Published: 04th June 2019
Affordable to all: Hyderabad IITian develops mobile vaccination service model
With his model, which was developed in collaboration with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the IITian plans to increase vaccination coverage among low-income urban populations
With an aim to 'increase demand for vaccination through convenience', Jignesh Patel, a fellow at Foundation for Centre for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) at IIT Hyderabad has developed a mobile vaccination service model.
With his model, which was developed in collaboration with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the IITian plans to increase vaccination coverage among low-income urban populations in the country by designing a mobile vaccine service, including a smartphone-based management application that provides customised vaccinations at homes and schools, and that too at a lower cost.
The pilot study will be started in Pune and that will be followed by two more cities in Maharashtra in a phased manner, and it will be launched under the brand name of VaccineOnWheels.com.
The project is one of the 50 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 22 grants announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Vaccinations offer excellent protection against many diseases. However, vaccination coverage is low among low-income populations in urban centres. Immunisation at private clinics is also unaffordable while public clinics have longer wait times leading to lost wages," Patel said.
"This model will help in developing an affordable, convenient, in-home vaccination service, and a smartphone-based management application to schedule appointments, automate routes, record vaccination data and collect customer feedback," Patel explained.
The year-long residential Healthcare Entrepreneurship Programme at CfHE, IIT-H helped him to understand the gaps in vaccine delivery model from close quarters and identify issues faced by diverse stakeholders, primarily from infants, caregivers and parents in getting vaccinated.
Renu John, Co-Head, CfHE and Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, said, "The Biodesign Process thinking has helped in identifying the gaps in vaccination coverage in urban districts in India. Jignesh Patel has come up with a sustainable Business Model to fill these gaps while organically participating with the National Programmes on Vaccination with a Beneficiary-Centric approach in Vaccination for the first time in the Country. Once enrolled, this model will close the chance of missing out vaccinations to zero per cent."