iKure’s innovative initiatives for COVID-19

As the pandemic has hit the country like a storm, iKure, through its ground-breaking innovations is bringing effective measures to contain the COVID spread.

Snapshots of the initiatives below:

Remote Health Monitoring Support:

Expanding access to COVID-19 positive patients through remote monitoring services. The coordinated medical support, delivered through a hub-and-spoke model, provides patients with continuous care. This has reduced the need for a hospital bed and oxygen support. This tracking mechanism also ensures that family members receive early alerts. The initiative is supported by:

  • Telemedicine app
  • Team of Doctors
  • Trained Frontline Health Workers & Paramedics
  • Dieticians, and Psychology Consultation

Olfactory Screening Tests: Loss of Sense of Smell is an early sign of COVID-19. 68 percent of people have reported loss of smell or olfactory impairment in active COVID cases.

RT-PCR tests are usually done either too early or too late in the infection cycle leading to false-negative results. iKure is introducing scratch & sniff U-Smell-It-Olfactory test that alerts you for an RT-PCR test, isolate, and identify symptomatic patients. The test can be carried out up to 50, 000 tests per day. It requires less than 5 minutes using select Indian effervescence to detect early loss of smell. A clinically tested product with:

  • 80% Efficacy Rate
  • 90% Specificity
  • FDA Registered & X-Prize Winner
  • Clinical Trial at PGIMER, Chandigarh

IKure’s telemedicine services for assisted care

As many Hospital OPDs have been closed down due to COVID-19 this has put senior citizens suffering from Chronic Ailments such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac issues with a lot of challenges. Many patients do not have smartphones, even if they do they cannot operate smart phones for a complex task like Teleconsulting with the doctors, nor have medical instruments needed to capture their basic vitals for better diagnosis by the doctors. Also many patients and doctors do not speak the same language, Keeping these in mind iKure brings in ‘Hybrid Telemedicine’ – Caregivers at your doorstep, b. Helps in capturing of vitals, communicating with the doctors & assisting in diagnosis c. Medicine and other supplies delivery at doorsteps.

Telemedicine app comes with web and mobile applications for providers and patients. The App consists of all these modules mentioned here:

iKure Provider App

iKure Provider App allows MO, ANM, Lab Technician, and ASHA to manage their schedule, announce slots for services (telemedicine consultation, health

camp, community/ home visitation, ASHA/ANM visit, counselings, SHG meetings, medicine delivery, etc.), notifications, add prescriptions, vitals, diagnostics reports, etc.

iKure Family Health App

Provides patients/ family registration, update user and demographic data, add family members, request and book appointment for services (list of services App), get prescription, reports, vitals, bills, and participate in telemedicine calls.

iKure Telemedicine App suite consists of online and offline web and mobile app for –

Doctors, Community Health Worker, Nurse, Lab Technician, and Patients.

Using the App, Providers and Hubs can do a range of activities including the following:

  • Register patients, with location and verify their mobile number.
  • Add diseases, medicines, and dosages, vitals, food, exercise in your prescriptions.
  • Collect medical history on past diseases, doctor consultations, medications for the patients and family.
  • Take key vitals including height, weight, blood pressure, SPO2, along with basic diagnostic tests.
  • Expansion of Hubs

    With growing shifts towards primary care, patients are increasingly embracing a holistic view of their health. iKure capitalized on the shifting trends by expanding its portfolio of services through expansion of 9 hubs to serve patients more holistically and tailoring care effectively to serve their needs. Our focus on providing a compelling impact through our integrated hub and spoke model has generated strong impact in the communities we serve.

    Challenge: Long distances to avail basic primary care, unavailability of specialized doctors and dearth of diagnostic services are factors well known to influence quality of health in rural communities.

    Our solution: iKure healthcare system is enabled with an innovative Hub and spoke model. It delivers its services through the hub-and-spoke model, where it sets up Rural Health Centers (spokes) at village level, resourced with qualified MBBS doctor, nurses and para-medical staff. It links each of the RHCs with network hub clinic through patent applied for software platform called Wireless Health Incident Monitoring System (WHIMS). The core medical team utilizing modern procedures and equipment stationed at hub clinic visit peripheral clinics (spokes) on a regular basis. The comprehensive model is sustainable both in terms of shared costs and providing full range of healthcare services. This model strategically fits into the resource constraints rural settings where the distance between patients and healthcare providers are far and wide and is extended up to the last mile working in coordination at a local level and with ground partners such as SHGs and NGOs.

