Gloheal in Rural Areas: How Health Systems Deliver Better Access to Care

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Access to healthcare is an issue that millions in the country still struggle with social and geographical barriers, shortage of manpower at primary health centers (PHCs) (less than 40 percent have the mandatory two doctors), no formal qualifications of the medical practitioners are some of the most prolific problems in rural India. Telemedicine helps in easing the problems from distance especially for rural communities. Moreover, it is an effective way through which public health organizations (PHOs) can provide comprehensive primary care to the rural population.

How Gloheal enables PHO to deliver primary care?

Gloheal’s telemedicine solution enables PHOs to deliver care in the remotest location in a medically proven, secure, cost-effective and user-friendly manner. It provides comprehensive technology and infrastructure support to enhance the outcome and benefit of virtual care for the patients.

Supplied with the best –in class internet connectivity by Tata Communications, Gloheal application supports a host of telemetry devices such as a high-resolution examination camera, digital stethoscope, an otoscope, and dermatoscopy, etc. thus, enabling the doctors to remotely assess the patients clinical status such as , ECG and other key parameters with proven accuracy. Furthermore, the platform is secure, easy to scale and is completely managed by Gloheal, which enables PHO’s cater care to various geographical regions of India effectively.

Let’s take a peek into the story of Tata Trusts to understand the concept better

Tata Trusts- a non-sectarian philanthropic organization whose one of the objectives is to deliver healthcare services for the communities who lack access to primary care. Tata Trusts provides primary care service in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh where the patients had to travel 80-100 kms to avail healthcare services. Initially, they launched first of its kind health insurance scheme, Swastha Kutumbam, for the marginalized communities in Vijayawada. The scheme is similar to the universal healthcare coverage scheme and is open to all the residents living in the village. However, lack of referral services and evidence-based care in the community; the locals were unable to utilize the insurance scheme with full potential. To obviate this, Tata Trusts planned to deliver evidence-based care through proper referral services, by establishing clinics and mobile medical units in rural areas. However, factors like shortage of qualified doctors, shortage of manpower, etc. were few persisting challenges faced by them. Therefore, to overcome the issues, Tata Trusts adopted Gloheal’s telemedicine platform to extend care in rural areas.

What is Gloheal Application?

Gloheal is a digital care platform that connects healthcare providers and doctors to remote patients using telemedicine, bringing access to quality healthcare care to millions.

Using Gloheal application, Tata Trusts introduced a care delivery model called Hub- and- Spoke Swastha Kutumbam Model (HSM), through which a trained paramedic in rural clinic virtually connects the patient to a HUB of qualified doctors located in the city. This telemedicine center/ hub of qualified doctors in Vijayawada connects to 20 telemedicine clinics/spokes in rural areas. Every time a patient visits the remote clinic, the trained paramedic in the clinic conducts a basic physical examination, collects the vitals of the patient using telemetry devices, prepares a medical report and initiates virtual consultation for the patient. During the consultation, the paramedic shares the recorded data with the doctor digitally, based on which the doctor delivers real-time care to the patients at the far end. Likewise, mobile medical units deliver care to patients suffering from chronic health ailments or the ones who cannot visit the local telemedicine clinics. This set-up has enabled Tata Trusts to deliver care for chronic illness in remote locations. Also, the virtual referral service through Gloheal has empowered Tata Trusts to deliver evidence-based care, in local communities thereby, enabling them to offer Swastha Kutumbam insurance scheme in an economical way.

Below diagram depicts the HSM model at Vijayawada.

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So far, Tata Trusts has conducted 50,000 consults in more than 265 villages of Krishna district, thus facilitating access to primary care for remote patients in an effective way. Furthermore, the existing challenges like shortage of manpower, lack of qualified doctors, etc. are no more a barrier for the PHOs like Tata Trusts.

Through Gloheal’s user-friendly interface, PHOs are now

• Examining physiological vital signs in remote locations

• Digitizing patient’s health records

• Managing chronic illness

• Providing remote consultations

• Offering online prescriptions and referral services

• Spending more time in delivering care and less time traveling

• Overcoming the shortage of qualified doctors

As of 2018, Gloheal Virtual Clinic has 200 + clinics around the country where patients in need of quality care are virtually connected to the qualified physicians. Gloheal holds the ability to resolve the issues associated with the delivery of quality care in remote locations. Nevertheless, it facilitates PHOs to deliver quality care economically anytime, anywhere.

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