India Launches Mobile Infant and Maternal Health Program

India Launches Mobile Infant and Maternal Health Program

The Grameen Foundation, in partnership with the government of India, has launched a nationwide mobile health program aimed at improving infant and maternal health in rural areas of the country.

Powered by MOTECH, a simple-to-use mobile health (mHealth) technology developed by the foundation with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the effort aims to deliver life-saving information to millions of mothers and pregnant women in rural areas within three years. The initiative features two MOTECH-powered programs developed by BBC Media Action: Mobile Academy, which will use Interactive Voice Response messages on mobile phones to train frontline health workers in maternal and infant care in four Indian states; and Kilkari, which will directly contact pregnant women and mothers in six states with crucial health information targeted to their stage of pregnancy or their infant's age.

Grameen Foundation created MOTECH as an open-source platform that is compatible with any mobile technology and works across key  health services-related areas, including behavior change, patient data, worker performance, last-mile supply chain, and patient adherence.

"The national launch of mHealth services is a great step toward leveraging India's increasing mobile penetration to make healthcare services accessible to everyone across India," said Shri Rahul Mullick, lead for ICT and mHealth at the Gates Foundation. "We at the foundation believe technology can offer compelling solutions in solving public health challenges and are committed to supporting the government in its ambitious agenda of prioritizing equitable access to public health services."