First lot of tablets expected to roll out within 3-6 months
After the widespread acclaim for the ‘Kalam-Raju stent', the former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, and well known cardiologist Dr. B. Soma Raju of Care Foundation are back to their innovating ways. This time around, the duo has come up with the concept of an indigenous tablet PC for healthcare workers at primary health centres in rural areas.
While the Kalam-Raju stent created waves for its affordability, the Kalam-Raju tablet is aimed at arming healthcare workers at the primary level like doctors, Anganwadi workers, ‘aayas' and first responders to an emergency with a ‘rugged' tablet capable of performing a host of medical processes at the rural level. The first lot of the Kalam-Raju tablets are expected to roll out within three to six months.
The former President and the cardiologist have roped in Bangalore-based PSU and telecommunications equipment manufacturer, Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), to fabricate the tablet. A chip design company from Hyderabad, Aizyc Technologies, are ‘chipping in' with physical design, firmware and embedded systems development for the tablet. A Kochi-based multinational, Opera Technologies, is also part of the Kalam-Raju tablet project.
“What if an Anganwadi worker or a doctor in a remote and inaccessible village has a tablet that stores medical information and patient's medical history? Villages are far flung, we have limited qualified physicians and there are challenges in logistics. Under such conditions, a rugged tablet computer becomes very essential and logical,” says Arun. K. Tiwari, co-author of A.P. J. Abdul Kalam's celebrated work ‘Wings of Fire', who is actively involved in the design and concept of the Kalam-Raju tablet.
History of patients
The Kalam-Raju tablet will help physicians and certified nurse practitioners in rural areas access patient information, diagnostic tools and new treatment procedures. First-time responders to an emergency can use the tablet to retrieve patients' medical history. The device becomes valuable with unconscious and incoherent patients who can't provide reliable information about their prescriptions and allergies.
“The tablets will provide all kinds of medical information, including access to Grey's Anatomy and medical journals to rural doctors and other professionals, wherever they are.”
“The first lot of Kalam-Raju tablets will roll out in another three to six months,” Professor. Tiwari said.
The tablet is expected to run on an Intel Atom processor with several external interfaces like a microphone, audio-output and USB connection. Built-in tools, including specially designed medical software like a multi-parameter detector, diagnosis system and medical database would be available. The tablet is expected to have an eight or nine inch touch-screen that can be easily kept in a bag.
“Our former President always stresses on the importance of a sound primary healthcare system. And that's why, the Kalam-Raju tablet should provide the connectivity required in far-flung regions. Such a model has flourished in Spain, Thailand and even China. This tablet will facilitate a focussed treatment to rural patients,” Prof. Tiwari added.