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“The six data collaborations chosen for our new peer learning network” – blog published by ODI

“The six data collaborations chosen for our new peer learning network” – blog published by ODI

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Starting Afresh


With the hopes for COVID-19 vaccine within reach is soaring high, there is still a population that continues to remain extremely vulnerable with large scale challenges in infectious, non-communicable diseases, malnutrition and addictions mostly complicated by poorly health seeking behaviour.

Our two-day health screening camp organized in a remotely located tribal village in Dhansol High school, 40 Km from Bhasragat, Kharagpur was for many their first meeting with the doctors in their lifetime.

While engaging with them over a research survey, I witnessed the ignorance and inequalities of healthcare access that they live with and found for many, Hypertension was the new word in their dictionary and Thalassemia was a foreign borne disease.

iKure team attended the patients and screened their vitals; high BP, low Haemoglobin count, Blood Glucose and cataract like conditions were alarming high as these conditions are known risk factors for complications, deaths and lifelong disabilities, however, exacerbating this reality is the fact that access to healthcare in such tribal areas is still widely unmet and inadequate.

Our effort to start afresh in areas that remain largely dislocated and remote is driven by the unmet demand of primary healthcare, unavailability of medicines and huge distance between healthcare facilities. In the aftermath of Covid-19, low immunity, lack of medical facilities and compromised health conditions are at higher risk and tribal communities amongst others remain highly exposed.

While our efforts are ensuring awareness and health sensitization, adequate supply of essential care and community health workers driven healthcare model can be a sustainable option to minimize the inequalities posed by our healthcare system.

Dr Tirumala Santra Mandal
Research & Communications Analyst
iKure Techsoft

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Desing & Art, Staff Picks



iKure Techsoft Pvt. Ltd. has been selected to participate in a new ‘Peer learning network’ hosted by Microsoft and the ODI

iKure has this week been announced as one of six organisations to take part in an international peer learning network for data collaborations.

The network is hosted by the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Microsoft through Microsoft’s Open Data Campaign, which aims to close the data divide and help organisations of all sizes to realise the benefits of data and the new technologies it powers.

The goal of the peer learning network is to convene data collaborations of all sizes to enable them to learn from one another and access expert guidance and support to more effectively address the challenges they face.

iKure has been chosen as one of the winning organisations. iKure through this collaboration aims to build open data access framework through integration of real-time data with advanced AI framework to create early response for NCD management.

The other five selected data collaborations are: Caring for Equality in Buenos Aires’ Labour Market – Open Data Charter

Data cargo – The Data Place
● MaaS-Peer – ITS Norway
● Packaging reuse data – Reath and Zero Waste Scotland
● Shanghai FinTech Innovation Data Collaboration – Open Data China

Jeni Tennison, Vice President and Chief Strategy Adviser at the ODI, said:
“It was exciting to see such a diverse range of projects, from across the globe, wanting to come together to learn from the ODI, Microsoft and, most importantly, each other. The selected data collaborations will seek to use shared and open data to tackle key global issues, including climate change, gender equality and disease control. This peer network should both help them to succeed and provide real world insights into what it takes to have a successful collaboration around data.”

Jennifer Yokoyama, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel at Microsoft, said:
“We’re delighted to bring together this first cohort of data collaborations for the new peer learning network in partnership with the ODI. The awardees are working on impressive and foundational work across domains and geographies. By assembling these data collaborations we can learn from each other and experts in data sharing, to ultimately help organizations that are looking to get more value from their data.”

“iKure is excited to win this opportunity to create better value for people they serve.”

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Why Does A Healthcare Provider Need To Grow?


Why does a healthcare provider need to grow? Or for that matter, why does any organization need to grow? There are many successful and profitable businesses that have consciously decided to remain small. Surely, growth can’t be a business imperative!

For over a year now, I have been focusing on this topic of “growth” for iKure – a social enterprise that delivers primary healthcare and wellness & prevention services through disruptive technology, network of Hub & Spoke Clinics, trained frontline health workers and continuum of care. I have summarized my key learnings in this article. While these learnings are from a single company in the primary healthcare sector, I am certain that most of these insights are generic and relevant for other companies in other sectors.

What does growth mean for iKure?

At iKure, we consider the following parameters to measure our growth:

  • Impact: in terms of number of patients treated, population covered, number of community health workers (CHW) trained, villages covered, etc.
  • Physical Presence: number of primary healthcare clinics.
  • Financials: in terms of revenue & profitability

Why is it necessary for iKure to grow?

Over the past several years, iKure has established a successful model for technology-enabled primary healthcare delivery. iKure has been a profitable organization since the last 3 years doing great work with significant impact in select communities that we serve.

In this scenario, what is the imperative for iKure to grow? Why can’t we continue the good work at our current scale of operations?

