Healthcare Technology Featured Article

May 13, 2011

Healthcare Technology and News: New Pan India Service Provides mHealth Services to Country

handygo Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a provider of virtual address space (VAS) solutions, and Uninor has launched “Wellness World,” a health tool for customers throughout India, providing health advice and counseling.

Available on both Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Short Messaging Service (SMS) platforms, Wellness World is designed to provide daily information to Uninor's subscribers on health-related issues. Uninor provides prepaid mobile service. Subscribers can get up-to-date information on heart care, women's health, diet and nutrition, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, pain management, sexual health, stress, love, relationship and adolescent issues.

Uninor subscribers need to dial in this code – 522770 – for the service. IVR customers can opt for subscription packs of 30/7 (seven days a week for 30 days), which will entitle them to 30/7 free minutes respectively. Also, they can obtain this service on SMS at 30/7 for 30/7 days, which will entitle them to the same plan, or 2/1 (one day in a choice of two prepaid plans) SMS alerts per day.

Extensive research was conducted on the huge gap and potential of the Indian mHealth marketplace to find what was needed. Healthcare in India features a universal health care system run by the constituent states and territories of India. The Constitution charges every state with raising the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health. The National Health Policy was endorsed by the Parliament of India in 1983 and updated in 2002. However, the government sector is understaffed and underfinanced; poor services at state-run hospitals force many people to visit private medical practitioners.

Healthcare is one of India’s largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment, and the sector is expanding rapidly. During the 1990s, Indian healthcare grew at a compound annual rate of 16 percent. Today the total value of the sector is more than $34 billion. This translates to $34 per capita, or roughly 6 percent of GDP. By 2012, India’s healthcare sector is projected to grow to nearly $40 billion, according to a recent study by Price Waterhouse.

This pan India service is available in Hindi and English, 24/7, 365 days a year. handygo Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has partnered with hospitals such as Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, GM Modi, and Jaipur Golden to ensure the information provided is relevant, accurate and timely.

In other news, thanks to a three-month-long pilot project undertaken by India’s handygo Technologies and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, India horticulturists will be integrating technology into the trade they know best. Under the collaborative project between handygo Technologies and American development consultancy Agribusiness Systems International, farmers will be receiving a breadth of information daily through an innovative IVR-based solution. 

Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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