doctHERs is a digital health platform that connects remotely located (home-based) female doctors to underserved health consumers in need of quality healthcare via nurse-assisted video-consultation. doctHERs impacts SDGs 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10 by reintegrating women into a more inclusive, agile health workforce, promoting women's entrepreneurship and gender equality and improving the health and wellbeing of marginalized communities.
This is the first digital health venture in the emerging world in which an exclusive network of home-based female doctors are providing high-quality healthcare services to remote, underserved communities via nurse-assisted video-consultation.
We have launched 8 telemedicine clinics, catering to over 15,000 patients in just over 12 months. We have also impacted an additional 60,000 lives via medical/health camps that we have conducted every 2 weeks to screen for various communicable and non-communicable diseases in these communities. We utiliize KPIs to monitor and track our progress against pre-defined performance targets, e.g. our 12-month target was to reduce the incidence of acute diarrheal illness in our target populations by 25% - we were able to achieve a 43% reduction in the incidence through our emphasis on hand-washing, proper sanitation/hygiene and early ORS-intervention.
We are now moving forward with the deployment of an 'agile workforce' of nurses equipped with tablets in ambulances, factories, corporate offices, distribution centers and home health visits (HHVs). These nurses will connect consumers in need to remotely located doctors.
How does your innovation work?
doctHERs™ is a digital health platform that connects female doctors to millions of underserved patients in real-time while leveraging online technology. This enables doctHERs™ to circumvent socio-cultural barriers that restrict women to their homes, while correcting two market failures: access to quality healthcare and inclusive employment for qualified, female health professionals. Home-based female doctors remotely access patients via high-definition (HD), nurse-assisted video-consultation using a cloud-based telemedicine system that includes Electronic Medical Records (EMR), online medical an online referral system and application of peripheral diagnostic tools such as blood pressure sensors, pulse oximeter, e-thermometer, e-ophthalmoscope, etc. Nurses, Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Community Midwives (CMWs) are trained to assist these home based doctors in the physical assessment of patients at point-of-care.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
We have conducted over 15,000 paid videoconsultations across 8 telemedicine clinics in 2 provinces.
Do you have current users or testers?
We have over 15,000 paying customers
What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?
On the supply side we are expanding our network of doctHERs via digital media campaigns and targeted marketing at medical schools and teaching hospitals (where medical students/residents train).
On the demand side, we are enrolling underserved communities affiliated with corporate value chains (e.g. low-income microretailers) into a primary preventive health & wellness program in which our network of doctHERs serve as health coaches/health promoters. Corporations finance these programs as part of value chain incentive or loyalty programs.
In order for our solution to scale, we need to closely match supply (female doctors and frontline healthworkers) to the unmet demand for quality, affordable healthcare in rural communities and urban slums. Some of our needs include:
Short-Term: Capacitation of frontline health workers (familiarity with technology)
Mid-Term: Creation of a Direct-to-Consumer Option
Long-Term: Creation of a franchise system that enables both frontline healthworkers and female doctors to own and operate their own small businesses (as franchisees).