iKure – Paving the Way to Accessible and Affordable Healthcare through Software Development
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
We traveled down a bumpy, dirt road in the rural areas of West Bengal towards a village called Bolpur. Three hours after leaving Kolkata, the car pulled up to an unassuming concrete building. The health care worker who accompanied us for this ride jumped out enthusiastically and immediately spoke into her megaphone. “Not feeling well?” she called out to the village, “Need a quick check up? Come and visit us for the next hour and a half.” Here, in a small village, at an unassuming building, we had found ourselves at an iKure spot camp.
iKure – a Kolkata-based social enterprise dedicated to bringing affordable health care to India’s poorest populations – has created these spot camps as an integral part of their inventive model for a network of health clinics in India’s rural areas. In addition to providing access to doctors and medicine prescriptions, they provide the necessary outreach to tell villagers about where and when the clinics are and how they can access medical consultations and medicine.
To understand iKure’s creative approach to bringing health care to those most in need, think about it like a bicycle wheel. At the hub, there is a main clinic that acts as the base for an additional 21, strategically placed spoke clinics: acting as the spokes emanating from the wheel and serving a potential population of 175,000 people.