There’s a promise that India’s teeming millions sitting on a cardiovascular epidemic of sorts can now benefit from a easy-to-use smartphone application that will tell them exactly how their heart is faring.
Once this large-scale public health project funded by the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases Research Grants takes off in India, it would be easy to screen cardiovascular risks using a handy, intelligent smartphone device. The project is expected to use World Health Organization guidelines through a smartphone application that will guide health workers in rural India through a series of questions to assess a patient’s blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and height.
The application is called Health Tracker, and will calculate a comprehensive risk profile that can be uploaded to a secure electronic health record. High risk individuals will then be referred to see a doctor who follows a management plan for the patients long term care. According the George Institute, India, which will implement the project, it will build capacity in primary healthcare in rural India. Australia’s national health and medical body,The National Health and Medical Research Council, will spend Rs 15 crore on this project and a couple more.
David Peiris, the principal investigator for the heart phone project, feels that it will be a practical intervention to address the growing cardiovascular epidemic in India. The pilot findings, he says, will be used to inform a large scale trial in rural India.
Apart from cardiovascular health, The George Institute will use the grant for a national salt reduction programme, investigate affordable drug treatment strategies to treat hypertension and assess innovative smartphone healthcare technology, executive director of the institute Anushka Patel informs.
Here’s hoping the project reaches out to at least a fraction of the over 30 million people with cardiovascular disease living in India .