As per recent data, the rural population of India forms over 66% of its total population. This means over 88,44,00,000 Indians live in rural areas, which are often short on accessibility to healthcare, education, livelihoods, internet etc. When compared with urban India, rural India lacks the infrastructure for growth and the accessibility to technologies that could otherwise create a large social impact.
Thanks to public awareness, education, digital literacy, and social initiatives, in recent years, conditions are improving in the rural parts of the country. Technology has changed the narrative of medical practices in the 21st Century. Healthcare and medical facilities are becoming available and affordable to all. Technology now aids medical practitioners, nurses, patients etc to communicate and offer/receive medical help remotely.
Some of the major problems faced by the governing authorities and citizens in rural villages are -
Lack of accessibility, affordability, cultural and social barriers and awareness among the people.
Negligence of various authorities and governing bodies in setting up medical facilities.
The unwillingness of doctors and support staff to shift-to/work-in rural areas
The unavailability of resources and technology for people to carry out any kind of health procedures (like surgeries).
Lack of infrastructure or equipment support for any complicated procedures.
Poverty that prevents people from being able to spare the bare minimum for healthcare
Setting up of infrastructure in the form of community centres as well as other sub-centres and health centres with proper administration in place.
Creating awareness and proper environment near these places to win the trust of the locals and creating awareness and managing change in mindsets
Examining the rural scenario and formulating a strategy to help doctors and other medical professionals.
Setting up and utilizing new and innovative technologies for doctors and staff to have smoother transitions and good working conditions.
Low or minimum fees for treatment, collaboration with local authorities and panchayats for better navigation and process flow.
E-Hospital - The National Informatics Center (NIC) launched the E-Hospital program in 2017. The program aims to create a platform that helps the people who register under this scheme to access affordable health care. This software covers most major functional areas like patient records, work-flow based documents, laboratory services, medical record management etc. Here, patients are registered in Electronic Health records that can be used, evaluated and transferred across any states/regions to help physicians and doctors make diagnosis much easier and accurate. Also, the prescriptions could be errorless, digitalized and the management becomes easier for the staff.
Ayushman Bharat Yojna - The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was launched by the government in September 2018, is an online platform that helps families in rural and urban areas with low incomes(around 100 million families registered). The users registered under the scheme is provided with free health insurance coverage by the government. The program is designed in such a way that it uses various IT platforms and data analytics to verify and cover any discrepancies in treatment preauthorization and processing claims. It also helps in preventing aid to false beneficiaries and fraudulent claims.
Set-up of Community centres and sub-centres - Under the government, various sub-centre, community centres, primary health care centres, and first referral units were established to prevent lack of attention during emergencies and immediate health relief centres in the rural areas under the Minimum Needs Programme(MNP). These are accessible and available to all those who are nearby, who wish to avail free and carefully supervised treatment. Awareness and camps like blood-donations, polio drops, etc are organized here and the team helps every individual who visits the camp and provides them with these services free of cost.