‘Swasthya’ Slate project launched by PHFI and Government
It is not often that one comes across an innovative technology in health care that has made basic diagnostic tests simple and affordable. The recently launched ‘Swasthya’ Slate project by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Government could potentially become ‘the’ device that has bridged the gap between doctors and patients in urban and rural areas.
The diagnostic kit has enough promise to change the way basic diagnostics are carried out in the health centres in the State. At just Rs.85, the kit, which comes with an Android based Tablet, a small box dubbed as Swasthya Slate and other diagnostic equipment, enables to conduct tests for sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, haemoglobin levels, ECG, body temperature, urine protein levels and test water quality. The results are given on the spot within 10 to 15 minutes.
Feature and usability wise, the Swasthya Slate is ticking all the right boxes. It can send the test results in the form of mails and alert patient’s personal doctor through an SMS. Interestingly, the kit is GPS enabled, which records the patients’ co-ordinates and throws up suggestions like the nearest doctor, clinic and hospital available in the locality of the patient.
While private labs charge anywhere between Rs. 1,100 and Rs. 1,800 to take up all the tests and only releases the tests by evening, Swasthya Slate within minutes uploads patient data and results to a remote service via internet.
The stored data is accessible only to patients and doctors in the Swasthya Slate portal and removes the practice of maintaining records on paper. In case of no internet, the patient database is stored within the Tablet’s internal memory.
Swasthya Slate software also brings features like Decision Support System, capable of suggesting treatment modalities to specific ailments to the frontline health care worker. “Specialist doctors are hard to find at primary health centres. The health care worker can access the decision support system and advice basic precautions to the patient before contacting the specialist,” says Team Leader, Affordable Health Technology, PHFI, Dr. Kanav Kahol.
The Tablet software consists of clinical algorithms and customised health protocols written by PHFI developers. “We developed the software and hardware in-house. That has helped keep the costs low,” he adds.