tracking healthcare dataWith assistance from UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India has introduced an Android-based tablet application called Auxiliary Nurse Midwives Online (ANMOL). This app makes recording and tracking healthcare data easier and more efficient.

In India, there are 293,000 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM), according to UNICEF. They are village-level health workers and are the first point of contact between communities and health services in India.

Typically, ANMs serve 3,000 to 5,000 people each and their work consists of providing primary health care services, nutrition and immunization programs, as well as child health and family planning services.

One crucial aspect of their job is collecting and tracking healthcare data. This is often seen as a slow, time-consuming process since ANMs must enter the data into registers, which are eventually entered into a central server.

The time spent maintaining registries could easily be reduced, which is ANMOL’s main objective. Manually updating the information is also problematic, as there are risks of information being entered incorrectly, or too late.

The ANMOL app is a multifaceted mobile tablet-based application and offers a solution to improving data collection and the overall standards of child and maternal health service provision in India.

It makes the work of ANMs paperless, bringing them online and exponentially reduces the time it takes to enter healthcare data into the central database.

“[ANMs] are able to use the tablets to enter and update the service records of beneficiaries on real time basis, ensuring prompt data entry and updates,” stated a report by UNICEF.

“ANMOL is aimed at improving the quality, effectiveness and timeliness of the delivery of quality services, specifically to rural populations, to ensure better healthcare for women and children,” said Dr. Srihari Dutta, Health Specialist at UNICEF India.

The app brings awareness to rural populations and educates them on different healthcare initiatives.

India, the world’s second most populous country, will benefit greatly from such an application, which allows for rapid entry of millions of individuals’ health information.

According to Matters India, in addition to data collection, ANMOL complements the roles of ANMs as counselors by providing readily available information about newborns, pregnant women and mothers in their respective areas.

“Prevention and awareness about non-communicable diseases, which are largely linked to our way of living, dietary habits, and lack of exercise will go a long way in ensuring that the country remains healthy,” said Shri J.P. Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

On April 6, 2016, the Ministry of Health tweeted, “ANMOL App is Aadhaar enabled and will help in the authentication of records of field workers and beneficiaries. #digital health #TransformingIndia.”

Michelle Simon

Photo: Flickr