The right to health is an economic, social, and cultural right enshrined in the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Culture Rights, which India ratified in 1979. Health and wellbeing also comprises Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Case study: Revolutionizing India’s Healthcare through Technology
Two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people live in rural villages, posing a challenge in delivering effective local healthcare services without increasing demands on hospitals. With non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease rising, Indian authorities require an urgent solution to support the 200,000 Auxiliary Midwife Nurses (AMNs) on the frontline of Indian healthcare.
As the first point of contact of the healthcare system and the community in rural villages, AMNs provide villagers with everything from managing diabetes to childbirth assistance. They do not have medical degrees but rather a 10th Grade education followed by two years of training as AMNs.
Digital Lifecare Platform
In 2014, the Dell Technologies Center for Transformational Innovation (CeTI), took on this challenge and set up with non-profit Karuna Trust the “Digital Lifecare Platform” as a pilot to improve the way healthcare was delivered in rural India.
The CeTI team created an Android app with interactive modules to lead workers through every step of a patient’s visit screening. It includes videos showing protocol screening, and also teaches patients about topics like nutrition and breast self-exams as a way of promoting healthier lifestyles. The platform is tailored to the needs of the AMNs and doctors in primary-, secondary- and tertiary-level Government facilities and acts as a guide to lead health workers every step of the way.
After its initial success, the Digital Lifecare Platform was enhanced in 2017 to health facilities in more than 150 districts across all of India’s 29 states and seven union territories. This was enabled in partnership with the Indian Government and partner institutions including the World Health Organization, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Indian Council for Medical Research.
How does it work?
The Digital LifeCare Platform is architected to support modern digital healthcare applications. It includes mobile and web apps with real-time dashboards built on a highly scalable, secure, robust, modular, open-API platform based on a micro-services architecture ensuring seamless integration, rapid continuous deployment and portability of data.
The platform also includes web apps for doctors and dashboards for health officials to spot trends across India. The protocol-based system ensures that patients receive the same level of care. The health record created by the ANM for each individual is stored on the cloud and augmented during every doctor visit. There is a comprehensive planning tool that allows ANMs and doctors to track follow-up visits of patients, and most importantly, focus on those who have fallen through the cracks.
It will serve a remarkable target population of 37 million people over the age of 30. This will ensure that Indian citizens’ are protected from NCDs. It will promote their health and well-being with fast and practical solutions that fall in line with the tools being developed by digital innovators.
Dell has created a responsible ICT-enabled solution that has made access to healthcare a reality for millions of Indian citizens. The director of the Dell’s Centre for Transformational Innovation, Sunita Nadhamuni stated their vision, “This project fulfils Dell’s vision to develop technologies that drive human progress, and it really tapped into our team’s passion for service”.