Malnutrition is still a massive problem among children in India, especially in the rural belts. To address this, German private aid organisation Welthungerhilfe life has launched a cloud-based, advanced smartphone application ‘Child Growth Monitor Solution’, in coordination with Microsoft Azure and AI services. The application has harnessed Artificial Intelligence to enable health workers to identify all the parameters of chronic malnutrition in a child and proceed to provide the required care. Interestingly, the organisation has chosen India as the destination to execute their pilot project.
How Child Growth Monitor Solution works
Welthungerhilfe life has partnered with global NGO Action Against Hunger and has planned to undertake a malnourishment survey among 10,000 children under the age of five, in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The survey, estimated to be completed by March 2019, will involve 150 health workers collecting data using the Child Growth Monitor Solution app on their smartphones.
The app makes use of the infrared sensor mechanism available in some smartphones and detects a child’s height, body volume and weight ratio in 3D. It can also measure the circumferences of the head and upper arm.
The collected measurement data is then uploaded into Microsoft Azure database, following which specialist programmers help nutritionists assess the information and conclude about the child’s nutritional health. Microsoft also stated that a learning algorithm encoded in the app upgrades itself with each measurement, making further measurements easier, reported The Hans India.
The app will reduce the expense
Shivangi Kaushik, Program Manager for Action Against Hunger, shared that at present, the procedure for malnutrition assessment among children is quite cumbersome and expensive. Each health worker is assigned to track 40 to 60 children in their intervention areas. However, in reality, most of these workers lack the expertise and resources to do accurate measurements. In fact, they often struggle with the complicated pieces of equipment provided to record the height and weight of the children. “Having Child Growth Monitor on board will hugely impact the early identification of children suffering from malnutrition, thereby reducing the treatment time,” she shared with The Hans India.
Jochen Moninger, the Innovation Director at Welthungerhilfe said, “Today, more than 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger. You can’t solve hunger if you don’t know where the hungry people are. I want to make it impossible for anyone in the world to starve as of 2030.” Talking about the app, he added, “In India alone, that (the app) could free up hundreds of millions of dollars for reinvestment into the lives of children.”