Building impactful and scalable digital health solutions requires more than just technology. It is an innovative mix of the knowledge of the intricacies of healthcare provision and dynamics between the patients, providers, and payers.

ACCESS Health Digital developed the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator [SEA] program with a purpose to help Indian Healthtechstartups and vendors create the right impact by extending their reach and enabling them to operate as non-siloed entities within the healthcare landscape. By helping the startup members implement globally acceptable Open Digital Health Standards, the startups can help advance sustainability of the healthcare eco­system in India while making a real difference in people’s lives.

SEA is an Exponential Organization (ExO) that leverages exponential technologies. Exponential Organizations (ExOs) are a new breed of organizations disrupting entire industries by scaling as fast as exponential technologies do. The potential impact of the SEA, therefore, is expected to be disproportionally larger than its peers. The program’s purpose is to take the vision laid out in India’s National Digital Health Blueprint [NDHB] from paper to practice.

The SEA program was started to mentor carefully selected digital health companies. These companies adopt the work done in the design phase in order to offer the country its first innovative digital health solutions for adoption. The accelerator has attracted wide scale investor interest within the country and overseas even though it remains a nonprofit entity, true to its character of a think tank and a centre of excellence committed to serving the nation.

As part of this endeavor, ACCESS Health Digital intends to facilitate the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator community through:

  • Minimum Viable Product: By helping the companies implement the building blocks as laid out in the NDHB.  The Minimal Viable Product Definitions (MVP) developed by ACCESS Health Digital are in complete congruence with all the standards, frameworks, and recommendations of the NDHB, including Government of India notified digital health standards. 
  • Mentorship: The accelerator plays a vital role by way of providing technical and functional mentorship for the implementation of the Minimal Viable Products (MVPs) into the partner products and help build the micro services and Application Programming Interface (APIs) together with the product teams of the community. This enables them to become interoperability champions and early change makers.
  • Stamp of Confidence: ACCESS Health Digital places its stamp on the products that adopt the MVPs. The Accelerator also strongly positions the early adopters in its network as NDHB standards compliant products.
  • Market Access: SEA acts as a catalyst for providing market access in terms of positioning the products for relevant request for proposals (RFPs), tenders, new projects, and business partnerships.

The Accelerator is now home to almost 40 startups that range in sector and specialty from primary care delivery platforms and telemedicine to electronic health records and disease management solutions.

Typical focus areas include:

  • Health IT Applications: Payer, Provider related apps and IT solutions.
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Health Management Solutions: Health and Medical Health Insurance Applications, Clinical decision support systems.
  • Remote-Health Management Solutions: Solutions driving accessibility and implementation of quality medical care.
  • Patient Engagement solutions for better health outcomes: Health, wellness, and digital solutions that promote health seeking behavior, patient engagement, drive compliance and adherence, and improve health outcomes.

Among these vibrant solution providers and innovative thinkers, many have recognized the purpose of the larger healthcare eco-system and the operational complexities involved in functioning in the absence of interoperability standards. Today, a sizable number of startups in the SEA community have implemented the standards of which some have achieved the Stamp of Confidence and the others are on their way to achieving the same. The SEA takes pride in calling them the Silver club members who have proven to be the changemakers and early adopters of the standards.

The NHA-Market Access Program:

The National Health Authority-Market Access Program originated with the winners from the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY Start-Up Grand Challenge in 2019. As part of this program, AHD aims to provide the Market Access Program (MAP) members with mentorship, market access, and a stamp of confidence, among other basic building blocks that will situate them in the digital health landscape.

Today the NHA-Market Access Program has reached a significant milestone with a few of its members having completed this journey and having successfully incorporated the NDHB recommended standards. These members are now ready to explore opportunities within NHA partner organizations and empaneled provider organizations.

The lessons and collaborative experiences gained from both these programs have been highly insightful. As a successful accelerator, the SEA has and continues to work to provide the opportunity for startups to introduce their story to investors and potential partners, with the aim of raising funds, and gaining traction through strategic partnerships and relationships.

Valuable contributions from the members to the open-source community has been another significant by-product of this innovation-driven partnership.

Startups are usually faced with limited access to technical infrastructure and financial resources that restrict them from achieving their goals of scalability and volume. It, therefore, becomes important to find avenues to support the startups in these areas.

Leveraging the AHD domain expertise, strategic network, and understanding of the ecosystem, the program has successfully provided strategic roadmap recommendations to its members. With experience and exposure to ideas and disruptive innovations, the techno-functional team has helped set aspirational goals for the startups.

The AHD AWS Activate Program

The ACCESS Health Digital Team recently launched the AHD AWS Activate Program with the idea to directly pass on the benefits to this community. AHD in partnership with Amazon Web Services is providing an opportunity for startups to avail $5,000 worth AWS Cloud Credits. These credits could be utilized by the members to host their applications on AWS and move to a Cloud First architecture, thereby complying with NDHB Principles. Business Continuity and lower cost of Ownership for everyone in the ecosystem – are the other derived benefits from this program. 

ACCESS Health Digital is thus trying to strengthen the players in the digital health ecosystem in numerous ways and at every step of the journey. By bringing the AWS Activate program to enable Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS], AHD is laying the foundation for a scalable and sustainable healthcare startup ecosystem. By hosting the open-source community Openbodhik – where value Sets and Code Directories, NDHB Building Blocks – eObjects and MVP Microservices are made available for the consumption of the last-mile solution provider, Platform as a Service [PaaS] is being facilitated. Lastly and most notably, providing a marketplace for Software as a Service [SaaS] to be realized with the solutions from the startups are made accessible to the provider/payer.

ACCESS Health Digital continues to share the learnings and valuable experiences as this journey moves towards fruition, making the dream of the National Digital Health Ecosystem a reality.