Conducting the Prototype
Prototype of doctHERs was conducted from the 1st of Feburary 2014 to the 31st of July 2014, for a period of 6 months. The target population for the prototype was Sultanabad, which is an urban slum located in Karachi and is a pashtun dense community.
Sultanabad was selected for the prototype as there was a Community health center already working in the area under the umbrella of Naya Jeevan, the parent organization of doctHERs. Also, the cultural diversity as well as the social and cultural restraints in the community made it a favorable entrant for the prototype.
The clinic was inaugurated through a small opening ceremony in which the community elders and heads were invited. They were given a brief introduction of doctHERs. The prototype was mainly focused on maternal and child health care, which was also the main issue of concern in the community.
To set up the clinic, we first acquired the help of a trained paramedic who would be the eyes and ears of the doctHERs on the patient’s side. She was a trained mid wife, as well as qualified surgical nurse having appropriate experience of history taking, examination and writing down patient notes as instructed by the docthHER. A flat screen was set along with 2 separate microphones, so that the privacy of the patient would not be disturbed.
A total of 100 patients were seen via video consultation through a doctHER assisted by nurse. 60 antenatal, 23 infertility, and 16 gynecological Patients were seen in 6 months and more than seven safe deliveries were referred through our docthers.
At the end of the study following conclusions were recorded:
• The feasibility of technology was to be established and a specialized dedicated software was required catering to the technological innovation of Docthers.
• The cultural constraints were to be looked out for choosing the community for Docthers.
• The primary Health issues to be focused will always remain the women related health issue but other specialties can be tapped as well.
• Project will pilot in 10 clinics in different rural and urban populations to establish proof of concept.