With just 0.65 physicians per 1000 patients, India faces a severe dearth of qualified doctors and ranks 117th in the world in this parameter. Moreover, 75% of India’s health infrastructure – including doctors and specialists and other health resources – is concentrated in urban areas where only 27% of the population lives. Hence, most patients seek healthcare from untrained and unqualified providers. These providers have very little or no medical training and their primary focus is to provide immediate relief to patients without treating the underlying disease. In such a scenario, patients fall victim to irrational treatment practices and overuse of antibiotics. Hence, the primary problem that Karma is trying to solve in the rural and semi urban areas is of lack of access to quality and affordable healthcare stemming from the shortage of qualified doctors and trained manpower. Given the scale of the problem, technological innovation, reduction in data costs, increasing Internet penetration, and in-built financial sustainability of the model, Karma believes that it is the most-appropriate time for a digital technology intervention to turn around the existing healthcare scenario.
Karma Healthcare is a novel and highly relevant proposition which harnesses digital connectivity to provide affordable quality healthcare to rural and semi-urban India. Karma’s “assisted e-health” business model juxtaposes low delivery cost and human touch – such that the combination of these two elements engenders a high efficacy, sustainable rural healthcare play via pan India network of healthcare centers over time. The organization operates ‘e-Doctor’ clinics providing nurse-assisted online medical consultations by qualified doctors, diagnostic services and referral services to secondary and tertiary care facilities in nearby cities. Karma’s overarching vision is to establish a pan India network of healthcare centers and transform the industry to make healthcare more inclusive, integrated and evidence based. The organization aims to create an omni-channel healthcare delivery platform having mutilple touch-points including physical clinics, mobile based solutions and referral linkages to improve transparency & efficiency and reduce information asymmetry in the healthcare system. In another three years Karma aims to have more than 100 operational centers across India, impacting a population of more than 25 million.
Population covered by Karma e-Doctor centres