In Conversation With Saurav Kasera, Co-Founder Of CLIRNET.
CLIRNET improves information access among doctors to collaborate with fellow doctors and specialists
1. What is your vision behind launching Clirnet?
CLIRNET empowers doctors with progressive tools and services to capacitate them for quality patient care that is accessible, affordable, and equitable. The CLIRNET vision revolves around discovering and delivering sustainable and pragmatic solutions to the snags faced by the doctor community on-field, which, in many cases, exemplify impediments to effective patient treatment.
A high doctor-to-patient ratio for primary care and an enormously high doctor-to-patient ratio for specialist treatment engenders a phenomenal pressure of patient burden on general practitioners who are not qualified and trained enough to cater to diseases in depth. The paucity of standardized medical practices due to a lack of ongoing training and stewardship creates highly heterogeneous practitioners. Instead of a proactive strategy, a reactive approach is often followed in many cases where the patient reaches the specialist when it may be too late as there is an absence of systematic peer collaboration and referral systems, leading to highly compromised patient care. The addition of the digital dimension needs to be entrenched within the medical ecosystem to benefit the prominent propellers of the system, i.e., the doctors, to streamline for seamless serviceability.
To solve these problems, CLIRNET is making strong efforts towards the creation of a trailblazing platform that facilitates knowledge migration and multiplication, drives systematization of clinical practices and helps increase the affordability and accessibility of healthcare services.
2. How is Clirnet helpful for the Tele-health system?
Currently, CLIRNET connects 250,000+ doctors across India to collaborate in real-time with their fellow doctors over a phone call or online, either one-on-one or as a group, to discuss medical issues and cases. We are building a network of doctors who, regardless of distance or infrastructure constraints, get access to information and support from their peers. By linking doctors to each other through innovative tele-health technologies and bringing technological support to patient management, we are trying to create a safe and healthy environment for the common man in India. Based on current doctor activity, CLIRNET impacts 100 million+ patient health outcomes annually.
3. Why do you consider CME as the need of the hour?
Learning never stops, especially if it is in the field of medicine. A doctor needs the latest knowledge and precise application as a practitioner. This makes continuous learning vital as it ensures skill development, application of clinical knowledge, and a better attitudinal stance. Knowledge migration and multiplication are the keys today. CLIRNET improves information access among doctors. By increasing the knowledge flow between experts in each field and general practitioners or budding specialists, we are able to cut across barriers such as lack of adequate clinical training, leading to enhanced availability and access to specialists, high quality of care, and standardization of clinical protocols. Context creates the need for education; it doesn’t operate in a vacuum. In addition, the digital dimension is building a more polished practice of medicine and is particularly useful for continuing medical education (CME). Health practitioners are increasingly absorbing education shared over digital platforms, and technology has made accessibility, engagement, personalization, and tracking of learning simpler and more powerful.
For instance, doctors based in North East, e.g., Zero Point in Arunachal Pradesh, use CLIRNET to collaborate with fellow doctors and specialists such as oncologists to better manage the many patients that they see with complex disease profiles, as there are few specialists available in these mountainous, often remote regions.
4. Any case studies to support your work?
Enhancing the capabilities of doctors and efficiency are critical to improving healthcare outcomes for patients in India. A study on the impact of CLIRNET’s solutions was conducted by Prof. Shirish C. Srivastava, HEC Paris, and Prof. G. Shainesh, IIM Bangalore. Their research examined the value created by CLIRNET’s service delivery model, its impact on doctors and patients, and potential opportunities for CLIRNET. The study sought to understand how doctors manage complex patient cases, the effectiveness of CLIRNET’s solutions, and their impact on doctors and patients. Findings indicate that 90% of doctors connecting on CLIRNET’s platform for MasterConsult and MasterCircle sessions felt that conversations with specialists and peers influenced their treatment plan. A majority of them confirmed an impact on 50-100 patients every month.
CLIRNET received an outstanding 91% Net Promoter Score (NPS), indicating a very high willingness by user doctors to recommend CLIRNET to other peer doctors. The increasing usage of CLIRNET’s MedWiki® is another encouraging trend. The study indicated that CLIRNET facilitates knowledge transfer. It is especially useful for doctors in smaller towns and cities, as well as those with basic degrees. It has improved access to knowledge by leveraging digital technologies. Data also shows a significant impact of this knowledge transfer on patient health outcomes.
CLIRNET probably has India’s largest COVID-related content database generated by conversations among peer doctors on this continuously evolving disease. CLIRNET has generated and shared a Covid Handbook with over 1000+ Q&A that addresses the daily challenges doctors face while treating Covid patients.
5. How many medical associations do you have in-hand to support your goal with Clirnet?
CLIRNET was conceptualized to render thoughtful service to the medical fraternity by facilitating knowledge dissemination in the doctor community and contributing to the foundation of digitized healthcare. We strive to support doctors in their clinical practice through multiple tools, taking cognizance of their extremely busy schedules. We work with 200+ medical associations to positively impact patient lives, helping create a better healthcare ecosystem. At CLIRNET, we put doctors first.
Today, technology is transforming education delivery, including medical education, making it more accessible and engaging. At CLIRNET, we have created an exclusive platform for medical associations where they are able to execute their vision of disseminating medical knowledge and drive community formation seamlessly.
With the focus of GOI on mental health, we recently brought together experts from across the SAARC region, represented by senior doctors from relevant associations, to speak about how mental health has impacted both doctors and patients during the pandemic.
6. What are your future plans?
Building on our core strengths of generating user-based medical knowledge and doctor engagement, CLIRNET will now be launching a suite of pioneering products to help connect doctors and patients. By applying AI, CLIRNET’s digital tools will provide doctors with the knowledge they need, when they need it, while simultaneously supporting patient management. A core belief at CLIRNET is that by serving 700,000+ doctors in India, including those in its most remote areas, CLIRNET can positively impact the lives of 1.3+ billion patients in India. In our next phase of growth, we will accelerate our support of doctors in building respectful connections with their patients.