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How the Groundbreaking ‘Arogyam’ Initiative Can Transform Healthcare Accessibility in Kishtwar District

Kishtwar district introduces 'Arogyam' for mobile lab tests at the doorstep, revolutionizing healthcare access, saving time and costs, and prioritizing citizen well-being.
Indian Masterminds Stories

In a groundbreaking move set to revolutionize healthcare accessibility, the administration of Kishtwar district in Jammu and Kashmir, has introduced ‘Arogyam’. Spearheaded by Kishtwar DC, IAS Devansh Yadav, this initiative heralds a new era in medical diagnostics.

‘Arogyam’ brings the lab to the patient’s doorstep with its mobile device-based diagnostic tests. Gone are the days when patients had to endure the hassle of traveling to the district hospital for vital tests such as liver and kidney function, Hb, and cholesterol levels. Now, these tests can be easily administered by subcenter health staff, saving time and resources for both – the patients and the healthcare providers.

With results delivered in just 15 minutes and at a nominal cost of 10-20 rs per test, ‘Arogyam’ is a game-changer for evidence-based medicine. This initiative, in cooperation with an IIT Kanpur startup, epitomizes innovation and underscores the commitment of Kishtwar’s administration to prioritize the well-being of its citizens. ‘Arogyam’ stands as a beacon of progress, ensuring that quality healthcare reaches every corner of the district, transforming lives, and paving the way for a healthier, happier community.

Indian Masterminds interacted with Mr. Yadav, an IAS officer of the 2016 batch, to learn more about this initiative. 

IAS Devansh Yadav

AROGYAM 

In today’s era, health checkups have become increasingly important. Many rely on lab tests, which hold significant importance. In major cities, numerous large laboratories are available, albeit with high charges. Conversely, in smaller cities, lab availability is limited, hindering access to testing for residents in remote areas. This is due to factors such as lack of awareness and financial constraints. Moreover, it’s not feasible to install expensive, bulky lab machines costing 5 to 10 lakhs in every small or remote area.

That’s when the ‘Arogyam’ initiative comes into use. It’s a step forward in addressing the challenges of healthcare accessibility, particularly in remote areas where traditional lab setups are impractical. Implementing mobile device-based lab testing in all health centers, even the smallest units, could address this issue. 

Mr. Yadav said, “Kishtwar, the largest district in Jammu and Kashmir, spans eight thousand square kilometers. Heavy snowfall isolates many areas for six months annually. Initiatives like these are a boon for the locals.”

Arogyam Presentation

THE PROCESS

This device utilizes a portable device equipped with a spectrophotometer setup. With this setup, a blood sample, along with the requisite reagents, is analyzed, and results are obtained through spectrophotometers. These devices weigh approximately 200 to 300 grams and can perform a wide range of basic health tests, including those for liver and kidney function, cholesterol levels, glucose, and hemoglobin levels, as well as urine analysis.

“This initiative holds immense potential for conducting large-scale tests and providing vital health-related advice directly to people on the ground. Our health workers, already engaged in promoting wellness in villages and towns, can now conduct tests on the spot and promptly advise individuals to seek medical attention if needed,” he added. 

This endeavor is particularly crucial in addressing the rapid rise of non-communicable diseases. 

Launching the initiative

PILOT PROJECT

The successful pilot project at the Kishtwar district hospital, where two such devices were deployed, has paved the way for further implementation. Calibration has been completed, ensuring that the test values from these devices align with those of our main testing machines.

Now, these devices are being sent to Marwah block, renowned for its challenging terrain and six-month-long snowfall-induced road closures. Marwah block has been included in the ‘Aspirational Block Programme’ of Niti Ayog, a government initiative aimed at developing the most backward blocks. Therefore, the administration prioritized deploying these devices in Marwah for this initiative. To facilitate this project, lab technicians in Marwah are undergoing training at district hospitals, a program initiated a month ago.  

THE COST

The total cost of each setup, including reagents costing fifty thousand, amounts to approximately one and a half lakhs. The company has customized mobile phones for this purpose, integrating them with Arogyam software. Additionally, a spectrophotometer has been installed at the back of the phone, providing readings based on blood frequency. 

If this project succeeds here, it can be implemented in other places as well.


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