Technopark-based start-up developed the technology for the government’s health helpline Disha
Help for those suffering from physical and mental trauma is now just a phone call away thanks to technology developed by Technopark-based start-up OrisysIndia Constultancy Services.
Tele-helpline Disha (Direct Intervention System for Health Awareness), a joint initiative of the National Health Mission and the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Kerala, has been enabling people to seek health-related advice – guidance, counselling and information – on physical and mental health issues, over the phone, 24×7, from top Government doctors and psychologists. People can access the helpline by dialling a toll free number, 1056.
The helpline, started primarily to counsel students sitting for examinations and available within Kerala and Lakshadweep, has been up and running for the past one year. Its Dial a Doctor service went live last month. Disha now has around 124 doctors working in various specialities in Government hospitals across Kerala on its rolls, with at least eight available at any given time, via phone, e-mail or chat.
“Disha works on Oricom communication management software, developed in-house by Orisys,” says Arun Raj R., the young chief executive officer of the company.
“Over the past year the response to the helpline has been positive. Normally, people would hesitate to call specialists. The helpline helps put the person in contact with the right specialist. We manage the rota for doctors, depending on their availability. Everything is well-integrated, from the call to the call transfer system to the actual chat with the doctors. Also, the system has proved to be particularly useful for people living in remote corners of the State, who would not necessarily have access to good health care professionals. We have observed that it has become a great way to get a second opinion on health issues,” says Arun, who got the project via a tender.
Orisys was started in 2009 by Arun, while he was still a graduate student of the College of Engineering, Adoor. The firm was incubated in 2011 at Technopark-TBI and has now become one of its success stories. “I started the company with zero investment, using Rs. 12,000 or so that I made with Google adsense. When we started we didn’t even have chairs and tables! Our luck changed when we were incubated by T-TBI, which gave us world class facilities, mentorship, and a platform to raise funds,” explains Arun. His start-up now employs 20 people and specialises in call centre solutions. “We also provide communication software for the Chief Minister’s Call Centre – known as the ‘Public Grievance Redressal Cell’, in addition to those for a number of private enterprises,” says Arun. “We can’t afford to be complacent. It’s a great time in India for start-ups but the competition is now very tough. The key to success is to be unique.”