In order to understand the healthcare innovation landscape from the perspective of medical professionals, ACT conducted a detailed needs assessment study with 45 doctors and physicians from 23 hospitals across 12 states – 50% of whom were privately managed, 30% were charitable and 20% were government run.
The set of hospitals we partnered with for this study were largely at the tertiary point of care and the doctors were uniformly distributed across ACT For Health’s focus areas of diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis, and mental health.
This pilot study helped ACT identify and understand the broad categories of challenges faced by healthcare providers, from screening and diagnosis to treatment and recovery, and assess where technology-based innovation can potentially play a role in improving health care delivery systems.
We found that:
1. Doctors use multiple channels to keep a tab on the latest developments in technology, and WhatsApp group being one of the most common & easily accessible channel
2. Nearly 75% of doctors we interviewed from urban areas are currently using or have used a tech based product compared to only 25% in rural & semi-urban areas. This might be due to the lack of awareness & availability in rural and semi-urban areas.
3. Across the disease areas, one of the most common and critical needs is to strengthen the primary care centers with screening and diagnostic facilities along with capacity building of the general physicians.
4. Lack of awareness about these long-term diseases, especially among patients from rural areas is one of the major challenges.
5. There is a need to strengthen counseling services to help patients and family members understand the diagnosis of such diseases, help them cope with the stress, and improve treatment compliance.
6. Another critical challenge is the misdiagnosis / late diagnosis of a disease at primary care level. For example with cancer, early diagnosis is critical but there are many cases where patients come for diagnosis only at stage 3. Most of these cases could have been diagnosed at an earlier stage at the primary care level if not for the lack of adherence to protocols, diagnostic facilities & well-trained medical personnel.
In the next phase, we plan to conduct a mixed-methodology based research study through surveys and in-depth interviews of general physicians and doctors in primary and secondary care across the country to deep-dive further into some of these nuances.
To know more about the results of our pilot needs assessment study, click here.