India’s large population relies on the primary health care system to provide every-day health services. A key resource of the primary health care system are the non-physician healthcare workers. They form the vital link between the consumers and the primary health care system. Drawn from within the community, their reach and familiarity with the community is a great asset that can be leveraged to improve healthcare delivery.
In order to address the critical health issues and disease burden that the vast rural population is facing, we have been able to leverage technology to overcome the gaps at the primary health care level by designing, implementing, and evaluating a series of efficient, low-cost and sustainable interventions. Our careful research has shown how these interventions can be delivered successfully, and the potential barriers and facilitators.
Starting from cardiovascular diseases, the project provides evidence for the prevention and management of all non-communicable diseases (NCD) in India, but also has lessons for other developing countries and regions worldwide to effectively combat the emerging disease burden.
Components of this program include integration of m-health- based electronic decision system to enable physicians and non-physician health workers to provide high-quality care and developing health applications for ordinary users. We are expecting greater development in this area through partnership with communities and government.
New programs of research in primary care include issues around women’s and adolescents’ health conditions. In the former, we plan to focus on developing a life-course approach and for the latter, we would examine unique models of healthcare including those through social media.