iKure transforming rural life: convergent innovation, the way forward

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Contributor-Dr. Tirumala Santra Mandal, Research & Communication Analyst, iKure

The state of the India’s rural health is in dire need of life transformation. A majority of the labouring rural class continues to be marginalized in terms of poor health and nutrition. Trapped in socio-economic structures, poor remains vulnerable to inadequate access to food and quality health care. This in return impacts their ability to undertake economic activity effectively, pushing them further into a series of episodic ill health and poverty. In spite of substantial economic growth in India, country’s rural population faces large disparity in income, health, nutrition and other human development parameters. In such situation, there is a need for a catalyst agent to mobilize the stakeholders to bring convergence between sectors for facilitating change at the grassroots. The force that will drive such change is termed as Convergent Innovation (CI).

Convergent Innovation is a concept and practical way of reversing the vicious spiral of poor health that leads to poor economic conditions, followed by poorer choices in nutrition and subsequently resulting in poor health condition of the rural people. CI refers to joint collaborative effort of various agencies to impede the cycle by making interventions in health, nutrition and livelihood generation. Stakeholders typically involved are government agencies, NGOs, social enterprises, innovators, universities and funding agencies.

iKure, a social entrepreneurial venture is making appropriate intervention in the fundamental function i.e. Health as part of this convergent innovation. The company is partnering with several stakeholders across the board, and providing the rural communities with the choices of formal, affordable, and reliable healthcare services. iKure also proactively works towards mobilizing sustainable change in the economic outcomes of the poor. In collaboration with the communities, the social venture is providing exposure to preventive and curative health care through periodic spot camps, generating awareness about curable health conditions, and at the same time providing access to qualified medical professionals through its network of rural health centres spread across the country’s rural population.

Deploying its innovative technology platform called WHIMS, iKure is capable of measuring out impact using Big Data and tracking a large number of patient’s data and diseases over an extended period of time. The technology helps to collect socio-economic, demographic details as well as illness incidence information and in sync with the hospital management software, its cloud based platform allows transmission of patient data that can be remotely accessed to monitor impact progress, and advocate health care programs at regular intervals.

iKure is strategically positioned to bring steady and sustained improvement in health outcomes by enabling increased access to affordable, and effective health care services; it is adding value at the base of socio-economic population by providing access to formal primary healthcare at the village level, reduction in primary health care costs, and turnaround time to receive the services. iKure is also indirectly impacting the livelihood of rural people, as of the patient groups, the daily wage earners benefit the most through iKure services, as early detection and treatment of diseases saves them days lost due to illness and reduces direct wage loss. It is also training a cadre of voluntary health workers and grass roots employees selected from the local community.

Way forward

In the changing scenario, healthcare convergence is soon going to change the landscape of rural health in India. iKure through its last mile health centres and technology platform, is better attuned to play a major role in the context of convergent innovation. As its health centres are well positioned to enable personalized care, wellness and treatment for the rural masses, its technology will act as a catalyst to initiate multiple health awareness programs and disease prevention plans in the rural settings. Through collaborations with various institutions, international universities, local NGOs, and prominent social enterprises, iKure envisions moving the dynamics of rural health care by enabling access to better life and livelihood at a grass root level.

Our journey through this road will be more fulfilling through various other partnerships. We invite partners across sectors to join us today.

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