The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and University of St Gallen, Switzerland, are conducting a research on designing conceptual models to improve healthcare access for low-income families in India.
The research project, titled ‘Consumer Preferences for Market-based Healthcare Models: Leveraging Innovations for Low- income Families in India,’ has received competitive research grants under the Indo-Swiss Research Programme in Social Sciences.
“The key objective of our research is to design conceptual healthcare models which leverage innovations in technology and service delivery to improve access,” said Prof Shainesh G from IIM-B. He is collaborating with Roger Moser and Pietro Beritelli at St Gallen for the project.
The researchers have identified hospitalization and surgery as one of the major reasons for financial strain among poor families. However, developments and success stories in telemedicine, micro-health insurance, low-cost diagnostic devices and mobile applications show that concerns surrounding access to healthcare can be addressed, he said.
“We propose to test alternate models by combining some of the features of existing successful healthcare organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors which leverage technology, namely telemedicine and low-cost diagnostic devices to improve access and emerging payment mechanisms to lower transaction costs.
Consumer preferences for these alternate models will be tested through choice based conjoint analysis,” said Prof Shainesh, who is also chairperson of the IIM-B Executive Post Graduate Programme.
“The research will involve collection of inputs from experts and leading practitioners in the health sector through Delphi panels (with 16 experts), consumer preferences for different features of alternate healthcare models and analysis of operational and financial viability of scalable and sustainable delivery models,” he said.
The research project is spread over two years from September 2013 to August 2015. In the next stage, the researchers will conduct research among poor patients and their family members. “Then we will test preference for alternate models among the poor through choice based models and evaluate feasibility,” Prof Shainesh said.