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A Project to Map the Health Care Needs of a District in Kerala

The Media Lab Asia, a non--profit R&D organization functioning under the Department of Information Technology of the government //of India, has taken up a project to map the health care needs of the Malappuram district in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The two-year project, in collaboration with the state government's e-literacy program - Akshaya, is expected to utilize Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for collecting information on diseases prevalent in the region and the current treatments available.

Dr G V Ramaraju, Principal Research Director, Media lab Asia states, "We are trying out the potentials of ICT in this project. The plan is to record data, say like vaccination details of children and their disease history. The inputs will be recorded by field agents on their PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and sent to a central database. Thus we will have a medical history of what exactly has been achieved in that place till now and we will have it on record for ready reference. Our work began early this year."

In all data from around 20,000 people per primary health center, totaling four hundred thousand entries, could result from the project.

The Medialab would be collaborating with the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and a host of non-governmental organization for the purpose.

Pharma companies too would stand to benefit as a result of the elaborate mapping, it is pointed out.

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