What is it about?

Telehealth can improve access to high-quality healthcare for rural populations in India, but it is no simple task to integrate high-tech solutions into low-income, rural areas. System-focused solutions offer an opportunity to build an ecosystem around innovative services and increase their utilization and sustainability. To that end, a team including an academic partner, local village leadership, a local development foundation, a telehealth provider, and a design-build contractor set out to build an integrated solution. Emphasizing power-sharing, the partners offered telehealth services, health promotion, digital services, power infrastructure, water and sanitation, and agribusiness. This paper is an early process evaluation of that effort.

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Why is it important?

Our work highlights the potential of a systems-focused, participatory approach to integrating innovations in low-income, rural settings in India, but also highlights the challenges in engaging deeply across divides of class, formal education, urbanicity, and interest in technology-based solutions.


This article reflects perspectives of academics, telehealth providers, philanthropists, and village leaders. It also highlights the need for long-term, systems-focused investment to advance health equity among rural, tribal populations in India. We hope that this will be useful as others create and deploy systems-focused solutions to pressing public health problems.

Shoba Ramanadhan
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A model for sustainable, partnership-based telehealth services in rural India: An early process evaluation from Tuver village, Gujarat, PLoS ONE, January 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261907.
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