Promoting a culture of healthy living through the cultural behaviour of the people and manage chronic conditions



In the rural areas of developing countries, a mother maybring her sick child to village temple for prayer or village elders for advise, instead of seeking medical care. 

The adoption of modern healthcare practices is challenging because it presents a different, and at times conflicting, set of belief from their culture and religion. However, we believe culture can be a useful medium, instead of hindrance, in chronic condition management in low resource setting.

HealthyCulture is a service model that promote better healthcare adoption by integrating healthcare with cultural practices and belief.

Healthcare intrgrating with culture practices

  • HealthyCulture utilizes village gathering, religious gathering and other cultural activity as a channel to detect, prevent and manage chronic condition
  • Community leader (village elder, religious leader) will be our intermediary in the adoption for HealthyCulture. They provide the credibility and the reach that traditional healthcare services lack.


Healthcare integrating with cultural belief

  • HealthyCulture will integrate local culture and religious belief into the communication of healthcare practices.
  • For people with limited education, storytelling is more effective and relatable than presenting facts and numbers.
  • The storytelling and teachings can be used by village and religious leaders in their interaction with the villagers.


HealthyCulture kit for community leaders

  • HealthyCulture kit is a customized starter kit for community leader to engage their village for better healthcare practices.
  • The kit is customizable to the most prevalent chronic conditions, the religious and cultural practices in the local community
  • Provide step-by-step procedures and communication and simple management of chronic condition like diet restrictions, myths, simple to follow tips etc.
  • Include a data collection mechanism so HealthyCulture team can analysis the health condition of the villagers remotely and respond accordingly with evolution of the program.

What are the key outcomes and impact of your solution?

Access to previously inaccessible segment of population

  • Geographically, HealthyCulture gains access to remote areas that it is too cost-prohibitive for traditional, dedicated healthcare service.
  • Social-economically, HealthyCulture gains access to the bottom of pyramid population segment that often resort to culture and religion practices for their illness.
  • Low density population areas or difficult to reach (eg. Mountaneous region etc.) regions which does not have continuous access to healthcare.


Better control of chronic illness

  • Key leaders of the villages taking the initiative at Temples, Fairs, religious gatherings etc.
  • More number of cases will be diagnosed earlier so that they can be controlled without worsening..
  • Reduced number of cases and increase in life expectancy of the village.


Building a positive healthcare belief system

  • By intertwining the proper medical and healthcare practices into their religious and cultural belief, we nudge the population to better manage their health condition.
  • While not immediately measurable, the change in the belief and practice will result in long term health improvement at the societal level.


Data collection for healthcare monitoring and improvement

  • With the greater access and a data collection system, we can identify the health issues on the regional level.
  • The data would allow us to design specific measures that cater for the needs of people in low resource settings.
  • The data generation will help the governmental agencies to allot the health resources accordingly.  

What actions do you propose to realize your stated goals?

Creating win-wins for leaders and healthcare providers

  • Acceptance from the top leadership of the village
  • Incentivizing the leaders to take these initiatives
  • Reputed person of the village like elders, teachers, religious leaders need to accept that this effort will help them and villagers
  • Big companies who sell grocery items, seeds, agricultural products agree to help/fund/sponsor this low-cost program
  • May be medical device/pharma companies can fund some part of the program by providing the machine etc


One disease at a time

  • To improve adoption, we will create the solution kit for one disease at a time.
  • As the platform and the knowledge of the village leaders develops, more diseases and conditions can be added


Redefined healthcare requirement for greater good

  • While integrating healthcare into culture and utilizing community leader will not be as accurate as trained medical professional support system, it provides healthcare support to people who do not receive professional support system previously.
  • We believe some support will be better than no support


Partnership with pharmaceutical and healthcare service providers

  • Our partnership will provide pharmaceutical and healthcare service providers access to the market segment that is previously cost-prohibitive to access.


Partnership with logistic/FMCG company

  • These big companies like Colgate Palmolive/ Procter and Gamble spend millions of dollars on marketing their products in these regions.
  • By sponsoring this program, these companies can add the emotional factor to their products and can add to the recall value of their product.
  • The program can use their logistic system to distribute the resources (e.g Coca Cola`s supply chain was used to distribute vaccines in Africa)


Risk and mitigation

  • Political: There should not be any political backlash since the program is apolitical
  • Economic: The sponsors might fund only a small scale version of the program initially before they fund the full scale. This will not be a big issue since the program is low cost
  • Social: Their might be slight increase in the workload of leaders which can easily delegated to their associates with time.
  • Technological: To ensure accessibility and usability, accessible low tech solutions such as mobile phone will be utilized which should not be a big issue.
  • Environmental: There should not be any environmental concern with the program
  • Legal: To prevent legal liability and approval complication, we will focus on health management instead of medical procedures. The medical procedures will be undertaken by healthcare partners. We will be working to increase the awareness about the chronic condition and will do easy to perform tests (eg.blood glucose tests) which people do at home in cities.

Who will take these actions?

  • Big Pharma companies, Agricultural product companies, companies which sell soap, biscuits, food etc. in villages
  • These companies can fund the program under the obligation of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • These companies can advertise through these efforts, they can use the venue to promote their products in the villages
  • This exercise can be good marketing for their products
  • Governments can also play a role by making health of a family as an eligibility criteria for candidates who wants to contest an election like those candidates who have uncontrolled Diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension can not contest elections
  • Government can make it mandatory for the organizers of the markets or events to make such announcements.
  • Non Profit organization working in education and health can also collaborate and take over this initiative as an extension of their program because healthy people will help their mission of better education standards etc.

Target geography

  • Rural areas with low resource and limited accessibility to healthcare
  • Focusing on developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America

What do you expect are the costs associated with piloting and implementing the solution, and what is your business model?

Financial resources

Development cost of 30K, including

  • Content (storytelling, procedures, starter kit) development
  • Prototyping and refinement
  • Procurement and testing of basic machines like Blood Glucose Monitor machine and other supplies


Pilot cost of 100K, including

  • Recruitment and training of local partners and community leaders
  • On-site monitoring and support
  • User studies and feedback
  • Medical supplies and transportation
  • Continual improvement to the service


Implementation cost 300K for first year, including

  • Developing additional contents for other chronic condition and culture
  • Roll out the program regionally
  • Developing health data collection and analysis infrastructure
  • Full time team
  • Implementation cost will be balanced with revenue


Hybrid business model

  • HealthyCulture team will provide the content, knowledge, procedure and access to healthcare support. We will license our platform and work with local partners for implementation
  • Development cost will be subsidized with government and charity funding
  • We hope to see a great enthusiasm from the corporate giants with business interests in these areas.
  • Running cost will be supported by the pharmaceutical company and healthcare service provider, as they gain access and referral to the previously untapped market
  • We can also apply for grant and foundation money working in this space
  • We are also open to collaborate and pool our resources with other agencies and programs which might be working on the similar model 


Prototype (3 months)

  • Work with partners to refine the service model
  • Rapid prototyping with user-centered design innovation approach
  • Develop the service and business model


Pilot (9 months)

  • Pilot in India, improve with feedback


Implementation (2-5 years)

  • Build a cultural support network that can adapt the model with different religion and culture.
  • Replicate the model to other geographical location.

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Solution Summary
Culture as a medium to engage people in low resource settings
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By:  HealthyCulture
Challenge: Cure: Chronic Diseases
How can we help people prevent, detect and manage chronic diseases, especially in resources-limited settings?