Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition will be setting up 27 telemedicine centres in 12 districts across 8 states in India over the next two years, through Bayer Foundation India. The centres being set up in partnership with RxDx Healthcare and Piramal Swasthya, the public health arm of Piramal Foundation, are in line with the core values of Bayer to ensure timely access to quality healthcare, build local health capacities, and support local innovations.
The key objectives of this endeavour are to establish a telehealth facility in the identified states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh to provide complete healthcare solutions via telehealth and conduct training and awareness sessions on health, hygiene and nutrition. In addition, medical camps will be conducted at regular intervals to create awareness on specific health aspects like breast cancer, diabetes, dermatology.
Speaking on the launch, D Narain, President, South Asia and Global head of Smallholder Farming, Bayer said, “We believe, that the government’s goal to provide affordable access to healthcare for rural areas and the underserved sections of the society can be achieved through technology and innovative solutions. Telemedicine centres allow local communities to access some of the best healthcare practitioners, without having to travel long distances. Hence, with this project, we hope to provide comprehensive telemedicine solutions for local communities and develop the healthcare infrastructure in the identified locations.”
RxDx Healthcare and Piramal Swasthya bring expertise in running telemedicine centres located in Primary Health Centres of the targeted districts. Both the partnerships will allow the setting up of telemedicine centres under a unique Hub and spoke (nodal) model. RxDx Healthcare telemedicine command centre shall be located in Bengaluru which will cater to 14 PHCs in the states of Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh, while Piramal Swasthya’s hub shall be located in Ranchi and will cater to 13 centres across the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and UP. Each nodal point will have an ANM (Auxillary Nursing Midwifery) or GNM (General Nursing and Midwifery) who will manage and facilitate the telemedicine consultations with doctors at the hub. Each hub will have senior general physicians as well as specialist doctors from approx. 15 plus domains.
“The ‘Phygital’ PHCs aim to contribute to the spirit of “One India, one Health”, call given by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, to expand the essential health facilities of PHCs at block and village level by making free specialist consultation services, point-of-care testing, vitals screening and medication distribution available to rural communities – Dr. Sunita Maheshwari, trustee of Telerad Foundation and Founder of RxDx Healthcare.”
“In line with Prime Minister’s vision of digitization of health services, this telemedicine service will bring health services to the doorstep of beneficiaries and also effectively reduce the load on the health system as well as out of pocket expense for beneficiaries in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and UP. This telemedicine service is in line with the Piramal Swasthya’s promise that it supplements and complements the government initiative of Universal Health Coverage for all. Presently Piramal Swasthya is operating over 180 telemedicine centres across three states in India.” – Mr. Ishmeet Singh, Head, Tech Interventions, Piramal Foundation.
The Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) have been identified in alignment with the District Health Officer, of this project. A trained GNM (General Nursing and Midwifery) along with the centre coordinator is responsible for the daily operations of the centre along with the General Physician (GP) who will provide necessary prescriptions. About 20 different medical specialties will be offered via teleconsultation.
Bayer plans to launch a total of 27 Telemedicine centres in 12 aspirational districts across 8 states over the next two years. Each centre is expected to cater to at least 25-35 villages, and cover between 35,000 to 50,000 beneficiaries.