iKure is filling the workforce and infrastructure gap by providing accessible and affordable healthcare at the grass root level using Wireless Health Incident Monitoring System (âWHIMSâ)
Rural healthcare in the country is plagued by umpteen issues like poor access to healthcare, long distance and travel time to tertiary facilities, the limited financial strength of customers and lack of knowledge about hygiene, killer diseases, etc. In order to cope with this scenario âiKureâ – an entrepreneurial venture, provides better healthcare through IT. In iKure the âIâ stands for information technology and âkureâ for healthcare, connecting the rural belt with low-cost wireless technology to link rural clinics to urban hospitals.
As per National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) out of 22,000 primary healthcare centers (PHCs), eight per cent do not have a doctor, 39 per cent are without a lab technician and 18 per cent are without a pharmacist.
Bridging the Gap
iKure helps rural clinics by providing improved healthcare to poor, rural communities at lower costs to patients than traditional healthcare service. It helps in bridging the gap by providing accessible and affordable healthcare in last mile communities using technology platform WHIMS. It sets up Rural Health Centers (RHCs) in villages resourced with qualified MBBS doctor, nurses and para-medmedical staff. It also links each of the RHCs with network hub hospitals for real-time consultation and escalation. All of this is enabled by patent applied for software platform WHIMS, which helps in patient records management, inventory management and connects with network hub hospitals even under conditions of limited internet connectivity.
Leveraging technology innovation, skills training and capacity building, iKure healthcare model is an inventive approach that not only treats diseases but also ends diseases from its roots. It works with healthcare partners, doctors, academicians, local NGOs, and corporate on endemic health issues in communities, designing holistic healthcare solutions around sanitation, hygiene and nutritional components, creating a livelihood for local communities and improving the quality of life at grass root level.
The venture came into existence after founder Sujay Santraâs father suffered heart ailment after wrongly prescribed medicines in Kharagpur, West Bengal. That moment, Sujay realised, the paucity of specialised doctors in rural or semi-urban locations is a major challenge for accessing quality care at the time of need. iKure was founded on 19 April 2010 to provide affordable and accessible healthcare in rural India. iKure received investment from CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad & Village Capital, USA; Calcutta Angels; Mumbai Angels; Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N); WEBEL, Government of West Bengal; Arun LLC, Tokyo, Japan and has raised an investment of `2.25 crore till now.
In November 2012, iKure opened its first centre in Keshiary block, West Midnapore district and added 28 rural health clinics operating in different parts of west Bengal. It had set up 28 RHCs in Birbhum, West Midnapore treating 32,000 paid patients at clinics covering 140 villages with three lakhs population. 500 pregnant mothers & infants were monitored in West Midnapore covering 40 villages for mother & child intervention. Screened more than 80,000 patients in Haveri district, Karnataka in 15 villages covering 28,000 population.
200 pregnant mothers and 300 infants were monitored in Torpa Block Khunti district, Jharkhand covering 1,00,000 tribal population.
In Kandhamal and Raygada district of Odisha 1,50,000 population was screened for malaria and anaemia while in Dima Hasao district of Assam 1,00,000 population was covered.
iKure plans to spread across the length and breadth of the countryâs rural population and extend their network in overseas as well.