‘Entrepreneur’ Doctor (Docpreneur) to launch app to help RTA victims
Dr. Rajshekar Sedamkar, MBBS, D.Ortho (MHA), Senior Ortho-Spine and trauma Surgeon, Shree Hospital, Bidar and CEO R3 Hospitals/ R3 Health, is an enthusiastic Doctor and an innovative entrepreneur. Wanting his medical knowledge and skills to expand beyond the realms of traditional healthcare, he is now venturing into a mobile app technology using Artificial Intelligence to provide timely treatment as well trauma care for road traffic accident (RTA) victims. He is on a mission to nurturing the health of RTA victims by connecting various stake holders such as health volunteers, ambulances, hospitals and the police by a click of a finger on a mobile app.The technology being developed by his company under his vision and with Information Technology professionals in Bengaluru will soon be up for beta testing. The aim of the app is to simultaneously send four notifications – ambulance, trained health volunteers, nearest hospital and the police – so that a victim gets attention and treatment as soon as possible in order to save crucial lives.This is one side of the entrepreneurial story of this inspiring doctor in a three-tier city, who is also actively involved in his medical practice at a hospital that he founded in his native city. Another speciality of this multispeciality hospital is that it is wholly owned by Doctors and run by Doctors.
His father – who migrated from Gulbarga to wean away his children from the family owned liquor business – and mother (a school headmistress) struggled hard to ensure that their three children became literates and got educated. As a district topper from Bidar in PUC, July 1972 born Dr. Sedamkar got a seat for MBBS in KMC Hubballi in 1990 to begin his journey in the healthcare field. The struggle and support of his mother, helped him to overcome the challenges of being educated in a rural, backward region as well as understanding the nuances of medical education and hardships of living away from home.
The rural upbringing and education at Guru Nanak Public School also imbibed in him a strong character to face and overcome challenges in every walk of life. Though the first couple of years as a medical student were a bit of struggle, he slowly crossed the barriers of understanding the language of medical education with sheer hard work and study. It also strengthened his resolve to become a doctor and serve the underprivileged section of society in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, especially Bidar. Sustaining a good academic record throughout his educational career helped him to avail scholarship from the Jindal Foundation to pursue his five and half years of medical education.The pain of seeing RTA victims die due to lack of coordination in “lifting and shifting” patients on time for treatment also was in the back of his mind in taking up Orthopaedics as his specialization in post graduate education.
An avid reader of his subjects, he statistically found nearly 500 patients die every day in India due to road accidents, and realized many of them could have been saved if they had got treatment on time. He then determined that the mission of his life would be to work with other stakeholders to ensure that number of deaths due to road accidents is reduced to 250 by 2022. In working towards this goal, he is now in the process of launching the Road360(R3+) app that would send out four notifications simultaneously to give accident victims the seamless,cashless,quickest possible treatment and ensure proper trauma care.Dr. Sedamkar, however, wanted to make sure he had all the skills required of an Orthopaedic Surgeon and hence went to Mumbai. He practiced under various consultants in Mumbai to enhance and hone his skills in Orthopaedics. Then came a very tough calling of whether to go to England to pursue MCh (Latin word Magister Chirurgiae which translates to Master of Surgery) or return to Bidar to serve the people of his district. While he was preparing to go to England, his parents insisted that it would be better for him to return to Bidar and serve his people. They convinced him that if he went to the UK then he may not return to India and he would not be able to fulfil his vision of serving the underprivileged sections of society.
Acceding to the request of his parents, he began his journey as a specialist in Orthopaedic services in 2002. It was a journey of a cooperative endeavour where for the first time in Bidar he was able to bring a group of doctors to establish multispeciality hospital and work under one roof in a first-of-its-kind partnership firm in the healthcare segment of Hyderabad-Karnataka region. Initial years were tough as he also had to double up as an X-Ray technician at times to make sure that patients do not suffer any inconvenience. Dr. Sedamkar and his group also brought to Bidar a string of amenities such as Digital X-ray, CT Scan and MRI for the first time. He also pioneered orthopaedic surgeries, including spine surgeries and joint replacements at affordable costs in Bidar. Even today the costs of surgeries at his hospital are much lower than that of metro cities such as Hyderabad. Till to-date, Dr. Sedamkar and his team have attended to more than 40,000 road traffic accident victims and conducted over 25,000 surgeries, through his chain of hospitals at Zaheerabad and Hyderabad to save the lives of such victims.The R3+ app that he and his team, which also includes an Information Technology professional, are working on will be ready for beta testing in three months. This will be followed by a pilot project between Hyderabad and Solapur. Under the pilot project, Dr. Sedamkar proposes to upgrade existing hospitals at stretches of 50 kms to treat road accident hospital victims on an emergency basis. He also proposes to train local volunteers from NGOs or any other organisations to proactively respond to patients at accident spots instead of being mere spectators. With a quick ambulance service reaching the spot, the victims will be “lifted and shifted” to the nearest hospital in the shortest possible time. The hospital staff will also be trained on trauma care protocols as well as providing emergency treatment for such patients.
Under the project, each of the hospitals in 50 km stretches will be equipped with two state-of-the-art ambulances. The moment the ambulance receives a notification about an accident victim, they will call to check if the cases are genuine or the app has been activated by mistake. If they don’t get a quick response, the ambulance will immediately rush to the spot guided by GPS. Meanwhile health volunteers on ground will give the necessary first aid and prepare patients to be “lifted and shifted” to the nearest hospital, which will also be ready for the emergency care of the patient. By using this technology based on Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Sedamkar hopes to provide a pan India service to reduce deaths by road accidents to 250 per day from the present 500 by 2022.
A doctor with an entrepreneurial acumen, he is also savvy to using technology both in his healthcare profession as well as other activities also. Coming from an economically backward background, he is in the forefront of helping poor patients get the best of treatment in his facility at affordable costs, sometimes completely bearing the cost of treatment through crowd funding. Inspired by his leadership, his team of doctors are always willing to pitch in funds when they get a patient who is very poor and cannot afford the treatment cost. His philanthropy(R3 Foundation) goes beyond funding the cost of poor patients and extends to providing financial aid for children of RTA patients, if the victim turns out to be the main bread winner of the family.
Despite the financial constraints of the family in early life, Dr. Sedamkar’s sister smt Arati Sedamkar has also completed her PhD and works as a lecturer in a college in Bidar, while his brother works in Hyderabad. Recognizing his efforts in the healthcare and social service activities, Dr. Sedamkar has been bestowed many awards by local organizations, NGOs and few Hyderabad based incubation/startup centres.
Smt Lata , Dr Sedamkar’s spouse was behind him like a solid rock, supporting all his endeveours,being an MBA graduate herself, has sacrificed her carrier to look after their family and kids. His daughter Ms Riya wants to be a ‘enterpreneur’neuro surgeon,after learning that there is no neuro surgeon at Bidar and hence head injury patients are sifted to higher centre,his younger son Ritvik wants to be a cricketer and has a sharp acumen towards cricket even at the age of 10 years.Elder son Raajith want to be an actor and acted already in a few documenteries.