Health Systems Research

A key part of ICTPH’s work includes studying the various aspects of the ICTPH model and gleanings learnings to further improve the mode and disseminate it for wider public to inform health systems design through their health systems research program.

The health systems research vertical at ICTPH engages with multiple stakeholders – researchers, public health practitioners & field partners to address the complex challenges associated with implementation and scale-up of the ICTPH primary care and chronic disease management designs and their constituent components, such as training and technology solutions for effective primary care delivery. The evidence from our research studies and insights from the field implementation experiences are formalized and disseminated to promote good public health practice and program integration into the larger health system.

Building on ICTPH’s core design focus on a functional primary healthcare system and chronic disease management, the research vertical works closely with program implementation partner, SughaVazhvu Healthcare, through program planning and review, documentation analysis, review of patient visit history, clinical and patient satisfaction audit to facilitate process improvements and iterative design upgrades.

Presently, ICTPH’s health systems research is focused on three areas:

  • Design of comprehensive healthcare systems: Through its “Disease-free Village” program, ICTPH seeks to study various issues pertaining to the design of comprehensive primary care, such as patient care seeking behaviour, impact on health outcomes of different interventions, impact of technology on physician performance, etc.
  • Chronic disease management: ICTPH’s research interests in chronic care include patient perceptions of chronic diseases, care purchase patterns, improvements in health outcomes through a managed care approach, saving of out-of-pocket expenses through managed care, treatment adherence patterns, etc. ICTPH’s research team studies its Chronic Disease Management practice in depth to explore these questions.
  • Human resource strategies and capacity building: studying and assessing the effectiveness of ICTPH’s HR and capacity building strategies aimed at improving access and quality of healthcare in low- and medium-resource settings.

On-going research studies

On-going research studies at ICTPH are based on “Disease-free Village” and CDM programs and include:

  • Care-seeking behaviour of people with Diabetes in rural Thanjavur
  • Exploration of patient perceptions of the ICTPH-SughaVazhvu approach to chronic disease management
  • Implications of patient expectations and subjective beliefs in decision-making for chronic disease related care in rural Tamil Nadu
  • Challenges associated with accessing and adhering to long-term treatment for chronic conditions in rural India

Please contact for collaborative research initiatives.


  • Lakshmanan SGS, Manoharan A, Vinoth S. Technology enabled, protocol driven standardized Primary Healthcare in Rural geographies of Tamil Nadu: A mode for Universal Health Care delivery in Rural India. Paper presented at the 9th Annual International Conference on Public Policy & Management, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Aug 2014.
  • Jain A, Swetha S, Johar Z, Raghavan R. Acceptability of, and willingness to pay for, community health insurance in rural India. Journal of Epidemiology & Global Health 2014; 4(3): 159-167.
  • Mathew DJ, Samarth A, Johar Z, Seth A. Jury: an automation framework for protocolised primary healthcare delivery. In: Proceedings of the 4th Annual Symposium on Computing for Development: ACM DEV 4; 2013 Dec 6-7; Cape Town, South Africa. Available from:
  • Raghavan R, Chockalingam R, Johar Z. Implementing Public Health Interventions in Developing Countries: A Transdisciplinary Solution for Safe Drinking Water in Rural India. In: Haire-Joshu D, McBride T, ed. by. Transdisciplinary Public Health: Research, Education, and Practice. 1st ed. Wiley; 2013. p. 297.