Union Government announced 4 new IT-based initiatives for citizen-centric health services

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Who: 4 new IT-based initiatives
Where: New Delhi
What: Announced by the Union Government
When: 25 December 2015
Why: To provide citizen-centric health services

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda on 25 December 2015 announced 4 new Information Technology-based initiatives to provide citizen-centric health services.

The initiatives include three applications, namely, Kilkari, Mobile Academy and M-Cessation and a dedicated toll free number 1800-11–6666 which will provide round the clock counselling and treatment support services for TB patients.

The initiatives were announced on the occasion of the Good Governance Day which is being celebrated annually to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Features of Kilkari

• It is an audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly audio messages to families about pregnancy, child birth and child care.
• Each pregnant woman and infant’s mother would receive weekly voice messages relevant to the stage of pregnancy or age of the infant.
• Those who are registered in Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS), a web- enabled name-based system to monitor and ensure delivery of full spectrum of services to all pregnant women and children, will be benefitted from the service.
• The 72 messages would reach the targeted beneficiaries from the 4th month of pregnancy until the child is one year old. On an average, the duration of each message is two minutes.
• Such messages will empower and educate women and parents to help create a better environment in maternal and child health. This service will be provided free to the beneficiaries.
• In the first phase of implementation, such messages would be sent to the pregnant women and infants’ mothers in six States in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and HPDs of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
• They are being developed in Hindi, English and Odiya languages in the first phase, to be later expanded to other languages to cover the entire country and would benefit over 2 crore pregnant women and 2 crore infants, annually.

Features of Mobile Academy

• It’s a mobile-based application aimed at providing training services to 9 million ASHAs.
• This will aid in enhancing their inter-personal skills. Once registered, ASHAs can access the 240-minute course via their mobile phones.
• They can then complete the standardized course at their convenience. Digital bookmarking technology enables ASHAs to complete the course at their own pace.
• ASHAs successfully completing the course by securing more than minimum prescribed marks will receive a Certificate of completion from the Government.

Features of M-Cessation

• It will be an IT-enabled tool to help tobacco users to quit tobacco.
• Built on a helpline concept, it will register beneficiaries on the basis of a missed call.
• The counselling would be done through a two-way SMS process, the Minister informed.