by Preeti Shakya and Maisha Z. Johnson
1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable diseases every year. An estimated 9.5 million infants worldwide still don’t have routine immunization services. We know how important vaccines are to child health, yet a huge "vaccination gap" still exists.
Ruchit Nagar, CEO, co-founder and co-PI of Khushi baby, understood that the issue was deeper than just vaccine access. Poor record keeping was a large contributor to this problem, too. The task of maintaining immunization data in developing countries is a difficult one. Typically, data is manually collected and stored in paper log books by healthcare workers. If a record needs to be found and referenced, extensive searching through all data collected is required. In addition to the frequency at which families lose medical documents, this maintaining immunization records in developing countries represents a huge obstacle.
To overcome this hurdle, Nagar and a group of other students came up with a business plan that could help address the vaccination gap, while helping healthcare workers too: Khushi Baby. Khushi Baby, or “Happy Baby” in Hindi, is a nonprofit that helps monitor the health care of mothers and children in India. The team developed a culturally-symbolic necklace that holds full medical history and allows people to wear their medical records/ health passports around their necks. It also serves as a visual reminder for mothers to vaccinate their babies on schedule. Advantageous features include digital capacity, battery-free capability, and waterproof data storage. To access those medical files, healthcare workers simply scan the necklace with the smartphone Khushi Baby app. This approach can be done even in rural villages.
The Khushi Baby teams hopes that their easy-to-use technology will help bridge the healthcare gap that exists between developing nations and the rest of the world.
To learn more about Khushi Baby, click here.
Khushi Baby was named as one of the finalists of the GenH Challenge, which acknowledges and awards innovative solutions to worldwide health issues. See the announcement here.