Sustainability Heat Map of State-level Digital Health Initiatives in the New Normal in India


The Covid Crisis has opened up many digital health initiatives by many State Governments as a crisis management initiative. Over 300 such initiatives were launched by various State Governments across India for management of Covid as part of their charter for health management. As we shift to the new normal, many of these efforts by the State Governments would either shut down or pivot into general health management initiatives. We caried out an exercise to create a sustainability index on whether they would continue or not.

Approach and Methodology

We carried out a nationwide survey on the Covid-based digital health initiatives. The information was collected through State Health Missions, State Health Department, their websites, doctors connect and various reports. Out of the 300 and more initiatives, we narrowed down to around 75 key initiatives across the States. An analysis of the functionality of these digital health initiatives by the State Governments can be categorized into eight broad categories. These are:

  1. Home Quarantine Tracking         
  2. Travel/Tracking
  3. Covid Chatbot  
  4. Covid Testing   
  5. Telemedicine   
  6. Drones/Robots/Surveillance/Tracking         
  7. Health Worker Management        
  8. Information/Fake News

These initiatives were accessed for their sustainability heat map on the following parameters:

  1. Digital applications
  2. Master data and architecture
  3. Pivotability
  4. New normal use cases
  5. Costs and capital for sustainability
  6. Management in the new normal
  7. Private sector partners
  8. Techno-commercial viability
  9. State regulatory issues
  10. Best practices for Covid management
  11. Others

State Covid Initiatives Sustainability Heat Map

Based on the analysis, we have drawn down a heat map as shown below:

Source: EquNev Capital Analysis

Our Conclusions

Based on our heat map, we see only 15% of the current applications that can sustain in the new normal. While we understand that these digital health initiatives were hastily drawn up in early-April 2020, the state health budgets and other issues to get these applications off the ground to create quick citizen impact, over the longer-term such digital health initiatives need to be thought through for a longer time frame as was discussed in my podcast The Promise of Digital Health: For Everyone, Everywhere. QuoteUnQuote with KK – Kapil Khandelwal (KK)

However, this time frame was a solid testing ground for how successful can digital health be in various states of India as healthcare is a state subject. Based on the information, Digital Health in India, holds promise.

By Kapil Khandelwal KK

Popularly known as Father of ‘Quant Offshore Hedge Fund Investing’ in India amongst the Hedge Fund Managers in India and abroad, Kapil has earned recognition to be amongst the few handful Indians approved by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved board members’ list to serve the boards of funds, banks and financial institutions. He is a successful angel investor, venture capitalist and expert in health sciences, education, agri, clean tech and information communications and technology (ICT). KK runs a popular podcast QuoteUnQuote With KK

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