RTBP m-Health Connect in India

Posted on September 20, 2008  /  2 Comments

This past week, our friends from the Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) of the Indian Institute of Technology showcased the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP) at the Connect 2008 exhibition hosted in Chennai, India from September 11-13. The theme of this year’s event, which is the 8th episode, is – Global Competitiveness and Equitable Growth-Driven by Innovation”. The action research: Evaluating a real-time Biosurveillance program, being pilot tested in the state of Tamil Nadu, India and the District of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka over the next 2 years to come is an innovation emphasizing m-Health. The two ladies: Geetha G (left) and Suma Prashanth (right) in the news articel are managing the RTBP project in India, which includes developing the technology and piloting the ICT system with Village Health Nurses in rural Tamil Nadu.

At present, the technology partners RTBI, Auton Lab (USA), and Lanka Software Foundation (Sri Lanka) are jointly working on developing the end-to-end disease surveillance and notification software applications. RTBI is developing the J2ME mobile application that can push health related information to a datacenter. Auton Lab has taken on the challenge to develop the automated disease outbreak detection algorithms that are expected to rapidly detect disease outbreaks using trained Bayesian network algorithms that take less time than humans can, to look for outliers in trends over geospatial dimensions. LSF is extending its Sahana suite of disease surveillance modules for data warehousing as well as the Sahana Messaging Module for alerting healthcare workers of eminent health threats.

Next month the project will be meeting with the community and government healthcare workers in Indian and Sri Lanka to define the user requirements. The meeting in Sri Lanka will take place on October 7th in Kuliyapitiya at the Medical Officer of Health office auditorium. The program entails demonstrating the concept to the particiapnts to get an initial feel of the technology thereby obtain feedback before the technology partners develop the full fledged solutions.


  1. Rural health in India is in a very bad shape, and steps taken by government is not at all sufficient.We need some big private sectors to help these villages in the name of social cause.

  2. Agreed that the Health Status in Rural India is not very good. To make a difference, public-private partnership approach is needed. Especially if one is trying to make a difference in this tier of society wherein affordability and reach is a question.