Mobile devices to empower health workers under MMPs

Tags: News
Adoption of Information Technology is important in improving access to healthcare in India. After pilot projects in a few states, Central Ministry of Health is planning to empower health workers with handheld devices like mobiles phones for data collection at the grass-root level.

Under the Mission Mode Project, government plans to implement this in two to three months across the country. Earlier, some of the state governments, including those of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had done pilot projects on data collection through handheld devices. The Accredited Social Health Activists were given mobile phones to capture and send real time data. These were data regarding outbreak of diseases like dengue and malaria, maternal and child care etc.

“The health workers generally collect a lot of data. But by the time the data is filed at the PHC and it goes to the central unit, it loses relevance. Many a times, the data itself is lost. With the use of mobile devices, real time data can be transferred to the central processing units,” said Nilaya Varma, executive partner in health and public service, Accenture Management Consulting. Accenture had partnered with the states of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat for the pilot projects in this regard.

Usage of handheld devices also can help significant reduction of cost in comparison with setting up hardware infrastructure in rural areas. “It increases the process efficiency and semi-skilled outreach workers can deliver quality healthcare at the point of contact,” said Varma.

The latest report by Accenture titled ‘Delivering e-Health in India – Analysis and Recommendations’ finds that digitization of hospital information systems and records, automation of supply chain, empowering citizens through information dissemination and analytics-enabled real time disease surveillance will help improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

“Our report identifies the importance of shifting from ‘infrastructure focus’ to ‘productivity focus’ to generate corresponding improvements in India’s healthcare access. This can only be achieved if larger fund allocation for healthcare is accompanied by effective and innovative interventions to improve the existing healthcare ecosystem in order to achieve global standards,” said Krishna Giri, managing director, Health & Public Services, Accenture in India. “Comprehensive adoption of Information Technology and digitization of systems to improve access to these services is central to the success of these projects,” he added.

sangeethag

@mydigitalfc.com

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