- Over 100 private and not-for-profit entities join hand to frame tech response with an app to ease teleconsult access
- Swasth platform facilitates seamless and remote interaction among registered medical practitioners and patients
- App-based consultation service in Hindi, English and Gujarati to begin with, and will be expanded in 25 Indian languages
- The platform receives Rs 10 crore grant from the ACT Grants, an umbrella platform of entrepreneurs and investors
In a first, an industry-backed coalition of over 100 healthcare specialists has come together to launch a nationwide telemedicine platform Swasth for corona care that digitally connects Indians with the doctors and wellness providers. It is an app-based service (swasth.app) that aims to provide quick and free teleconsult access on coronavirus, but is not restricted to COVID-19 care. "This is the first time the industry is coming together to provide a common platform, sharing their expertise to provide a solution in this very difficult time," says Kris Gopalakrishnan, part of the Swasth governing council and the chairman of Axilor Ventures that supports and funds start-ups and the co-founder of IT major Infosys.
The work on the app was started in mid-April and the beta version was released on May 3. Gopalakrishnan is particularly excited by the forces that come together and the 150-odd volunteers drawn from various organisations and companies and even academic institutions that have come forward for this. "That is the reason we have been able to make progress. Since May 3, we have done 5,000 individual teleconsultations totalling to about 1,000 consulting hours. About 2,000 doctors have been onboarded on the platform, each trained to handle COVID consultation."
What is also the USP here is the standardisation of processes for better quality outcomes. Swasth has for a start received a grant of Rs 10 crore ($1.3 million) from the ACT Grants, an umbrella platform of entrepreneurs and investors backing start-ups fighting the pandemic. The funding is largely to launch the app and to meet the goal of providing free corona care consultation.
The aim is also to come out with an iOS and Android app too in a week or two. Swasth today facilitates seamless remote interaction among registered medical practitioners and patients through multiple modes of video and telephony. A note from Swasth explains that it deploys Artificial Intelligence to determine the care required, culminating into a digitally signed prescription and treatment advice. Along with the free consultations, Swasth will also provide services like home quarantine assistance, diagnostics, pharmacies, hospital bed discovery and booking assistance at a subsidised cost. Currently, the app supports consultation in Hindi, English and Gujarati and will be expanded in 25 Indian languages.
The other members of its governing council, include Ranjan Pai from Manipal Hospitals group, Shobhana Kamineni from Apollo Hospitals Group, Subrata Mitra of Accel, Sharad Sharma from iSPIRT and Nachiket Mor, the well known banker and among the early ones in India to look at financial inclusion. Swasth's project team includes Cure.fit, 1MG, Practo, Call Health, Columbia Asia, Medanta, Policybazaar.com and x to 10x Technologies.
Swasth is designed as a not-for-Profit initiative of like-minded, relevant and successful physicians, professionals, technocrats and entrepreneurs from the healthcare ecosystem voluntarily coming together to pool in their time, intellect, IP and financial resources.