PROJECT AT A GLANCE
Funded by: Grand Challenges Canada
Co-funded by: Innovgreen Disable Foundation Limited, Hong Kong
Principal investigator: Vivek Vajaratkar
Mentor and consultant: Dr Gauri Divan
Project secretary: Marypinky Rosario
Senior researcher: Percy Cardozo
Sangath was awarded an international Stars in Global Health grant by Grand Challenges Canada for the innovative idea INFORM – a mobile health (mHealth) platform for ImproviNg Functional Outcomes foR children with iMpairments through community health workers in India
The team is currently standardising and restructuring a paper-based manual developed by MAITS (Multi-Agency International Training and Support), UK, to be transferred to the mHealth platform; INFORM. Periodic consultations with collaborators and consultants are being held. Mentor Dr Gauri Divan also conducted a sensitisation lecture for the technology partner team ZMQ in Gurgaon, Haryana.
Software and programming of the assessment tool and algorithms to support the platform are being developed and the team is working on audio-visual scripts and materials.
Studies have shown how most families of children with neuro-developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism and intellectual disabilities do not have access to evidence-based strategies to promote their development and address their impairments, making this a global health priority.
The main outcome of the INFORM project is to disseminate evidence-based practices for children with neuro-developmental disabilities through mHealth technology. mHealth technology is a rapidly growing tool in low- and middle-income countries, and this project will empower non-specialist community health workers to deliver best practices to children with neuro-developmental disabilities at a relatively low cost and with assured quality which will be maintained by supervision.
The project management committee has been meeting regularly at the Public Health Foundation of India. A CommCare application workshop in Mumbai helped get more insight into the use and working of mHealth technology.