Shruti is a unique social business initiative that harnesses the power of partners and technology to address the critical need for affordable and accessible treatment. In some parts of the world, many people suffer from chronic ear infections that, without care, can lead to partial or complete deafness. Shruti addresses the spread of chronic ear infections through awareness, diagnosis, and treatment in underserved patient populations of India.
Shruti partners are a critical element of the program at each step of the treatment process — from product design and community screening, to affordable ear infection treatment. Our sustainable nationwide network of partners, across India, includes non-government organizations and nonprofits, businesses, public and private medical practices, charitable organizations, and government institutions that bring together tremendous experience in treating ear diseases and serving low-income populations.
With these partnerships, Shruti-trained community health workers organize camps and go door-to-door with a screening kit. The kit includes a mobile device that allows workers to quickly screen and diagnose patients with chronic ear infections or other ear diseases. An intuitive, user-friendly application interface allows community health workers to collect patient history, take a photograph of the patient’s ear drum, and upload data to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) for diagnostic assistance.
For patients with diagnosed hearing loss, low-cost hearing aids are available at the point of diagnosis. As other ear conditions are diagnosed, patients are referred to local Shruti partner clinics where they receive affordable interventions.
According to the World Health Organization, as many as 466 million people suffer from chronic ear infections worldwide, which can cause significant hearing loss if not addressed quickly and efficiently. Yet in India, more than 75 percent of these people will permanently lose hearing due to lack of treatment.
Previously, patients with ear infections had to travel far distances and pay large sums to see specialists. Since the launch of Shruti, more than 600,00 people have been quickly screened and diagnosed within the community, resulting in more than 15,000 patients receiving affordable treatment through referrals to ENT partner clinics.