Despite the efforts of healthcare organizations and grassroots NGOs such as Seva Mandir, over one and a half million babies die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year. Looking for a solution, a group of students from Yale University have developed a simple health tracking necklace — a Khushi Baby — which could go a long way towards lowering that sad statistic.
In remote communities in Northern India, vaccinations are provided at immunization camps and medical records are handwritten in giant paper logbooks and on easily lost vaccine cards. As such, it is incredibly difficult for community health workers to know when babies miss their vaccines. Khushi Baby is an inexpensive digital pendant strung on a traditional Indian black thread necklace which stores and shares infant medical records. It is designed to modernize and streamline the vaccination infrastructure.
When a baby visits a vaccine clinic, the healthcare worker will simply tap their smartphone — donated to the organization by Khushi Baby — on the necklace and the baby’s data will be transferred via near-field communication. The healthcare worker can then log any vaccines they have administered, and store that information on the necklace, or they can view the baby’s vaccine history on their phone through the accompanying app. This app automatically uploads all of the data to the cloud the next time the phone enters an area with cellular service. Mothers will also receive automatic voice calls reminding them of the importance of upcoming immunizations.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Khushi Baby will be launching a pilot program in collaboration with Seva Mandir this year, providing the USD 1 necklaces to 4,000 children. Could this inexpensive technology be used in the developed world as well — perhaps to help patients remember complicated medicine programs?