In countries like India, it is the doctor who decides for patients on what is best. In many many cases, that is probably the most efficient way to decide given the illiteracy levels in medical education even among the college educated citizens of the country. Medical science is a complex subject and getting an average educated citizen to understand every aspect of the same is near impossible and situation only worsens with under privileged and below the poverty line citizens.
The Doctor in India practices what I call as Socio-Economic-Evidence based medicine. The doctor in Indian context has an additional burden that many of his counterparts in west do not have! Doctor here has to always keep in mind the cost implications of the treatment. So many a time, a doctor 2nd guesses the illness given the symptoms and goes for a particular line of treatment instead of expensive diagnostic tests seeking evidence for the line of treatment. The guess and choices the doctor makes is dependent on the socio economic background of the patient. If the patient can afford, the doctor orders the right tests to assess the evidence before the start of treatment.
But then, I or my family cares the most about my health and this is universally true for every citizen!
So the citizen has to play an active role in health & treatment choices. Now compound that with the fact that Doctors are so busy and imagine them educating everyone on every question! The very idea of citizen participation and the “stupid” questions they ask is so daunting that it is akin to climbing Himalayas and guess what, it has only been attempted by a few !!
This is the most important problem to solve as we think about health ! Consumer empowerment is key to keeping health care affordable, accessible and effective.
We at Call Ambulance are making a humble, but very powerful start ! We are working towards that consumer empowerment by leveraging mobile technology to give you the power back to consumer on the choices & information.
Every feature built at CallAmbulance is about empowering the consumer with “choices that matter”. For example, when the consumer downloads the CallAmbulance app, he/she can decide which is the preferred hospital for Emergency ! He/She can build their own Bloody Friend Network of friends who can help in the event of emergency and need of blood. You, your family and friends care about you more than anyone else and they will rush to help you, at times in spite of the system !
Also a consumer can setup an emergency health record so that the doctor at the time of emergency can have a basic understanding of the background of patient. Doctor knows the details of your family to consult for any choices they have to make on patient’s behalf when the emergency situation arises.