Healthcare Via Shipping Containers?

Seema Singh | Forbes | December 12, 2012

Why not? Being classified as prefabricated structures, containers avoid the regulatory hassles associated with floor area rules or land-use agreements that arise in setting up physical infrastructure. Minimalist in design, it can be transported through rail and used in the remotest corner of the country.

When I heard the announcement yesterday that CSIR and Hewlett-Packard India had launched an e-healthcare center (eHC) by using shipping containers, frankly speaking, I said to myself, ‘Here comes another solution-in-a-box that’ll go from one pilot to second, or even third pilot and then consign itself to government documents. After all, what business does CSIR have to get into healthcare delivery? As for HP, as part of social innovation agenda, they’d demonstrate something and move on. That’s what many companies, whether MNCs or local, do.

But it appears there’s some method in this madness. CSIR, which is an umbrella organization of 38 research labs and has contributed to the generics drug industry, is taking its mandate further. After taking on open source drug discovery, it now wants to use ICT for affordable healthcare delivery. Together with HP, it has funded the design and development of eHC which is basically a container converted into a primary healthcare center complete with medical equipment and IT infrastructure for diagnosing, testing, and medicine disbursement. HP has enabled health cloud that allows for electronic medical record keeping, remote monitoring, consultation and a health policy dashboard. The eHC has run for 100 days examining 4000 patients in Chausala village in Haryana. The next eHC will be set up in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh...