With the pandemic having reached rural and remote areas of the country, India’s public health system is not equipped to manage critical patients. ACT Grants, an INR 100 Crore grant set up by India’s VC and startup community and Wadhwani foundation have supported Cloudphysician, a Health-Tech start-up, to provide Tele ICU solutions in remote sections of the country where quality critical healthcare is unavailable.
The startup offers remote management of ICU patients through trained intensivists to provide critical ICU care and reduce the workload for doctors and nurses. This facility is made available in COVID ICUs for the critical patients who roughly add up to 2%-5% of the total patient population.
Cloudphysician has recently partnered with the Karnataka Government to offer their services in Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) where a total of 26 beds, out of the 70 beds in the hospital will have access to 11 specially trained doctors called intensivists and nurses 24*7. At the Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences (BRIMS) Cloudphysician manages 36 ICU beds. In Karnataka, Cloudphysician first went live in the district hospital in Ramanagara where 36 beds are managed monitored through the platform.
Dr Dileep Raman, Co-Founder of Cloudphysician, says, “India is woefully lagging behind with 1 doctor for every 1500 people. The picture in the ICUs intensivists sector is far worse as ICU specialists, also called intensivists, are in shorter supply.”
“Our Tele-ICU was launched in India in 2017 and at that time little did we know about the impact it can have in our lives years later. In the light of the pandemic, critical patients in hospitals started bearing the brunt of the whole situation as the already understaffed healthcare system of the country started to grapple with the increased demand”, he adds.
Wadhwani Foundation has partnered with ACT Grants as well as the grantee companies in the tele-ICU segment.
Ratna Mehta, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Catalyst at Wadhwani Foundation, says, “ACT Grants has been a driver in effectively identifying solutions for fighting the pandemic.
“We partnered with ACT Grants to help the grantee companies through our Wadhwani ecosystem expertise and network and be a force multiplier in the effort. We believe that collaboration is the need of the hour and this partnership will be highly impactful for reducing the impact of the pandemic”, she adds
She lauds CloudPhysician saying the start-up has a game-changing solution to transform critical care in India and we are supporting them to firmly establish the model.
Cloudphysician is among several start-ups with similar offerings that have been supported by ACT Grants. ACT has provided a total of 4 grants with an overall grant amount of 2.94 CR.
ACT Grants is an INR 100 crore grant created by India’s VC and start-up community to provide stimulus to ideas that could combat COVID-19 with immediate impact. ACT stands for ‘Action Covid-19 Team’ and supports teams and start-ups in the areas of prevention of COVID-19 spread, scaling testing, disease management at home, enhanced support for healthcare workers and hospitals, management of critically-ill patients and support for mental health.
ACT Grants has a total of three priority tracks including Home Management, Remote Monitoring and Hospital Infrastructure and Oxygen Therapy as a response to the COVID-19 emergency. Tele ICU is one of the many services that ACT Grants backed start-ups offer.
The contributions made by ACT grants in this field has impacted more than 550+ patients in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Over 190+ beds are monitored in these states 24*7.
ACT Grants is planning to implement effective communication and creation of standardized protocols to the public in their local language in domains such as testing processes, accessibility, quarantine guidelines etc.
Moreover, ACT will ramp up their outreach to priority districts of the country on the basis of the high population of districts and a high number of predicted active cases. These districts are categorised into 4 categories based number of active cases and growth rate of cases as Initial Stage, Accelerating Stage, and Advanced Stage & Critical Stage.
ACT Grants also produces playbooks – an infographic guide towards various tracks of ACT Grants which give information on solutions to adopt to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The target group for playbooks are the general public, hospitals, NGOs and other philanthropic partners. It is used for outreach to a larger group and government partnerships.
The pandemic is a battle that everyone is fighting and the country requires help from all possible sources. Organisations such as ACT Grants and Wadhwani Foundation can be the flag bearers of change and aggregate more technology start-ups to provide scalable solutions to the pandemic.