Jiva’s TeleDoc uses IT for rural healthcare
Frederick Noronha explains how the award-winning TeleDoc
project of the Jiva Institute has helped in dispensing medical attention to
rural areas with the help of modern technology and communication tools
JIVA.ORG networks TeleDoc project has just won
the World Summit Award. Jiva Institute is a non-profit organisation that fosters
sustainable development in India using technology innovations to improve education,
health and entrepreneurship. Jiva says its projects are designed as sustainable
Jivas TeleDoc (www.jiva.org/teledoc) project
has been announced the winner of the World Summit Award for eHealth at the World
Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) conference (www.itu.int/wsis/), to
be held in Geneva in December, 2003. The World Summit Award is given to the
most creative application of technology in each of eight areas: e-commerce,
e-learning, e-health, e-government, e-business, and e-entertainment.
Teledoc, seeking to use Java-enabled mobile telephones
and the GPRS data network to deliver traditional healthcare to Indias
rural poor, was competing against nominees from 148 developing and developed
nations. TeleDoc is funded in part by a grant from the Soros Foundation.
Recently, the Government of Switzerland funded Jiva
Institute to present its TeleDoc project to the Information and Communication
Technologies for Development (ICT4D) Platform, which will be held in conjunction
with the WSIS conference.
The TeleDoc Mobile Information System (MIS) uses off-the-shelf
technologies and private-sector mobile-telephone networks to connect village
field representatives and Jiva doctors to a central database, where they exchange
prescription and treatment information. At ICT4D, Jiva is expected to share
information about the TeleDoc MIS with development organisations, governments,
and multi-national institutions.
Meanwhile, Jiva has also announced that Jammu and Kashmir
has adopted Indias Curriculum of Tomorrow (ICOT) textbooks (www.jiva.org/ICOT),
developed by its institute, for use in 8,000 state schools and 5,00,000 students.
Says a Jiva executive: Jammu and Kashmir will
publish Jivas science, social studies, and computer literacy books for
use in the 2004-2006 school years. Jiva makes its ICOT content available to
Ministry of Education on a royalty-free basis, and provides teacher training
and assistance with localisation to ensure that Jivas curricula, supporting
active learning, problem solving, and creativity, provide maximum benefits to
young learners. Its books for computer education have attracted attention
as innovatively worked out, and impressively done.
Moving beyond borders, Jiva is also to develop IT training
for teachers in Bhutan. It has recently been hired by the Royal Government of
Bhutan to write tech support and IT training curricula for Bhutanese schools.
On this project, Jiva is partnering with Healing the
Divide (www.healingthedivide.org), a New York-based non-profit outfit that supports
technological solutions in Asia. The project is funded by Healing the Divide
and the Royal Government of Bhutan. Jiva Institute is itself a non-profit organisation
that fosters sustainable development using technological innovation to
improve education and health practices. It says it works to implement
and support social-enterprise projects, in which programmes are income-earning
and eventually become self-supporting.
Indias Curriculum of Tomorrow (ICOT) is their
education initiative to provide high-quality textbooks to schools throughout
India, regardless of financial standing. Their website is at www.jiva.org.