Innovative Business Models for taking Diagnostics at the Last Mile

20th November 2019

Author: Mr Pavan Sannuti and Dr Vandana Sarda

Blog CATEGORY: Diagnostics 4.0 Webinars


Miraiben is the Director of the Social Security Team at Self-Employed Women’s Association, (popularly known as SEWA). She is responsible for SEWA’s Health Care, Child Care and Insurance programmes. Miraiben is currently Chairperson of the National Insurance VimoSEWA Cooperative Ltd and actively involved with the Lok Swasthya Health Cooperative, of which she is a founder. Both cooperatives are promoted by SEWA. In addition, she is Chairperson of the Gujarat State Women’s SEWA Cooperative Federation of 106 primary cooperatives with 3 lakh members. Miraiben joined SEWA in 1984 and was its General Secretary after its Founder, Ela Bhatt.

Miraiben serves on the Boards of several organizations, including the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Save the Children and PRADAN. She was advisor to the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector and is in the Advisory Group on Community Action of the National Rural Health Mission. She was also a Commissioner in the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. She was a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC), appointed by the Prime Minister of India in 2010. She was conferred the Global Achievement award by the School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.

She has a B.A. from Harvard University in History and Science and a Masters from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health, USA.


20:44 to 21:15:  Miraiben highlighted her take on the last mile population. She mentions key aspects that they have are deep insights, experience and know better than anybody how to reach the last mile.  According to her SEWA has deep faith in their ability, strength and commitment including in the use of technology
23:10 to 24:05 According to Miraiben the healthcare focus areas for SEWA are as follows:
  • Primary healthcare
  • In the last 10 years, on non-communicable diseases including early diagnosis and screening
  • Occupational health Nutrition
24:13 to 25:17 Miraiben elaborates on the recent innovation at SEWA – the rural and urban SEWA Shakti Kendras in Gujarat and other states
  • Serving as information and empowerment hub
  • Helping members by hand holding them to navigate the public health system
  • Taking care of information asymmetry to enable demand of services is imp role being played
31:09 to 31:17 Miraiben mentions that there is a strong need for early detection and screening at the grassroots level, at the last mile and at the doorstep
31:42 to 31:55This [technology development] can be planned in a decentralised manner. Those developing the technology sit with local people and actually plan together
34:28 to 34:44Miraiben’s observation and experience with technology deployment
  • Technology, systems, devices and procedures should be developed right in the beginning in consultation with informal workers
35:14 to 35:22Back-up support, training and maintenance should be provided for health technology
36:19 to 37:25 Here Miraiben talks about the importance of revenue model
  • Model cannot ever be in competition with a ‘free’ model of our government
  • Local people are ready to pay for the doorstep services as well – due to benefits such as not having to go to the lab, not having to stand in a long line at the hospitals
  • So the model is to be developed in partnership with the government
37:40 to 38:08  Here Miraiben talks about the solutions for healthcare reach in India (a country as large and diverse as ours) and about how to solve the problem of many of the medical equipment gathering dust in sub centers and PHCs dotting our country
  • The only way to reach healthcare, diagnostics and diagnostic tools is to put them in the hands of frontline workers, to necessarily have a decentralised approach, planning, implementation and monitoring
43:28 to 44:21 Here Miraiben talks about her view on operalisation of the Ayushmann Bharat program
  • Screening should be done at well functioning sub-center and PHC level in rural and urban areas, for people with the ‘PMJAY’ card
  • Point of Care diagnostics and tools will come in handy here, right in the beginning for screening and early detection so that we don’t wait for the population to fall sick
  • For that the centers must have full complement of services, human resources and diagnostics
  • Only then should the population be going to secondary and tertiary centers – right now this is not happening
44:30 to 45:07 Miraiben ends by cautioning that ‘finally this (healthcare services) is all going to be unaffordable.’ Unless we have strong prevention, screening, early detection and diagnosis and where Point of Care  diagnostics would be crucial at the last mile, we will see healthcare cost going through the roof


Many of you participated in the MedTechConnect All Partner Workshop in July at the Cyient office in Hyderabad. We had a truly diverse crowd, with approximately 40 partners from organizations across the value chain present in the room. to ideate, collaborate and create solutions to very specific problem statements. We worked through structured and interactive sessions to identify specific areas in which we could drive impact.

We also left the room agreeing that it was important for the ecosystem to continuously meet, and this Webinar series is an attempt to do just that.

Diagnostics 4.0 webinar series is divided into Seasons, each season will have episodes. The first season is Diagnostics at the Last Mile. Diagnostics 4.0 is the latest offering and endeavour from MedTechConnect in an effort to strengthen the medical technologies ecosystem in India.

During our second episode we had the honour of talking with Dr. Miraiben Chatterjee. She spoke with Dr. Vandana and Mr. Pavan

For the new partners, MedTechConnect is a collaborative healthcare ecosystem platform led by Cyient and Xynteo/India2022 coalition.  Our vision is to accelerate the journey of medical technology from lab to market and help improve affordability, availability, and accessibility of these solutions to the last mile.

Founded in 1991, Cyient provides engineering and technology solutions to global industry leaders. We deliver innovative solutions that add value to businesses through the deployment of robust processes and state-of-the-art technology. We work across multiple industries, from Aerospace to communications, transportation, energy. We have also been active in the Medical technology space for the past 10 years, and is one of our fastest growing industries.CYIENT is a partner in the Xynteo/India2022 coalition and lead the Healthcare impact track.  

Xynteo is a platform for galvanising leaders and catalysing ideas – and fusing them into new projects, for new growth. India2022 is a business – led coalition committed to leveraging the power of collaboration to unlock future – fit growth opportunities in India , aligned with the government of India’s development goals. In Healthcare we are looking to make affordable diagnostics accessible to as many people as possible.

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MedtechConnect is to identify innovative medtech solutions and help them scale through innovative models, particularly to reach the underserved population.

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