NGOs bring telemedicine to the doorsteps of the tribals in Gujarat’s hinterland


With a view to bring medical care at the doorstep of the remotest tribal villages, Ahmedabad-based not-for-profit institution, Dr KR Shroff Foundation (KRSF) has collaborated with Gram Seva Trust (GST), an NGO based in Kharel village of Navsari district, to launch a state-of-the-art Telemedicine Programme.

The programme was launched on Thursday in association with US-based software services provider, Evolko, as a technology partner. It will be executed across some 25 villages of the Dang district of South Gujarat region.

Over the past decade, KRSF has been relentlessly and successfully working towards bringing about a measurable change in improving the quality of education across some 460 rural schools in 400 villages of the state.

The idea behind launching the telemedicine programme is to combine the strength of miniaturized and user friendly medical devices with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled technology platform to be able to provide accurate diagnosis for common ailments based on patient’s symptoms in the remotest areas.

This telemedicine-based healthcare services will complement the existing healthcare infrastructure in these regions robustly, improve the productivity of doctors and also enhance the quality and efficiency of the healthcare for the needy.

KRSF will support 25 health workers – one for each village – with financial assistance to the workers as well as project co-ordinators and doctors, and also equip them with medical instruments and AI-based software developed by Evolko for successful execution of the programme.

“GST caters to some 3,000 to 4,000 patients every month across the 25 villages. After the implementation of this telemedicine program, we expect the number to almost double over the coming months. More importantly, the quality of healthcare due to the available history with AI-technology, would dramatically improve over time. We plan to track quality of improvement for each patient and also track the gain in productivity through the usage of Evolko software. The project will later be extrapolated to other tribal areas and rural belts in Gujarat,” said Uday Desai, president, KRSF.

Gram Seva Trust (GST) is successfully working towards providing comprehensive healthcare services to the people of Dang district. It currently provides these services in the villages of Waghai taluka with help of its doctors and mobile vans. Even though GST’s mission focuses on preventive medicine, they also provide free medical and surgical services to the needy through a 100-bed at Kharel village, managed and funded by the trust.

“We believe that telemedicine-enabled monitoring and consulting of patients in the rural healthcare sector will dramatically improve the overall quality of healthcare services delivery system in Waghai Taluka of Dang district,” said Dr Ashwin Shah, Trustee, GST.

In a bid to address long-term health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, anaemia, and malnutrition more effectively, remote patient monitoring and care plan system of Evolko telemedicine software will be a game changer for long term care patients, he added.



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