India to roll out digital platform for checking child health records
March 1, 2016
India has introduced what it claims to be the country’s first hospital-linked digital platform for keeping children's health records. The Integrated Child Health Record (ICHR) integrates child's health data through cloud computing and mobile technology.
It provides automated long-term surveillance of vaccination records and growth as well as real-time data for early detection of obesity or malnutrition and for all research related to child's growth across geographical boundaries.
Children's health records will be made available at a click of a button.
The ICHR is supported by a mobile application to address pressing concerns of parents wanting to track their child's growth and vaccinations. The mobile interface will be available for both Android and iOS users.
The system provides and automates long-term surveillance of a child's growth and should help in early detection of obesity and malnutrition in urban and rural populations. It also addresses the need of maintaining the data centrally for research purposes.
Once fully implemented, the ICHR will provide authentic, region-specific data for analysing and identifying problems and probable solutions for both child vaccination and growth-related issues.
"This application is all about empowering parents regarding their child's vaccination and growth,” said Raghuram Mallaiah, director and neonatologist at Indian healthcare company Fortis Le Femme. “This application removes the manual vaccination cards and makes the experience paperless and traceable from any part of the world. This is the only app available in India to track the growth of premature babies both in the hospital and once they have been discharged from the hospital. This will be particularly beneficial for both doctors and parents to track the growth parameters of premature babies (Fenton Chart), not only while they are in hospital but even after their discharge for up to five years."
He said the application could be used in urban and rural areas to track growth parameters in children up to five years and help in early detection of obesity (increasing trend of obesity as per WHO guidelines) and malnutrition. This will also help in much needed collection of data across India with regards to vaccination uptake.
WHO data indicate that India has 235 million children up to nine years old out of a total population of 1.25 billion, with a physicians density of 6.49 physicians per 10,000 population. India witnesses seven lacs neonatal deaths every year and almost three lacs of such cases are because of lack of vaccinations. These children die due to diarrhoea and pneumonia, making India rank as third lowest among 15 other high-burden countries across the globe for its Global Action Plan for Pneumonia & Diarrhoea.
Once fully implemented, the ICHR will be useful in providing authentic region-specific data for analysing and identifying reasons and probable solutions for such problems.
"Our main aim behind this product is to provide a paperless authenticated platform integrating doctors, hospitals and parents,” said Harpreet Singh, chief technology officer at Oxyent Medical, the company behind the ICHR. “The platform will provide automated vaccination records and will monitor the growth schedule. Additionally, the technology is secure and HIPAA compliant. It is a cloud-based, which can be easily linked to hospital HIS and EMR systems via HL7 or integration adaptors. There is no physical software installation needed to start using ICHR. Being on Amazon Cloud, a doctor can access real-time patient information regarding growth and vaccination from any part of world using the internet."
Oxyent Medical is the first company to bring such a technology in child healthcare. The company claims to provide a dedicated front end and back end team to support the users. Singh said the technology was available at “effective” pricing.
"It amounts to a third of your monthly newspaper bill," he said.
Some of the other key features of ICHR's service package include:
- Digital Health Record: Lifelong vaccination record and growth charts integrated and stored both in hospital and on parent's mobile phone.
- Retainership: Engage and retain parents by promotions and reminders through the ICHR.
- Periodic Reminders: Notifications and reminders on vaccination due dates.
- Vaccine Brand Information: Automated entry of vaccine brands used by hospital and doctor; the entry of vaccine brand is done manually, not automatic.
- Due Date Calculator: Automatic calculation of next vaccine date if previous vaccine has been delayed, thereby ensuring there is an optimal time interval between two doses of the vaccine.
- Growth Charts: Parents can sit at home and track their child's growth using the interactive growth charts on their mobile phone.
- Long-Term Vaccination Surveillance: To understand different trends and uptake of specific vaccinations in the population.