01 July 2011
By Ravindra Joshi
Aarogya.com, developed by city-based firm, received Nasscom's Social Innovation award in 2009
Aarogya.com created by a city-based firm has emerged as one of the most comprehensive health portals in the country. Available in English, Gujarati and Marathi, the website is visited by over 3,000 people daily.
Besides providing information on various health-related issues, T-Edge Solutions director Tushar Sampat and his team, who have created this website, have undertaken a number of social initiatives. These include providing a matrimonial platform for patients detected with Aids, lung tests for traffic police of Pune and organising a camp at the Sambhaji Park on Jangli Maharaj Road to mark the International Day of the Person with Disability and to make the garden wheelchair- friendly.
Numerous organisations including government bodies have chosen to have a presence on aarogya.com in spite of having their own websites.
Aarogya.com played a rescue act by helping revive the 'Utthaan' vocational training project for recovered drug addicts after it faced funding problems in 2005. Initiated by aarogya.com and supported by Dr Ambedkar Research and Training Institute, the project was launched by the Maharashtra government on the occasion of the World Anti-Drug Day recently.
"There was a need to create a common platform which brings patients, doctors, NGOs together and Utthaan provides the right platform for us to do that", said Sampat.
Among its many services for patients recovering from drug addiction, the health portal has initiated 'support groups' consisting of recovered patients who guide and counsel new patients seeking recovery from drug abuse.
"The therapeutic value of sharing one's experience, strength and hope is unparalleled and we aimed to do that through our support groups and self-reflections submitted by recovering addicts", said Sampat.
His firm has invested over Rs3 crore in the development of the health portal and will continue to find ways to provide additional support, he said.
Sampat, who is the director and founder of aarogya.com was a salesperson when he started learning about computers and soon became adept at advanced computer programmes and applications.
Taking cognizance of the poor health infrastructure and doctor-patient ratio that deprives patients of proper healthcare and information from the doctors, he envisioned a platform to encourage interaction between experts and commoners. Sampat, who has served as a consultant to the United Nations Office on drugs and crime received the Nasscom(National Association of Software and Service Companies) award for social innovation at the India Leadership Forum on behalf of aarogya.com on February 11, 2009.