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A Mobile-based Virtual Reality Platform for Training and Educating Community Health Workers (CHWs)

Primary Information

Domain

Information & Communication Technology

Project No.

6942

Sanction and Project Initiation

Sanction No: 6942

Sanction Date: 03/04/2017

Project Initiation date: 03/07/2017

Project Duration: 18

Partner Ministry/Agency/Industry

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

 

Role of partner: Co-funding agency

 

Support from partner: Co-funding agency

Principal Investigator

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Keyur Sorathia
IIT Guwahati

Host Institute

Co-PIs

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Nitendra Rajput
IBM Research Labs India

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Papiya Das
Silchar Medical College, Assam

 

Scope and Objectives

The overall aim is to empower CHWs through effective training and educational services, which in turn results in improved health awareness and healthy practices among community members. The objective is to create interactive training and education modules for CHWs about important health indicators, which are engaging, expressive, easy to remember and have a lasting memory. It also aims to make administrators self-sufficient, so to self-create interactive training modules without any technical know-how and support.

Deliverables

A ready to use mobile application interface with 4 audio-visual based animation and video modules, raw files, codes, and UI components. A software configuration framework and set of design guidelines to create (or update) new interactive modules using advances of HCI without any technical know-how. This will include complete code, UI design elements and a document/poster explaining design guidelines

 

Scientific Output

We have designed and developed VR based educational modules for health workers on maternal and child healthcare - which is yet to conceptualized for this user group and context of use. There are 12 educational modules that enable practice-based learning and are accessed using low-cost mobile phones in VR and interactive video format. We have conducted studies that support the use of VR for increased learnability and engagement among health workers than traditional video-based educational modules.

 

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Results and outcome till date

We have designed and developed "Pragati" - a web-based platform (www.pragati-vr.com) and an Andriod application (Pragati - downloaded from Andriod Play Store). The web and mobile-based services provide interactive information modules on maternal and child healthcare. It has 12 educational modules using VR and interactive video format which are intended to be used in a training center and on-field respectively. The modules are available in English, Hindi and Assamese languages. We have also conducted two workshops with ASHAs, ASHA trainers and ANMs to gather initial feedback among the users.

 

Societal benefit and impact anticipated

12 interactive educational modules on maternal and child healthcare developed which are accessed through an Andriod application (Pragati) and web application (www.pragati-vr.com). Two workshops and training sessions are completed with ASHAs, ASHA trainers and ANMs to gather feedback on Pragati, and co-design the strategies on field trials. Field trials in Lakhimpur district of Assam are confirmed and are underway for the training of health workers, choice of health centers and resource personnel. The field trials will start from 1st week of December.

Next steps

We are in discussion with National Health Mission to conduct field trials across multiple districts. The meeting is scheduled next week to discuss the project and strategies for field implementation

Publications and reports

Bhowmick, S., Darbar, R., & Sorathia, K. (2018, September). Pragati: design and evaluation of a mobile phone-based head mounted virtual reality interface to train community health workers in rural India. In Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 299-310). ACM. Sorathia, K., Sharma, K., Bhowmick, S., & Kamidi, P. (2017, September). Pragati-A Mobile Based Virtual Reality (VR) Platform to Train and Educate Community Health Workers. In IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 459-463). Springer, Cham.

Patents

NA

Scholars and Project Staff

3 project staff (research associates) are actively working on this project

Challenges faced

We need extensive support from the National Health Mission (NHM) mainly in field implementation and support in encouraging adoption of Pragati application among health workers. Without official notification or instruction, it is difficult to pursue the health workers to participate in the project.

Other information

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Financial Information

  • Total sanction: Rs. 44.96 lakhs

  • Amount received: Rs. 37.28 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Equipment: Rs. 3.00 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Manpower: Rs. 20 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Consumables: Rs. 2 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Contingency: Rs. 2.87 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Travel: Rs. 1 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Other Expenses: 0.5 lakhs

  • Amount utilised for Overheads: Rs. 6.20 lakhs

Equipment and facilities

 

Mobile phones and computer