Hyderabad-based CARE Rural Health Mission (CRHM), a non-profit organization supported by and housed within the CARE Hospitals system, aimed to provide affordable, accessible primary care in rural areas. Via 200 clinics and an extensive staff of “village health champions,” local women trained to provide basic health care, in 2009 CRHM provided almost 250,000 treatments to low-income rural patients in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra states.
Selecting low-cost diagnostics for hundreds of rural clinics. In 2011 CRHM hoped to expand its primary care work through the use of technology. GlobalHealth Lab students researched point-of-care diagnostic tools for malaria, anemia, typhoid, tuberculosis, malnutrition, pregnancy, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, gathering information on existing technologies and products under development and reporting on devices’ cost, ease of use, effectiveness, and supply chain requirements. They suggested ten site-appropriate diagnostics for service expansion. Although CRHM was unable to implement the students’ recommendations immediately due to financial and staffing constraints, CRHM reported that it planned to take up their recommendations and that working with the MIT team helped them to consider alternative methodologies for selecting diagnostics.
Video: Care Rural Health Mission (on TechTV)