doctHERs: Connecting Women, Improving Health, Transforming LIves
DoctHERs contributes to reintegrate excluded female doctors into the workforce while delivering quality healthcare
Project start date : 10/02/2015
Beneficiary country : Pakistan
About the project
DoctHERs contributes to reintegrate female healthcare providers (HCPs) excluded from the workforce by using a digital health platform that connects remotely-located female doctors (working from home) to health consumers in need, via trusted intermediaries such as tablet-equipped nurse/midwife-assisted video-consultation (telemedicine). By creating a workforce on the supply side, doctHERs is able to match the capacity of female doctors (‘doctHERs’) to the unmet needs of millions of underserved Pakistanis, including those in corporate value chains (smallholder suppliers, distributors, retailers, micro-retailers, including their spouse, children and parents). Lower-middle income frontline health workers (community health promoters, nurses and midwives) are recruited, trained and equipped with technology – hardware, software and wifi/broadband connectivity. They are then deployed in corporate offices, factories, retail clinics and ambulances where they are able to connect health consumers (especially female workers who otherwise have highly restricted access to women’s health) to remotely located female doctors. These intermediaries are trained to conduct sophisticated diagnostic and interventional procedures under the supervision and guidance of a remotely located (home-based) female doctor. DoctHERs pathway to scale is through collaboration with distribution and co-financing corporate partners. In collaboration with Unilever, GSK [&] Reckitt Benckiser, doctHERs has provided over 25000 paid video-consultations to low-income workers in corporate value chains including 6000 consultations that have focused on educating low-middle income women on breast cancer, self-examination and mammography. By 2030, the goal of doctHERs is to impact over 200 million lives across 5 continents in partnership with multinational corporations while reintegrating 50,000 women into the workforce. DoctHERs believe that the re-integration of women into the workforce (output) by leveraging technology (input) will yield increased economic empowerment for women (outcome).
The exclusion of women in the workforce in both developing countries and mature markets has resulted is a loss of human potential. In Pakistan, 60% of medical school graduates are women, but 3 out every 4 of these graduates are not participating in the workforce, due to sociocultural barriers that prevent them from achieving their professional aspirations with their family responsibilities.
DoctHERs uses a digital health platform to match the capacity of female doctors excluded from the workforce to the unmet needs of health consumers in emerging markets. DoctHERs recruit and equip frontline health-workers (nurses, etc) with laptops, tablets and smartphones. These trusted intermediaries are pivotal to the model as they help to engender trust with health consumers in a culture which prefers interpersonal human interaction (as opposed to virtual). By leveraging technology, DoctHERs is able to expand access to quality healthcare to remote rural populations alike.
16 Full-Time equivalents
600 Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch