An NFC based communication system aims to bridge the gap between the pregnant women and the doctor with modern technology and a human interface.
What is it?
Maternal health program in India aims to support the women below poverty line to have better nourishment and lifestyle during her pregnancy and childbirth. Policies are made to monitor the health conditions of the mother and the child on regular basis. In the current system, the pregnant women has to register herself at the nearest healthcare centre. The government sanctions financial aid in installments, to help women below poverty line. During the registration process she is given a ‘Chart’ which includes the Biodata and medical conditions to be monitored during the pregnancy and after childbirth. It also includes the details about immunization and developmental milestones of the child upto 5 years of age. But, due to low doctor to patient ratio, doctors are unable to explain this information in detail to the women and she is not educated enough to read and understand the chart by herself. Hence, the women are generally unaware of the consequences of malnutrition and improper parental care. It is very important to bridge this gap and help them understand the impact of it.
Smart ASHA, an NFC based communication system aims to bridge this the gap between the pregnant women and the doctor with modern technology and a human interface like ASHA ( Accredited Social Health Activist) for a better understanding of maternal health and child growth.
How is it used?
Smart ASHA is for the pregnant women to understand the importance of maternal health and child growth.The Pregnant women will be given a Smart Asha Package* during her registration at the health center. This package will have the NFC Smart Card*, a booklet (which explains guidelines for maternal and child care) and a card holder (to wear it around the neck). The Doctors and ASHA workers will be provided with NFC enabled smart phones. The Smart card is used to save the medical history of the pregnant women**. These values will be provided by the Doctor using a mobile application. When the ASHA worker meets the pregnant women, ASHA uses the smart card to guide the pregnant women with the help of a Audio-Visual (AV) with relevant information in the regional language, about the growth of the foetus and the nutrition to be followed by the pregnant women.The AV also explains the importance of monitoring the height, weight and developmental milestones of the child after the childbirth**.
*refer the images of smart asha package
**refer to the table in the concept board
What technologies does it incorporate?
NFC technology is simple. It’s a short-range, low power wireless link evolved from radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices held a few centimeters from each other. Hence, NFC is ideal in this scenario. MIFARE NFC tags with 4KB EEPROM which works at 13.56 Mhz will be used in the smart card which is given to the pregnant women. It costs around 40 INR (0.7 USD) only.
Android Application :
The mobile phones have spread faster than any other technology and can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries by providing access to information. The mobile phone prices have reduced drastically and the features provided by these phones gives opportunities to use technology for the development of the people. According to Ericsson Mobility Report, the mobile subscription will go from 970M in 2014 to 1380M in 2020.Mobile phones having NFC feature is used to read/write data to the smart card. The android phones with NFC have prices as low as 5500 INR (92 USD) only.
How does it work?
The Doctor will input the details of pregnant women using the Smart Asha application on the NFC enabled Smartphone*.This data gets transferred to the Smart Card using NFC technology and will automatically be saved in the cloud storage for later analysis. This data saved in the smart card is used to generate the contextual Audio-Visual when the ASHA worker taps the pregnant woman’s smart card on her smartphone. This AV is based on the algorithm** which compares the Date of Visit of the pregnant woman to her previous visit and finds the week of pregnancy and gives the instructions based on it. It also analyses the values, in case of any abnormality it gives the possible predictions and guides her to consult with the doctor. The AV uses the illustrations from the booklet provided in the package, so that she can relate to it when she looks at the booklet in the absence of the ASHA. NFC has security features to lock/unlock the data on the card, which helps to keep the women’s data safe and private.
*refer to the table in the concept board
**refer the algorithm in the concept board
Who uses it?
Smart Card – Pregnant Women, Doctor, ASHA
Mobile Phone – Doctor, ASHA
Data – Government for analysis
Why does it help?
The early diagnosis of the health disorders will help controlling major issues like high mortality rates (maternal and infant) and chronic disorders. This also helps in finding the common disorders prevailing in the community. The national database collected during the process helps in analysis of the data and designing the public policies for improving the health conditions in the future.
Shreeyash Salunke, Kavya D, Ankush Kale
Alert/Response, Diagnosis/Treatment/Referral, Data Collection/Data Insight
These pages have been pulled directly from applications submitted to the Wearables for Good Challenge in 2015. They represent the work of the individual teams and have subsequently not been edited.