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Date of first publication: 25.05.2022
A non-profit organization has come up with a unique and much-needed solution to assist rural areas. It set up 10-bed ICU units in public hospitals in rural districts to offer inclusive, equitable, and quality healthcare to all, especially the poor.
With almost 1.4 billion inhabitants, India is one of the most populated countries in the world. The health situation has always been challenging, especially in rural India: Besides an obvious lack of ICU beds, there has been an acute shortage of medical staff, especially intensivists, pulmonologists or anesthesiologists.
With the pandemic coming on top of all this, the existing medical staff was pushed far beyond their limits and in urgent need of additional training on COVID protocols, as well as the changing situation.
Due to the limited capacity, the pandemic response in rural areas has been poor and many people have lost their lives.
The 10-bed ICU is a new type of project between state governments and a group of NGOs. The initiative was launched in response to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also be useful after it comes to an end.
The goal is to cover every rural district in India with at least one 10-bed ICU facility. With a total of 700 districts, this is a noble goal.
In response to the acute shortage of medical staff, they have started to roll out a Tele-ICU concept with 24/7 clinical support provided by experienced critical care specialists.
In addition, training modules have been installed to instruct staff about COVID protocols, as well as changing scenarios. Finally, a robust technology platform enables comprehensive COVID management.
The 10-bed ICU is a model that could be extended to all 700 Indian districts.
Founding partner, 10-bed ICU initiative
Each 10-bed ICU unit comes with the latest medical equipment that includes devices like infusion pumps, syringe pumps, multi-channel monitors, defibrillators or oxygen concentrators. Furthermore, there are at least two ventilators planned for each ICU. Hamilton Medical is a strategic partner and the main provider of ventilators for this project. We are supporting the project with several hundred HAMILTON-C1 ventilators on a not-for-profit basis.
When I did some research in preparation for my first call with the NGO co-founders of the 10-bed ICU project, I realized how well this project fits us: Using technology and training to improve healthcare in resource-limited areas is our common goal.
Director Marketing and Customer Success
Part of the team since 2013
The co-founders of the NGO are some high-profile entrepreneurs:
Srikanth Nadhamuni is an entrepreneur with a strong technology background and over 15 years experience working in Silicon Valley. Back in India, Srikanth co-founded eGov in 2003 ― an NGO whose goal is to bring city governments closer to their citizens. eGov develops digital solutions that are provided free of charge as open-source software to cities and communities.
Vinod Khosla is an Indian-American billionaire businessman and venture capitalist. He is a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures. In 2014, Forbes counted him among the 400 richest people in the United States.