IKURE HAS DEVELOPED AN ONLINE COLLABORATION PLATFORM THAT CAN BE USED BY HEALTH WORKERS IN FIELD TO SHARE VITALS OF PATIENTS WITH DOCTORS
What big bet are they making?
iKure utilizes cloud-computing to bring affordable primary health care and prevention services to underserved areas in India. iKure is based on the medical collaboration platform, WHIMS, a smart phone-driven technology, which increases the efficiency of health work in rural areas. WHIMS can be used in areas without access to internet or electricity by health workers in the fields, to capture and share vitals of patients with doctors. Practically, iKure is operating through a hub-and-spoke clinic set up. They employ local health workers, who support doctors’ treatment by visiting patients in between consultations, equipped with WHIMS and devices to provide monitoring and diagnostic services at the patient’s door step. Patients usually get free initial check-up availed through digitized health cards, and pay 1/3 of the market price for actual treatment.
What challenge is the big bet solving?
iKure was a reaction to a lack of functional technology that could be applied in rural areas and thus enable quick treatment and consultation in their areas. The vast majority of the population in India lives in rural areas, and do not have access to adequate health care. A challenge India cannot solve with the regular health system alone.
How is the Big Bet innovative?
The technology enables health workers to work in the interface between patients and beneficiaries. iKure’s technology intervention both improves the magnitude and quality of health services. It collects data primarily shared with doctors to support health screening and early detection of diseases. This data is also used to develop new services and innovative activities such as a car health service, an impact investment framework, a mother-child framework developed in cooperation with U-M, partnership with MIT on predictive healthcare models for 2025, and a partnership with University of Oxford on development of a microscopic camera scanning for oral cancer through biometric mapping.
What is the current situation?
iKure is currently working in rural areas, serving 3,5 million people across 1,700 villages in six states. They have 55 people on their payroll, including doctors and tech-developers, and 170 health workers on the ground, working primarily on a volunteer basis, but receive donations from beneficiaries. These people work out of 45 spokes clinics and 3 hubs. iKure has a sustainable business model and has already attracted funding, but are currently searching for equity based funding and angel investments. They have partnerships with multilateral institutions and top-class universities and have been acknowledged by a number of important stakeholders, most notably the President of India.