In developing countries across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, children and women are disproportionately affected due to lack of access to healthcare.
The Universal Clinic: A powerful solution for last mile healthcare deliveryHealth
Quality, affordable healthcare in rural areas, particularly for mothers and children, remains an elusive goal for most developing countries. The problem is multi-faceted and systemic. There are far too few functioning clinics, existing medical devices are too expensive and complex to use, there aren’t enough qualified clinicians, there is far too little funding in most developing country health systems to build the system from the bottom-up, and external aid has proven neither sufficient nor sustainable. To overcome these interconnected problems, we are developing the Universal Clinic.
The Universal Clinic can deliver rural healthcare at unprecedented quality, in a scalable and financially sustainable manner. At the core, it combines a suite of digitally and physically integrated medical devices—point-of-care diagnostics, ultrasound, and a number of therapeutic devices for treating various ailments—a biometric-enabled telemedicine system, and an easy-to-install solar-powered structure. Importantly, rather than reinventing the wheel, we are modifying and incorporating a number of existing technologies and devices into an end-to-end turnkey system, to enable healthcare delivery at a fraction of the cost of existing systems.
We see these clinics as spokes in a hub-and-spoke system, enabling a broad range of services for primary, maternal and children’s health. The hubs in this system are high-quality urban hospitals that have qualified physicians, labs and other infrastructure, and other resources to manage the spokes. We are working closely with existing, successful private hospital systems, to help develop and refine the technology, with tight feedback loops from the ground, to then deploy the Universal Clinic at scale.
Our model also includes training of nurses to operate these Clinics, tracking key health indicators for every patient, as well as a robust mechanism to ensure the clinicians are accountable to quality healthcare and excellent customer service. We are implementing this in Kenya (with Nairobi Women’s Hospital), Pakistan (with Indus Hospital), and India.
According to the WHO, all pregnant women must receive 4 antenatal checkups, for which devices like ultrasound are essential.
The well-equipped in-house laboratory at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. This hospital will serve as one of the hubs in our hub-and-spoke model.