Post-discharge care of new-born

The Challenge

The improvement in perinatal care provided during the last decade has resulted in better survival and reduced morbidity in the neonatal population. However, identifiable risk group of survivors such as those born preterm or sick at birth, are expected to have higher rates of health and developmental problems. These risk survivors need long term follow-up both at the community & facility level for a continuum of care, which could avert postnatal complications arising out of their risk.

Follow up rates of risk neonates discharged from SNCUs of Tamil Nadu are high during the first one or two visits and steadily fall thereafter. The reasons for this decline could be multifactorial, like not understanding the importance of follow up by the parents, reduced accessibility, lack of adequate community connect, failure to identify a sick child in time, etc.

The Solution

To improve these lacunae and improve post-discharge care, Cognizant Foundation is supporting IIT Madras for a project to roll out a technology solution for temperature monitoring of new-born babies post-discharge. This intervention will include care at home and in the facility, not only through the existing delivery system but also through a digital platform for the health care providers and the family.

The 3-year project, launched recently, is an end-to-end intervention. It involves the hospitals, mothers and new-born babies through wireless monitoring device and connectivity platform.  The monitoring device – 98.6 Fever Watch – is a compact continuous fever monitoring system through Bluetooth enabled sensor. The parents receive the device for use for one month from the date of discharge. Helyxon Healthcare – a company incubated by the IIT Madras Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre – has developed the Fever Watch. Helyxon’s vision is to enable affordable healthcare delivery to anyone, anywhere and anytime. Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) is a joint initiative by IIT Madras and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India.

The project will cover at least 10,000 babies and their families/caregivers. The four clinical institutions are also beneficiaries through the data and insights they get to improve the overall health system.

My+ Health mobile app, installed in parents’ mobile phone, sends periodic, personalized and protocol-based messages to the parents.

Kid Care Provider app, installed in the community health worker’s tablet/mobile phone, is used to follow-up and monitors post-discharge at-risk infants. The project is being implemented in JIPMER, Puducherry; Chengalpattu Medical College Hospital, Chengalpattu; Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (IOG), Chennai; Institute of Child Health (ICH), Chennai and Saveetha Medical College Hospital, Chennai.