Google in talks to help public healthcare projects in India

The company is in talks with the state government to streamline public health programs. It plans to develop apps that will reduce the time taken in data collection by making it tech-enabled as opposed to tedious paperwork. It will also create a standardized platform under which all health data across programs can be tracked, maintained and easily shared. 

It is not clear at the moment whether Google will also retain the health data that is collected by its proposed platform or not.

“It is an early stage discussion and we do not have anything to comment or add at this stage,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable India.

Google reportedly came up with this proposal after conducting a study of accredited social health activists (ASHA) — also known as community health workers — in north Karnataka and some mid-level clinics in New Delhi. They realized that workers were losing a lot of time and resources in the collection and reporting. And every program ran a different software due to which cross-sharing of data was not possible. 

Google will be piloting the project in Karnataka’s Yadgir district which has a population of about 1.2 million. The state, meanwhile, has a population of 64 million with 2,310 primary health centers and 180 community health centers, according to the National Health Mission. 

The state government runs a variety of public health programs from health protection to families living below poverty line to health assurance schemes for those above poverty line and cashless treatment for all government employees. 

Google could even provide free Wi-Fi to the primary health centers on lines of what they are doing at railway stations across the country, the report suggests.

The Silicon Valley firm has shown keen interest in India in the last few years, with a slew of initiatives and programs targeted at startups and SMBs. 


Leave a Reply