A mobile phone's capacity to encapsulate the many wonders of technology has amazed humans time and again. Among the many things you can use your mobile phone for, accessing healthcare is one.
India ranks 145th among 195 countries on healthcare quality and access, as per a study by Lancet. Through the National Health Policy 2017, the Government of India is striving to
Progressively achieve Universal Health Coverage
Reinforce trust in Public Health Care Systems
Align the growth of the private health care sector with public health goals.
These objectives bring opportunities and a multitude of challenges for India. At present, low physician to population ratios, skewness in distribution of healthcare personnel (public-private and rural-urban skewness) and poor health infrastructure continue to remain a reality. India must also tackle long-standing nutrition and sanitation challenges that impact health. Learnings from developed countries show that health is a complex subject and India’s healthcare market and public health system have a long way to go.
At Centre for Civil Society, we work towards policy solutions that improve availability, affordability and accessibility of healthcare for all. At present, our research on mobile health (mHealth) focuses on contributing to the immense potential for digitised healthcare in India Within the developing world, mobile Health (mHealth) has emerged as most suitable for implementation and scaling of digital health interventions. Studies suggest that mobile phones can be the drivers of economic growth and support health systems in the developing world. In India, 88% households have access to a mobile phone. In contrast, only 24% of urban and 4% of rural households own a computer. This makes mHealth particularly attractive for the country, much like the rest of the developing world.
It is estimated that approximately 40 million people in India are infected with Hepatitis B and as per National Centre For Disease Control, India has an “intermediate to high endemicity” of the disease.