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IIT-M develops IT tool to improve health of rural SC communities in Chittoor district

The tool, developed using open source software, gathers detailed household-level annual health-related information and makes an objective assessment of the impact of medical treatment and dietary advice on priority health issues.

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (Source:IIT Madras/File)

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has developed an Information Technology based tool to monitor and improve the health of rural Scheduled Caste communities in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, the institute said on Friday.

The tool, developed using open source software, gathers detailed household-level annual health-related information and makes an objective assessment of the impact of medical treatment and dietary advice on priority health issues.

“This would lead to evolving an optimal rural healthcare plan based on treatment efficacy and expenses,” the institute said.

The project was implemented in E. Palaguttapalli SC and adjoining hamlets, Pakala Mandal and Pulicherla Mandal, in Chittoor district, which have a population of around 100 Scheduled Caste (SC) households, each having 5-6 members, a release from IIT-M said.

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In the past, their diet consisted of mainly ragi and other millets, plenty of milk products, fish and other aquatic meat. A doctor team from SV College of Ayurveda – Harnath Chary and Gnana Prasoonaamba visited the villages once in every two months and helped in effective implementation of this project.

Due to poverty, their current diet is dry and poor, devoid of dals, milk products or meat. As a result, women and children are severely anaemic. Correct dietary advice by expert health practitioners has been able to alleviate the symptoms. And the IIT Madras efforts were geared towards improving their health.

Internet-based live interactions were organised every alternate month where special lectures on improving health were
delivered.

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On the current status of the project, Prof C Lakshmana Rao, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “in pilot villages, a detailed baseline survey and mapping of health status and health expenses using IT tools was undertaken. It was intended to address priority health issues through medical treatment and dietary advice and its monitoring using IT tools.” The IIT-M team also developed ‘Grameen Ayurvedic mobile application,’ an innovative
Android-based smart manager of a person’s total health programme for online consultation, digital maintenance of patient data, and to track patient health status and treatment records besides taking care of the follow-up routine of patients.

First published on: 18-11-2022 at 22:00 IST
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