Are you a not-for-profit organisation?
No, we are a "for profit social enterprise". We believe that a sustainable and long-term solution to the vast problem of rural healthcare has to be market driven with a grass-root approach. There has to be a balance between value created and resources invested. A lopsided equation might be beneficial in short-term but they almost never stand the test of time and scale. Market forces in this regards are the best ways to measure effectiveness and efficiency.
What is social enterprise exactly?
Social enterprises are social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose.
They address social issue as a core to company mission. The for-profit model drives company's effectiveness due to market competition.
Like many non-profits and philanthropic orgs social returns are core to our functioning but we use market strategies, sustainability and Value creation for every stakeholder, right from customers to partners to company as tools to achieve these returns. Newdigm has been oriented to achieve this through constant value-innovation, creativity and feet firmly in rural India.
What is a decision support system?
Our solution, Amrita can be more appropriately called "Clinical Decision Support system (CDSS)". CDSS links health observations with health knowledge to influence choices by health-care professionals for improved health care. In rural health-care settings it acts as a disease classification and treatment support or as a guide to referral with presumptive diagnosis, all at the door-step. This leads to efficient primary health-care system. The health knowledge fed into the support is catered for most likely cases and when the encountered case goes beyond the protocols, appropriate referral with immediate management is generated.
Are you trying to replace a doctor?
No. The protocols of the decision-support provide guidance in most-likely cases and our aim is only to fill the debilitating vacuum which arises in their absence. For beyond protocol cases, guided referral to specialist is generated.
What kind of mobile phones can act as platform for your decision support?
Any JAVA enabled mobile phone (they are available in market starting at as low as Rs 3,000/$65). Similar decision-support can also be achieved by having a central-voice-call based interface, thus any mobile would serve the purpose.
Which are the languages supported by your Decision-Support?
The interface can be provided in any vernacular Language both as text as well as voice. Presently we have developed it for Tamil and English.
Are there research reports and studies that show the impact of decision support system and similar technological interventions?
There have been many academic and field studies showing the positive impact of such intervention. Some of them are listed below.
Research paper from our Field-trial with NRHM, TN would be published by Mar, 2011.
Has Newdigm created a scalable model for rural healthcare?
We are connecting existing but segregated health systems such as Rural Medicine practitioners, Doctors, labs and drug wholesalers in semi-urban areas, hospitals in cities without relocation of resources to the community. The community be it villagers, health-workers or local organizations form the bottom-most but core facet of our solution. We feel Empowerment of this peg by enabling them to take responsibility of their own health without reinventing the wheel would provide us a scalable solution.