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The George Institute for Global Health India Receives Grant to Transform Maternal and Neonatal Healthcare Using AI

Written by : Jayati Dubey

August 21, 2023

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The institute asserts that the incorporation of advanced AI technology into the SMARThealth Pregnancy system holds the promise of making a profound global impact on maternal and newborn health.

The George Institute for Global Health India, an independent medical research institute headquartered in New Delhi, has been selected as a recipient of the 'Grand Challenges Catalyzing Equitable Artificial Intelligence (AI) Use' grant by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The institute's ambitious project aims to revolutionise maternal and neonatal healthcare in rural communities across India through the integration of innovative AI-based solutions.

The $85,265 grant will fund the incorporation of AI technology into the SMARThealth Pregnancy system, a tablet-based platform designed to facilitate clinical decision-making based on local guidelines. This advanced system enables two-way communication support between frontline health workers and rural beneficiaries, with the overarching objective of reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity rates.

The SMARThealth Pregnancy system plays a crucial role in identifying high-risk pregnancies and managing healthcare to improve pregnancy outcomes and prevent future health complications. By collaborating with AI experts from the University of Oxford Computational Health Informatics Laboratory, The George Institute India aims to expand the capabilities of the SMARThealth Pregnancy System, leveraging the potential of AI and frontline healthcare expertise.

This transformative endeavour is driven by the goal to address healthcare challenges in resource-constrained regions, including the shortage of healthcare workers and gender-related barriers, thereby providing comprehensive healthcare to women in remote areas of low- and middle-income nations.

Dr. D Praveen, who leads the SMARThealth program at The George Institute for Global Health India, expressed gratitude for the support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He highlighted the significance of the funding in equipping frontline healthcare professionals with the necessary tools for delivering effective healthcare to women in rural areas.

Through the infusion of GPT-4, a state-of-the-art AI language model, into the SMARThealth Pregnancy API, the institute aims to elevate the quality and contextual relevance of healthcare information and services provided by frontline health workers. This technological advancement is expected to create a lasting impact on the health knowledge, behaviours, and outcomes of women and newborns.

To ensure the project's success, the institute will undertake comprehensive training and validation of the AI models, incorporating insights from Indian and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Additionally, focus group discussions and stakeholder engagement workshops will ensure diverse perspectives are included from frontline healthcare professionals, medical practitioners, experts, and Department of Health officials.

Vivekanand Jha, executive director of The George Institute for Global Health India, expressed the institute's commitment to empowering frontline healthcare workers, including Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), who play a pivotal role in rural healthcare.

With this strategic grant, The George Institute India is set to usher in a new era of maternal and neonatal healthcare, embracing the potential of AI to improve the lives of women and newborns across the country.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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