We have identified the following as the key reasons why growth is vital for us:
1. Economies of Scale: Growth will enable us to optimize resources, reduce costs, acquire greater purchasing power and become more efficient. Through growth we will be able to build clusters of Hub & Spoke primary healthcare clinics. We will be able to deliver greater value to our customers.

2. Sustainability: Growing to a certain size will provide greater stability, increase our survival rate and enable us to better face competitive pressures.
3. Diversification: Growth will provide us opportunities to diversify by introducing new products and services. This will further fuel our growth and improve our sustainability.
4. Customer Retention: For retaining our existing customers and acquiring new customers, it is important for us to grow. There have been several instances when despite having very good solutions and the necessary experience, we have not been able to engage with certain potential customers since we did not meet their “size” criteria.
5. Talent Management: With growth, size and scale, our ability to attract and retain talent will improve significantly.
6. Branding: Growing to a certain size will enable us to build goodwill, brand and reputation and gain visibility.
7. Research& Development: At iKure, we have significant focus on conducting research with leading global organizations and academic institutes. Growth will enable us to support more such projects and also conduct experiments in primary healthcare delivery models and innovative technology.
8. Cross Subsidization: As a social organization, we are keen to deliver healthcare services across a wide spectrum of population. Growth will enable us to better cross subsidize services across various socio-economic groups.
9. Stakeholder Returns: Growth will provide us an opportunity to adequately reward our key stakeholders – primarily our investors and employees.
10. Fund Raising: Our ability to raise funds and at a lower cost of capital is directly proportional to the rate at which we are growing. It is ironic that funds have a tendency to flow to companies who need it the least.

How does iKure plan to grow?

We have drawn up an aggressive growth plan for iKure, based on the following key levers:

  • Penetrate Existing Markets: iKure is focusing on delivering greater value to existing customers by increasing our basket of products and services. We are focusing on customer services and building increased customer loyalty.
  • Extend Market Reach: Setting up additional primary healthcare clinics will be a key driver for iKure’s growth. We plan to replicate our successful model using a “cookie cutter approach”. These clinics will be a combination of iKure owned and operated centres as well as in collaboration with business and corporate partners. We also propose to extend our market reach by getting into new geographies.
  • Strategic Partnerships: This involves collaboration with partners including corporates, non- government organizations, insurance companies, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies
  • Technology Platform: Technology is a key enabler for iKure’s growth and scaling up. iKure’s population health management platform will streamline internal business processes and operations. In addition, our technology platform will integrate other components of the ecosystem like point of care digital medical devices, wearables, BI & Analytics, supply chain management, AI/ML use cases, telemedicine, digital health cards, payment applications, insurance products, remote and home care solutions and other 3 rd party systems.
  • De-Medicalization: A key approach in iKure’s growth journey is to optimize scarce “clinical resources” and reduce dependence on qualified MBBS doctors through technology and business process re-engineering
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: While we will primarily focus on growing organically, we will also explore opportunities for rapid growth through strategic partnerships with other companies.

What are our challenges to growth?

We are gearing up to face several challenges in our growth journey including the following:

Change Management: We will need to keep up with changing market conditions and competition. Also, we will be required to constantly align our systems and processes and our people with the growth.

  • Strategy: While we grow rapidly, we will need to maintain our focus and overall direction and vision. We must learn to say “NO” to some of the opportunities and say this quickly. We have to accept our failures and quickly pivot. One of our success criteria will be “how fast are we able to experiment” and scale up the successful ones.
  • Planning & Execution: Scaling up our primary healthcare delivery through setting up new clinics will require excellent planning and implementation. We are in the process of fine tuning our systems and processes so that we are able to maintain a very high level of quality as we grow.
  • Resource Management: In the healthcare provider business the availability of MBBS doctors and specialists is a challenge – especially in the social sector. This will be a key success factor for iKure.
  • Company Culture: iKure has been created with a vision of making a social impact. As we grow, we will need to ensure that we build a company culture that supports this vision.

Adequate funding is a key requirement for growth. However, I have not included it in the above list.
This is because, we see this as a pre-requisite for growth and not necessarily as a challenge.

Will our growth negatively impact focus on equitable healthcare?

The above question is extremely relevant for all healthcare providers. More so for a social enterprise
like iKure.

We at iKure are convinced that growth is absolutely imperative to provide “quality primary healthcare services” that is Accessible, Available and Affordable.

At iKure, technology is a major driver for equitable healthcare in the following ways:

  • reduce costs
  • improve accessibility & affordability – helps to rapidly scale up
  • improve quality of care by streamlining business processes and enabling continuity of care

GROWTH is a key requirement in the pursuit of Universal Health Coverage!

Rahul Chatterjee
Chief Growth Officer, iKure


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