Biocon has been doing tremendous service in the areas of health and education…
Biocon Foundation’s CSR initiatives are primarily focused on healthcare, primary education and civic infrastructure. In 2012, Biocon Foundation constructed around 500 homes for the flood victims of Mangalguda village in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. These houses were furnished with sanitation facilities and solar lightsWe did proper rain water harvesting and created a township called as Biocon Nagara.
We are looking at leveraging technology to address the huge healthcare challenge India has. India has had a very interesting model for healthcare. The system insisted on having a primary healthcare centre which actually then got connected to secondary and tertiary healthcare centres. We have a large number of primary healthcare centres, a few secondary healthcare centres and tertiary healthcare centres. This is a good model. But since MBBS doctors are reluctant to go to rural India, you are stuck with a very malfunctioning system. So far, what we have suggested is to use primary health centres as diagnostic e-healthcare centres. This way, we can use even semi-skilled people to operate simple diagnostic equipment that can capture high end data. This is what we are trying to set up. We created centres called e-Laj that means diagnosis through electronic collation of health parameters. We have kept easy-to-use tools and devices using biometrics to ensure patients’ identity is unique. So, this can finally be linked to Adhar cards too. Basic check-ups are done to create baseline data of the patients.
Then you have another set of diagnostic equipment in the same set-up like blood chemistry etc ; if you take one drop of blood you can do about 100 tests. If you suddenly see blood glucose is very high, and if you know this person is diabetic then we measure other things about that person and create a medical record and refer to a specialist-doctor in the tertiary care hospital or a district hospital. The patient is advised telephonically to begin with. We have started five of these centres in Karnataka and two in Rajasthan.
Our approach has to be so simple that we should be able to use semiskilled people to operate the diagnostic tools, but the back-end should be very sophisticated. All the data we get should be analysed accurately.
We started a program Arogya Raksha Yojana, a health insurance programme and are connected to a large number of hospitals. We do a very interesting oral cancer detection screening, where almost 6000 patients were screened in the last year itself. Using Asha workers, we have basically developed some interesting software which you can load on any phone and take an image of the mouth to check for lesions that can be potentially malignant.
Population and community based screening conducted with the help of mobile technology is cost effective compared to hospital based screening. The data collected during the screening process is uploaded to a server, and is reviewed by a doctor from a remote location. The prescribed treatment is then sent back to the health worker’s phone and she conveys this to the patient. Also, in order to develop a strategy for monitoring undernourished children, Biocon Foundation uses mobile phone technology.
Biocon Foundation won the WHOPublic Health Champion Award for managing chronic conditions in 2015. The foundation was conferred with NASSCOM certificate of Appreciation for Mobile Early Detection and Prevention of Oral Cancer Screening program in 2015.