The George Institute For Global Health
United Kingdom

SMARTHealth India - help create a new model of healthcare for rural India

SMART Health India is a unique low-cost, high-quality healthcare delivery system. It has been developed by George Institute researchers in India, Australia and the UK, and enables both community health workers and doctors to provide state-of-the-art healthcare for common chronic diseases for a fraction of the price it would otherwise cost.

The challenge facing rural India

  • Rural India is home to 750 million people living in 650,000 villages
  • Most premature deaths in adults are due to chronic conditions, such as heart disease
  • More than 25 million rural people have diabetes and the number is rising rapidly
  • Most people with these conditions receive no effective treatment whatsoever

In India’s rural communities, heart disease and related illnesses, such as diabetes, account for a very large proportion of all premature death and disability. These chronic conditions strike at a much younger age in India than they do in the West – as a consequence, they are now the most common killers of people of working age, as well as the most common causes of “catastrophic” personal and family expenditure on emergency medical care. Not surprisingly, therefore, these diseases represent a rapidly growing cause of poverty in India today.

Unfortunately, most people in rural India do not have reliable access to the healthcare required to prevent and manage serious chronic diseases. For example, most people with heart disease in rural India receive no regular medical care whatsoever. The George Institute for Global Health has responded with a major programme in India devoted to developing innovative affordable strategies that will provide high-quality, effective care to people with chronic disease or at very high risk of its occurrence.

A new model of healthcare

  • Innovative, simple and low-cost smartphone technologies
  • A larger, less expensive healthcare workforce
  • State-of-the-art electronic clinical decision support systems
  • Evidence-based, quality-controlled, affordable healthcare for all

SMART Health India utilises advanced mobile health technologies that provide the healthcare worker with personalised clinical decision support to guide the Systematic Medical Appraisal Referral and Treatment (SMART) of individual members of the community.
Since wireless networks now reach over 80 per cent of India’s population, SMART Health India has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of essential healthcare to those who previously had little or no access. Our goal is to improve the lives of the many millions of vulnerable or disadvantaged people who would otherwise suffer a fatal or disabling disease, or would face destitution as a result of a loved one’s death or disability.

How you can help

Help create a new model of healthcare for rural India. Support the innovative smartphone technology that will enable community health workers to deliver state-of-the-art personalised healthcare for a fraction of the price that it would otherwise cost.