Access to primary healthcare for people in rural areas of West Bengal got a fillip with a new initiative known as G1 Digital Dispensary.
KOLKATA: Access to primary healthcare for people in rural areas of West Bengal got a fillip with a new initiative known as G1 Digital Dispensary.
This innovative telemedicine pilot venture has been started in Mousani, a small island in the Sundarbans with around 30,000 inhabitants. It is being implemented through a partnership among the state government, the Namkhana Panchayat Samiti (of which Mousani is a part), the South 24 Parganas District Magistrate and a private firm Glocal Healthcare on a sustainable low-cost model.
The PPP (public-private partnership) venture works as a video-conferencing solution with doctors. The doctors use an artificial intelligence-based diagnostic and prescriptive tool that ensures quick and safe telemedicine consultations. The local gram panchayat extended its support by providing space in its own office.
State government sources claim there are plans to extend this project to many other remote areas of Bengal.
Incidentally, Glocal Healthcare is a social venture set up to bring much needed healthcare at affordable prices to underserved India. It has 11 hospitals spread across West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Set up in 2010 by Dr SabahatS Azim, a doctor turned IAS officer and former Sebi chairman M Damodaran, the firm is backed by social investment funds like Elevar Equity, UK government’s The Department for International Development and Sequioa Capital.