Palm-H (Health in Palms) to Amrita to newDigm
The problems of healthcare in rural India are well documented and thanks to considerable rural background of all our co-founders these were no surprise to them. But the motivation to do something to solve these problems doesn't always come from mere observations. Domain knowledge and desire to do more than what is expected are the starting points.
In our case Saurav and Srininvasan started questioning the status quo while they were in second year of their Medical school at Stanley Medical College, Chennai. We would never have enough skilled doctors for rural India in the next decade, period! Semi-skilled health-workers, be it nurses or even quacks are the heart and souls of our rural healthcare. Empowering these workers who are available at the patient's doorstep is undoubtedly the strategy to nip the preventable diseases which cost us over a million lives in the bud.
So could we in anyway transfer the doctor's brain, the logic behind a diagnosis or treatment to that of a health-worker's. Govt. approved Protocols which help in classification of diseases could be the starting point. But the skill and confidence gap has prevailed even after decades of their existence. Rather than limited training and booklets no one reads, they thought decision-supports which builds upon protocols and helps them with diagnosis, treatment and follow-up should be our best bet. Their field trips to PHCs only reaffirmed their opinions. They then came up with first prototype Palm-H, a customized hand-health gadget for VHWs.
Gurlivleen and Satya, both then studying at NITK, Surathkal who are also childhood friends of Saurav then joined the team to build a Mobile based decision support platform of Palm-H, christened as Amrita. Their faith in the solution only grew when the project was funded for trial in PHCs by National Rural Health Mission, TamilNadu.
Now the team has grown into Newdigm which specializes in Rural Healthcare with public health, technology, socio-cultural solutions and implementation channels as their fortes.