HP announces expansion of cloud-enabled eHealth centres

Hewlett Packard (HP) on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cloud-enabled eHealth centres (eHC) aimed at delivering quality and affordable healthcare to people living in remote areas of India, The Financial Express reported.

With this objective, the IT major tied up with Narayana Health (NH) to establish five additional health centres in Karnataka and West Bengal. The organisations plan to increase the number of eHCs to over 20 in the next 18-24 months. While HP would contribute the technology, Narayana Health would implement, operate, run and manage newly established eHealth Centres for provision of primary healthcare to patients, and to address healthcare delivery and awareness challenges in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

Describing eHCs as cost-effective and easily-deployable alternative to traditional healthcare solutions, HP senior VP and MD for APJ (Printing and Personal Systems) Nick Lazaridis said the company was using technology and expertise to improve access to primary healthcare in underserved areas.

He added, together with NH, HP would provide accessibility and affordability to patients across India.

The eHC initiative could help transform the existing primary healthcare centres (PHCs) and government-run systems that commonly lacked the capacity and staff to provide high-quality care, he said during the Asia Pacific and Japan Summit 2014 in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Business Insider reported that the current cloud-enabled eHealth centres in rural India are built in shipping containers and placed conveniently in states such as Uttar Pradesh, where thousands of people receive medical aid.

The containers which can be easily transported are equipped to deliver quality and affordable healthcare services to people living in areas, where finding the right health care remained a distant dream. According to HP, the project had proved to be successful and now the company wanted the initiative to be expanded further.

The eHealth containers are built to connect patients in remote areas to receive healthcare from the best doctors in the country. Each container boasts fully equipped cloud-integrated diagnostics equipment, HP workstations and video conferencing material.
HP would be heading to more Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in the country as it expands the health initiative. Over the next 18-20 months, the company plans to install up to 20 more eHealth centres in India. Though 70 per cent of the Indians live in rural areas only 30 per cent of the doctors are based there and getting medical advice often involves walking up to 8 km. The eHealth containers have proven to be of great help and expansion of the initiative would go a long way in providing timely medical help.