Kolkata Medical Emergency System (KMES)

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Kolkata Medical Emergency System (KMES): An efficient, responsive, integrated & sustainable model of Medical Emergency

United StatesKolkata, India
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Aims to strengthen,standardize & integrate isolated emergency services with varying capability under a centralized medical emergency system to coordinate emergency care & empower citizens for crowd-sourced quick response to cater any medical emergency including road accidents within golden hour.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we can have a crowd-sourced Medical Emergency System, like 911, in India for any medical emergencies including road accidents?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

With increasing urbanization in absence of Govt-owned 911 system,medical emergency is provided by multiple,isolated providers with varying capability,resulting in inefficient emergency management. During medical emergency patients receive no clinical care onsite & are often taken in public transport to a hospital. It may not be the nearest, may not have proper emergency facilities & products(blood) available, causing serious delay & loss of life.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Instead of introducing new service, integrate & enhance the existing isolated emergency providers, to create a centralized, inter-operable, standardized Real-time Medical Emergency System that seamlessly connects “Sense”,“Reach”,“Care”, the 3 pillars of medical emergency.The system accessible via internet & mobile will empower citizens for crowd-sourced quick response during emergency while a medical emergency control room, sustained using a freemium business model, will provide doctor and/or paramedic supported emergency care & retrieval within golden hour. The resources of emergency to be integrated-1.Hospital Emergency/ICU,2. Ambulances, 3. Doctors &Paramedics,4.Blood Banks & Donors followed by citizen awareness.(More:kmes.in/about.html)


Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Challenge,Grand Challenges Canada Stars in Global Health,Emergency HealthCare innovator Award in India's Emergency Service Award program in AIIMS,Delhi,Innovation winner in Safer India program AshokaChangemaker
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

1)Paid user at home:An elderly man feels chest discomfort & calls Emergency Centre(EC).EC using GPS enabled Mobile app informs nearest doctors & puts ambulances on standby.As soon as any doctor confirms availability EC conferences him with patient/family.Doctor decides to do home visit or asks EC to arrange for ambulance to take patient to nearest hospital with Cardiac ICU. After service, doctor and/or ambulance is paid by using mobile payment(wallet).2)Volunteer supported Road accident:A passer-by calls EC about an accident.EC informs nearby ambulances & paramedic volunteers,who if nearby will stabilize the victim.Meanwhile an Ambulance accepting the call will rush to the spot to take victim to nearest Trauma care center as directed by EC.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Phase I of KMES was launched on June 1st,2014 showing availability of ICU beds by type(NICU,CICU) in all major hospitals in Kolkata.In Phase II, 300+ ambulances from across Kolkata, which are small fleets of (1 to 10) private ambulances, got integrated and on July 1st, 2015, a 24X7 multi-lingual coordination center gone live. It provides 911 type coordination for medical emergencies & is sustained by providing home based clinical care for paid users, primarily geriatric.Subsequently, based on a survey among users, it was evident that most patients are not sure of the severity of their symptom & will prefer a doctor's visit before heading to Hospital. In another survey, Hospitals felt, onsite paramedic care will increase survival rate by 25%.So in Phase III, we are building a network of Doctors, Trained EMTs and First Responders and equipping them with Mobile App for timely intervention.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

At 3 Levels: 1)Overall Universal Health Care:In India,HealthCare system is deeply divided/biased based on social & economic condition of patient,which impacts severely at time of emergency.KMES disrupts this bias by providing same data & service to everyone during emergency,as it is a specific medical condition which has the legal & ethical backing.2)At Emergency Provider level:Implicitly makes them more accountable by bringing them in the network, so that they act on the best interest of patient.3)At Citizen Level:Implicitly nudges citizens to be aware, empathy driven & be a Good Samaritan.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

While crowd-sourced response is self-sustained,emergency coordination is sustained by a Freemium model:Provide value-added services(VAS) to users who need it & can afford it and use the revenue for free services(e.g:retrieval of road accident victims).VAS's are 1.Home based medical care & warrantied doctor and/or ambulance in emergency for subscribed users 2.Web/Mobile appointment of services in clinic/hospital 3.Paid Online Ad for HealthCare Org

