like GE Healthcare, Phillips, and Davin building portable equipment too, but not many are available in remote rural areas. – Your Story

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