Aarogyam is country’s unique end to end community based digital health mapping. Through Aarogyam citizens anywhere in India on any existing telecom network can access information with respect to their health profile. A comprehensive baseline survey of district wrt family health indicators was conducted, with Interdepartmental coordination esp Health-ICDS Department wherein family details concerning all health indicators were collected. These include, name, address and age of family members, immunization details of all children wrt their expected dates as well as actual dates of immunization/pregnancy , details of pregnant mothers wrt ANC status and PNC coverage , location and phone no of each family and finally assigning a unique family ID to each family .This whole information was then uploaded on a specially designed software to have health indicators of each family on computer. The details have been uploaded on IVRS. The technique uses analogue/digital card to read all the uploaded data and devolve it to the beneficiaries. This required installation of a server and 2 client computers at the nodal office-CMO office wherefrom all information would reach the families. However, the whole process has to ensure dynamic updation of data wrt, actual dates of child immunization, details of child survival, pnc care etc. so as to have accuracy. This, database in turn, provides region wise, caste wise, economic status wise health parameters, so that we can specifically focus our interventions for the intended beneficiaries. It thus eliminates wealth/caste/region /religion based biases since the technology in itself is value neutral. Above is the Pro-Active Model. In Interactive Model, citizens have to follow a simple 3 step guided response system to reach the desired end. Once a user dials up a telephone number they shall be guided through their desired health profile/information Via Aarogyam’ s proprietary interactive, menu driven interface. The user is absolved of the burden of memorising terse SMS codes or navigating through multiple WAP sites.
What we deliver?
1. Aarogyam, as discussed above, keeps the citizen at the centre of health model and therefore provides automatic call alerts/ sms to each family, thereby generating a demand for health services. The outdial option in IVRS system , would generate family specific calls as well as sms related to the following fields:-
a. Child immunization details for children from 0-2 years wrt DOB of child, vaccine immunization due date details, mechanism of getting child vaccinated free of cost. This call would remind family about child’s vaccination plan so that family can plan in accordance with respect to that.
b. Ante Natal Care /Post Natal Care Details wrt pregnant/lactating mother as regards due date for Tetanus injection, tablet intake etc. Institutional delivery wrt Expected Date of Delivery (EDD), devolving information wrt JSY and benefits therein.
c. Generating specific calls wrt Pulse Polio campaign, also emphasizing need to bring child to booth.
2. Another aspect is strengthening of real delivery mode-targeting the ANM’s by generating reminder calls to ANM’s for all uncovered families per village. The reminder calls would also go to the family concerned. Above model ensures pinpointed information to all and therefore administrator can monitor and target the most vulnerable groups .It ensures accountability of the ultimate executing authority ie ANMs and ASHAS , simultaneously covering RCH and ICDS activities.
Why is the project unique?
Aarogyam is definitely a unique technological innovation aimed at ensuring health at citizen doorsteps. Uniqueness of Aarogyam is centred around three themes:-
1. Preventive rather than curative medicare Our present health model is curative with functionaries from top to bottom emphasizing curative medicines. The problems are compounded by the fact that lower level staff is not only short, but lacks motivation, training and monitoring. The ultimate result is leakages and gaps in delivery mechanisms. This model envisages preventive health as the central theme wherein aim is to generate citizen demand for health services and take our health model towards preventive medicine.
2. Two way demand based rather than supply based approach
3. Based on theme of knowledge as power Above themes ensure different results vis-à-vis normal health delivery mechanisms especially with respect to:- Ease of access:-Easily accessible to any one who knows how to receive a call.
Wide range of people covered:- Wide range of people can be reached to, who hold phone/mobile.
Applicable to illiterate people:- No need to have any writing/reading skills, only listening ability is required.
Zero cost to people:- As this is a out dial voice call, there is no cost for receiving a call all over India.
Fast: Awareness can be created in no time. Hence there is less time leg as compared to visiting a remote village.
Reliable service:- Service is more reliable as compared to in-person counseling, as every message will be scrutinized before making a call. Hence it ensures much lesser chance of deviation from objective.
Less human Endeavour:- No need to have too many people to spread a message, hence greater efficiency can be ensured.
Protection from natural calamity:- As long as mobile and PSTN networks are working, system can work in case of natural calamity too.
Promotion of equality in health care delivery:- As discussed above, since it provides free information to one and all, it targets the poorest of the poor, and tries to neutralize gender/class/region based inequalities.
Ritu Maheshwari (IAS)
D.M. Residence, Baghpat Sugar Mill Campus, Baghpat/Vice Chairman Residence, MDA, Meerut – 250609, India