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Social Enterprise Uses Mobile Technology to Deliver Healthcare in India

Sevamob, a social enterprise which aims to fundamentally transform primary healthcare in India through mobile clinics and a tele-health marketplace, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) to reduce anemia by 30 percent, HIV transmission to children by at least half of the national average and dental issues like caries by 25 percent, in the areas where it is active.

The company says it provides primary healthcare and dental care to low-income people through a subscription-based model that combines local health teams with a network of specialists and a 24/7 call center for accurate diagnosis and treatment and leverages cloud-based mobile technology and data analytics to manage and monitor health outcomes.

BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through innovative business models, supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other international organizations.

Sevamob’s approach makes use of proprietary mobile technology that can operate offline in remote areas. Mobile health teams are staffed with primary care doctors and supported by a 24-hour call center and a network of third party service providers — including pathology labs for advanced tests and hospitals — for continuity of care.

First-line diagnostic and treatment services can be accessed through 15 mobile clinics in 6 states in India, and the company provides additional access to remote communities through a tele-health marketplace. Sevamob’s mobile clinics provide subscribers with rapid point-of-care diagnostics, treatment, generic medicines for common ailments, nutrition supplements, dental services like caries removal, vision services and nutrition counseling.

The company also has recently piloted clean birth kits for expectant mothers and provided sanitary pads to low-income women.

Mobile technology is a key innovation in Sevamob’s business model: health teams at the clinics collect patient information using Android tablets and upload the data to a central cloud server. Cloud-based reports show health stats for that demographic group, including prevalent diseases and symptoms, to aid diagnosis. On each follow-up visit, the patient record is updated and stored in the cloud. Even training material for health workers is shared through Google Docs and doctors receive training via web conference as well as in-person.

Launched in 2012, Sevamob claims to already conduct 20,000 patient consultations per month across six states. With this rapid growth, the company says it plans to further scale up its service with the vision of serving 800,000 subscribers through its mobile clinics and 37 million users through its tele-health marketplace by 2019 to achieve better health.

Elsewhere in India, another social enterprise called Spring Health is working to provide safe drinking water to two million customers in rural India by 2017, part of an effort to improve the health outcomes of more than five million people in Eastern India by 2019 as part of BCtA. The company is working to bridge the gap in affordable water and sanitation that many residents in the region face.

In Ghana, BCtA-affiliated technology provider Farmerline is helping to empower 500,000 small-scale farmers in West Africa to advance their livelihoods by accessing information that helps them to improve their harvests. The company also plans to provide a specialized mobile communication and data-collection platform to 5,000 development organizations and agribusinesses by 2019.


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