FIRST Health

The following principles are adopted for the design of the strategy and for guiding future action for implementing the strategy: 

·      Solve for India, solve for the World: FIRST Healthcare initiative shall be rooted in the Indian context and focus on addressing the gaps in the health landscape through appropriate technology-driven solutions. Alongside, it shall explore opportunities for the scaling the solutions proven in India across the world.

·      Span: The landscape of the Health Sector has been surveyed at a very high-level to identify the major gaps, and the trends of disease burden. A wide range of problems across the landscape will be addressed along the dimensions of prevention, cure and governance. The scope of FIRST Healthcare shall be wide enough to include Ayushman care, Bio Tech, Medical Research, AYUSH and Pharma.

·      Focus: Further work to implement the policy shall be guided substantially by a focus on two aspects (i) the feasibility of deployment of 4IR technologies in a cost-effective, impactful and scalable manner and (ii) addressing the policy and governance gaps to be bridged for responsible deployment of 4IR technologies.

·      Consultation & Convergence: The strategy shall be further evolved and implemented in a highly consultative manner, with participation of Government, Industry, Academia and Civil Society. The initiative shall continually forge convergence of efforts in the healthcare innovation space through a multi-stakeholder approach.  

·      Inclusivity: The principle of inclusion of the disadvantaged and under-privileged sections shall weigh with the process of selection of projects and their design and implementation.

·      Think big, Start Small and Scale Fast: it is important to visualize the big picture and zero in on specific projects for maximum efficiency in its execution, with scalability built into the design.

The broad components, outputs and results of implementing the strategy will be:

·      WHAT (Use Cases for 4IR technologies): Preventive care and Early Detection, Curative care (Diagnosis and Medication) and Wellness, and Governance are proposed as the 3 streams of the strategy.

·      HOW (Strategy Drivers): Developing Principles, Strategic plans of rollout, Implementation toolkits, Governance toolkits, Requirements (e.g. for procurement of 4IR-driven solutions), Government regulation, Certifications, Standard Operating Procedures, Standards and best practices

·      HOW (Enablers): Guidelines (non-binding), Incentive structures, Industry standards/norms,  stake holder engagement to understand the full impact of policy and governance approaches, an adaptive methodology which allows for integration of on-the-ground/local nuances and flexibility depending on the final output desired.

The Working Groups and the Steering Committee function under the policy-level guidance of the NDHM Council to ensure that the FIRST Healthcare initiative is aligned to the national priorities in the health and the related sectors. The role of the Working Groups and Steering Committee involves undertaking the following activities.

1.    Identification of Projects: FIRST Healthcare cannot be a single ‘project’, but has to be a portfolio of multiple, complementary projects. While this report provides a broad direction on prioritization, it is necessary to analyze the theme-wise data at a more granular level, identify the gaps existing and likely to arise in each thematic area, and crystallize the opportunities for intervention in the form of a set of projects. It is also necessary to define the scope, outcomes and implementation methodologies for each project.

2.    Developing Frameworks and Use Cases: The most important task for the initiative is to develop the various frameworks, protocols, policies and guidelines and tool kits as required to address the gaps. A very significant responsibility is in the development of the use cases in finer detail and to implement the same at the field level, on a pilot basis.

3.    Implement Pilots: The crucial part of the initiative involves implementation of the frameworks, protocols, policies, guidelines and tool kits as also the use cases in a real-world scenario in association with appropriately chosen partners. It is envisaged that several issues not foreseen in the preceding stages would surface during the pilot implementation. These would call for fine-tuning the outputs of the development stage (previous paragraph) and /or recasting the same altogether, in an iterative manner.

4.    Scaling of the Pilots and Adoption at scale: The scaling of the pilots, is a natural sequel to the successful implementation of the pilots. However, the same has not been detailed in this document, and is reserved for an appropriate time in the future.