The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has launched four mobile health (mHealth) initiatives namely Kilkari, Mobile Academy, mCessation and TB Missed Call Initiative. These initiatives were launched as a part of Government’s Digital India Programme. The core of all these services is the usage of mobile phone technology in order to strengthen these citizen-centric health services. These initiatives were launched by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda.
The main aim was to prioritise public health by using India’s expanding mobile phone penetration.
The first initiative Kilkari is an audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly messages to families about pregnancy, family planning, child birth, nutrition, maternal and child care. These 72 audio messages would start from the second trimester of pregnancy until the child is one year old. This service has been launched in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and high priority districts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in the first phase. In addition, if the woman misses a call or wants to hear the week’s message again, she can dial the toll free number 1800-3010-1703 to hear the same.
Mobile Academy is a service which helps ASHAs in refreshing and reinforcing their existing knowledge of maternal and child behaviours. This is anytime anywhere audio course that can train hundreds of ASHAs simultaneously. ASHAs can access the 240- minute course via a toll free number 1800-3010-1704. This service has been launched in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in the first phase.
Tobacco kills almost one million persons in India every year and is the major risk factor for many dangerous diseases. In order to combat this problem, mCessation programme has been started. This service aims to reach out to every single person who is willing to quite tobacco. Any tobacco user can register them by giving a missed call on 011-22901701 or by registering on http://www.nhp.gov.in/quit-tobacco for e-registration. Thereafter, a two way SMS process would begin.
A citizen centric missed call centre has also been started for reaching unreached TB patients. This new initiative has been undertaken to provide the patient counselling and treatment support services with a call centre facility. The callers can give a missed call or call to get the complete information about TB. The toll free number is 1800- 11- 6666. At present, the missed call centre is being started in four states: Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.