Health ICT Intervention – Rural School Health

Efforts to improve child health in India are solely focused on children under five years of age. After reaching 5 years of age, children fall off the radar of Government health programs and initiatives. Health of school children (5 to 14 years of age) is neglected and not surprisingly many children in that age group suffer from undiagnosed health problems, malnutrition and physical and mental stunting. Expecting good education outcomes from school children whose health is neglected is an extremely short-sighted approach. Whatever health awarenessis created through curriculum, barely translates into practice. The lack of awareness about health amongst parents is another major hurdle in improving health status of school children. Health of school children in rural areas, who are the future of India, has been neglected for years. This has also adversely affected the educational outcomes and survival rates of these children. Bridging this gap using innovative technologies will impact their health and education andalter the course of their lives.

Business Problem :

A leading public health institution in India wanted to improve nutritional status ofyoung children in a rural district in India. The institute wanted to study the impact that micronutrient powders sachets have in improving nutritional status of children in primary schools in Bavla in Ahmedabad. They also wanted to use innovative technology to create deeper understanding about good health practices, importance of balanced diet, hygiene and warning signs of poor healthamongst students and their parents. Subsequently, the aim of the intervention was to improve health status, reduce school absenteeism and drop-out rates andimprove educational outcomes of school children in rural areas.

  • To build a tablet/mobile based platform to record the baseline and subsequent health parameters of school children and to record the baseline awareness about health amongst them. The platform should be able to save data offline and also retrieve it offline.
  • The platform should use proprietary algorithms to triage students based on their health status and their awareness levels.
  • Based on the triage, it should engage parents of the student using a unique IVR calling technology that should play engaging health education content recorded in local dialects.
  • Allow the beneficiaries to give a “missed call” back to the number to hear the audio message again. The technology should not require end-users to have internet or smart phones.
  • The platform should have pre-loaded interactive and gamified videos that the health-volunteer can show to school students during health check-ups based on the age group, class of study and risk factors.

A multi-stakeholder meeting was organized including developers, designers, clients and data architects to understand the scope of the project and the intended impact of the solution. Based on the discussions, a system work-flow was designed which outlines the functionalities and scope of the portal

  • Database and software architecture design
  • Database architecture development
  • User interface and user experience design
  • User interface development
  • Responsive front-end development for the software
  • Back end development
  • Front end/back end/database connection
  • Quality Analysis and Issue resolutions

Technologies Used:
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • JQuary
  • HTML 5/CSS
  • Amzon AWS