    Heading Offshore

    iKure extends its foothold in Vietnam through Medical alliance HM Group to focus on connecting patients with the right doctors through apps that can be accessed in remote areas. iKure leveraging Wireless Health Incident Monitoring Systems-WHIMS will aim to improve access to health information, reduce redundancy in diagnostics, patient’s health histories and improve seamless communication across multiple healthcare providers. We are optimistic to build a robust health care system in Vietnam and bring access to effective integrated care leveraging our partnership through HMG.

    Global research collaboration

    NEXT-lab, a new capstone course at MIT Sloan, brought together a diverse team of Executive MBA students in partnership with iKure to develop recommendations for concrete actions iKure could take to scale its operations and realize its vision of becoming the technology-driven leader in preemptive and preventive health and wellness for India’s rural communities by 2025. The students worked in close partnership with iKure’s leadership team for over five months covering topics that spanned Public Policy, Socioeconomic Empowerment, Technology & Data, and Organizational Capability. Weekly interaction coupled with in-person engagements in both the United States and India elicited key insights and refined a series of potential next steps for iKure. Recommendations included how to effectively scale iKure’s culture amidst strong projected growth, develop a comprehensive data collection strategy, and leverage analytics for actionable insights through a combination of internal capability development and strategic partnerships.

    Annuity Based Digital Health Cards

    Our spirit of bringing disruption in healthcare is also extended to building sustainable solutions in rural health. With the introduction of iKure Digital Health Cards(iDHC), we offer services at great quality and reduced costs enabling social inclusion of the poor in a sustainable way. The iDHC are available with a annual fees of Rs 600 per family per year. Moreover the technology platform gives our stakeholders a better scope to leverage its benefits through Govt. initiative for SDGs called ‘Pradhan Mantri’s Jan Dhan Yojana’. Digital health card is an transformative approach in rural public healthcare delivery.

    Ecosystem Partnership Network

    1.iKure growth relies on a Business-to-Business (B2B) model, establishing effective and strategic partnership with key stakeholders, while creating whole ecosystem in services areas to provide accessible and affordable health care and preventive services. At ground level, iKure ties up with the local NGOs, which helps iKure to build trust with the local communities and assess service demand. Through the leading hospital partnerships, iKure patients avail discounts during a hospital visit and such collaborations improves patient’s image of iKure. iKure also works with CSR partners to organize health camps and mega camps, which establishes their image both at the corporate level and in a rural community. Research partners in collaboration with iKure are able to access rural markets which help them understand the disease, or what kinds of epidemics are developing and what treatments are efficacious. iKure with the global research partners, works to find the cause of these illnesses adapts them locally and provide specific health solutions to treat the cause of the problems.

    Recruitment and deployment of Community health workers

    iKure’s health workers represent a strategic solution by seamlessly connecting the rural community with healthcare system across distances.Our efforts begin through skillful training of core group of locals belonging to the rural community. We provide short term training course to facilitate basic healthcare education. Recruiting potential applicants from the community, our CHWs are uniquely positioned to provide medical treatment and preventive care, diagnostics service, monitor ailments, track diseases outbreak, and assist escalations of critical patients. Our certified health workers are available in the catchment area of less than 1200 rural population and act as the first point-of-care to the rural patients.

    Development of Wireless Health Incident Monitoring Service (WHIMS)

    As setting up health centres was not enough for efficient operation, iKure developed cloud based patent pending software called Wireless Health Incident Monitoring System (WHIMS) which ran on low internet bandwidths. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has defined flows and processes with multilevel secured credentials and highest level of data encryption. WHIMS is digitally linked to various biomedical equipment to seamlessly transfer data just as it has plug and play capabilities to work alongside any existing Health care Management Information System (HMIS). It can store reports of image-based data (scopic procedures and radiology) and makes them available at the point of care. RHCs equipped with WHIMS allows for centralized monitoring of key metrics such as doctor’s attendance, treatment prescribed, footfall, pharmacy stock management etc.. Moreover, WHIMS supports effective communication, integration and contact between the RHCs and city-based Multi-Specialty hospitals and private doctors, which iKure had tied up with.

    Establishment and Evolution of the iKure

    Amidst the backdrop of limited possibilities for the rural population to get needed health care, iKure was incepted in 19 April, 2010. iKure entered the health care market as a for-profit social enterprise with incubation support from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur along with Webel Venture Fund, an early-stage incubator established by the Government of West Bengal. After running twenty pilots over 2½ years, the first RHC was opened in in Keshiary block in Paschim Medinipur District and Surul village near Santiniketan, Birbhum District in November 2012. The RHC was visited by doctors (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) every week, pharmacists dispensed accredited medicines and trained health workers interacted with patients and screened them using basic diagnostic tests. For rural villagers, RHC represented an affordable and accessible option that ensures they do not lose a day’s wages plus the travel costs of accompanying family members.