RingMD and Government of India brings healthcare to rural populations

Oct 17, 2016
4 min read

In 2016, we secured a partnership with the Indian Government to become the provider of telemedicine services to 250,000 Common Service Centers across rural India. This move forms part of the ambitious governmental Digital India initiative, where we're working together to bring healthcare to rural populations. We connect over 880 million Indians to medical professionals through video or telephone consultations.

**Access to healthcare is one of the most important issues facing the human race today. RingMD is working hard to improve it, but we can't do it alone. Simply sharing this post using the social media buttons on the left-hand side will make a big difference. Together, we can make the world a healthier and happier place. Thank you for doing your part!**

bring healthcare to rural populations Delivering unprecedented medical care

Patients walk into their local CSC (community access points for electronic government services, ranging from financial to educational and health services), where a VLE (Village Level Entrepreneur) helps them to use the RingMD virtual health app to undertake a virtual consultation. Many patients from remote areas will never have seen or spoken to a doctor before! Much of the medical advice imparted corrects misdiagnoses given by untrained, informal medical providers in rural areas, which often do more harm than good for patients. Prescriptions can be made over the RingMD platform from afar, and medicines are then delivered to where they are needed. Follow-up consultations can also be scheduled at CSCs to check whether treatments are working. Where severe conditions are discovered or physical examinations are required, patients can be referred to a hospital or clinic.   RingMD and Digital India Left: A doctor in Bhopal provides advice to a patient hundreds of miles away. Right: A Republic Day RingMD walk-in session at a village near Mathura, India.

Why India?

Scarcity of qualified doctors - there is just one doctor per 1,200 citizens.

Lack of access in rural areas - a staggering 70% of the rural population have no, or minimal access to healthcare.

Lag in healthcare system innovation - the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks India’s healthcare system 112th out of 190 countries.

Ensuring quality and universality

Our app is available throughout India. Though bare essentials such as clean drinking water and sanitation are not a universal given in India, a huge percentage of the population has access to a smartphone - numbers are estimated to reach 340.2 million in 2017; the United Nations University reports that in India more people have access to mobile phones than toilets. With a doctor always on hand at the touch of a button, virtual healthcare is starting to reach the most remote corners of rural India.

Offering life-saving, free advice

Aligning our services with Facebook’s Free Basics, we also offer an entirely free online Q&A forum, where people can type a health query or search for symptoms, with expert health professionals undertaking pro bono work in order to provide medical assistance. This opens up this life-changing and free information source to people in remote, rural communities who have never previously had access to the wealth of information and guidance found online. Read more about it in this blog post!

We understand that this is terrific news, but perhaps a little far removed from your life. Don't worry, we're here to help you too!

Speak with a doctor online on RingMD. Why leave home to find a doctor if you don't have to? Avoid sick people in busy waiting rooms and skip the traffic jam. Can you have a doctor appointment online? Yes, consult a doctor online, right now! When appropriate, the doctor is able to provide you with a signed Medical Certificate (MC) if you need one for work or school reasons.  

We're also focusing on increasing access to mental health care. If you're thinking "I need a therapist near me" but don't know where to start, try the RingMD therapist directory. We will help you find the right therapist for YOU!

If you're a doctor or wellness expert considering offering virtual care services, here are some arguments to consider.