Startups, healthcare providers launch telemedicine platform; receive $1.3 mn grant

Startups, healthcare providers launch telemedicine platform; receive $1.3 mn grant
Photo Credit: VCCircle
24 Jun, 2020

A group of more than 100 healthcare providers, technology experts and entrepreneurs have launched a free telemedicine platform called Swasth. 

The mobile-based app, which remotely connects users to doctors and wellness providers, offers consultation services in English, Hindi and Gujarati, with an aim to expand to 25 more Indian languages soon, as per a statement. It also provides services such as home quarantine assistance, diagnostics, pharmacy access, and hospital bed discovery and booking assistance at a subsidised cost, the statement added.

Additionally, the platform received a Rs 10 crore ($1.3 million) grant from the Action Covid-19 Team, an umbrella platform of entrepreneurs and investors backing startups fighting the pandemic, the statement said.

“Swasth has brought together the best of resources in the country to provide free healthcare to bring quick relief during the crisis. It will work to further public health goals and work in coordination with the medical council, public health organisations and the private sector to expand quality healthcare access to the masses. I firmly believe that this crisis is a great opportunity to reinvent healthcare delivery in India,” Kris Gopalakrishnan, a member of the Swasth governing council, said.

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The platform deploys artificial intelligence-based triaging to determine the care required, culminating in a digitally signed prescription and treatment advice, the statement said. All doctors on the platform are verified and undergo specially designed training programmes on teleconsultation and Covid-19 clinical protocols, it added. 

The platform is also compliant with industry-accepted cybersecurity norms for healthcare platforms and relies on a defense-in-depth approach to ensure that data is securely transmitted, stored, managed and accessed, it said.

In March, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a set of guidelines for telemedicine providers at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has burdened the country’s medical infrastructure.