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In absence of standardized emergency protocol, medical emergency needs to be triaged & diagnosed by trained clinician in cities like Kolkata(A neonatal taken to a facility without NICU, A Cardiac attack taken to a Neuro-Specialty Hospital).But in most developing cities the usual route to solve emergency is to introduce new Ambulance fleet without fulfilling any prerequisite(resource,infrastructure & information).Also setting up a city-wide Ambulance fleet is financially & logistically prohibitive(competes with existing service,local politics).Thus an "Ambulance only model" cannot be a solution

Founding Story

In 2010, Rajib's school friend, Dr Tanmay Mahapatra,a Critical Care Physician from Kolkata(our birth place),visited us in our house in Florida for a trip to the Florida Keys.On our way,just in front of us, two cars collided & a passenger was thrown out of the car. Being a physician,Tanmay rushed to the scene & was concerned about the victim's survival.But he was amazed to see that within 5 minutes an 911 ambulance arrived with all proper equipment & well trained paramedic,who quickly brought the situation under control, stabilized the patient & transported her.When I explained 911 to Tanmay, his instant reaction was to have a similar system in our hometown Kolkata & KMES was born


Our organization is setup as a lean group with 3 arms in Kolkata:Team1-HealthCare Research team led by Dr. Tanmay Mahapatra - responsible for identifying HealthCare issues in India, Team2-Technology team led by Rajib Sengupta - responsible for ideation & implementing solutions to bridge the gap, Team3-Operation team led by Rita Bhattacharjee - responsible for sustaining and scaling the solution. KMES project is a classic example of this workflow where team1 identified the gap in medical emergency, team2 developed the technologies to bridge the gap and team3 is operating a multi-lingual emergency center and expanding the home care subscribers among the huge geriatric population in Kolkata to sustain the operation. Outside these three core team, we have partnership with organizations dealing with medical emergency such as Doctors For You as well as Opensource technology community such as DHIS2 and OpenMRS. We also have a strong advisory team of Emergency Physicians, Opensource Technology experts along with Healthcare Business leaders with local connection in India.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

In KMES model the first clinical contact is generally a Physician with a bigger role compared to a paramedic/EMT, seen in a 911/112 model, as they will provide triage, diagnosis & initial treatment onsite. Infact,for non-critical condition proper onsite treatment will reduce burden in hospital emergency. We want to empower the physician with different portable toolkits-one important toolkit will be a selection of drugs (aka “Pharmacy in a Briefcase") & protocols to handle symptoms using them.As physicians are the only prescribing authority in most countries,this effort with KMES, will provide BI direct access to physician community, specifically among General/Family Practitioners,while saving lives, instead of conventional marketing route.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Distribution Channels, Research and Development, Specific Disease Expertise, Relationships/New Contacts, Manufacturing, Marketing/Communications Support, Human Resources, Legal Support, Technology Expertise, Public Policy Knowledge, Access to Capital, Other.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

We will require BI's expertise in specific disease and pharmaceutical industry to build the "pharmacy in a briefcase" and the associated protocol that can be administered by the emergency physician. While in Kolkata we are self-sufficient to implement the model, we will need help in implementing this model of medical emergency in other cities of developing countries with similar healthcare situation like India and Kolkata. From this perspective, we will require BI's help in all the above domains, specifically in implementation support and contact with local government.

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context, Access to and established trust with customers/beneficiaries, Insights into pricing and financing of health products/services, Insights into marketing, Insights into distribution, Insights into behavior change, Other.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Increasing physical access to healthcare to people with restricted mobility or restricted access (senior people, people with disability, remote or difficult areas, etc.), Models that engage other industry players (e.g., nutrition, athletic, mobility organizations)., Packaging of health products and services to address needs currently unmet.

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together
Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea
How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?
Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?
What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?
Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.
What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?
Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?
How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?