IIT Madras develops VR tools to combat maternal, newborn deaths

Researchers at the Centre of Excellence on Virtual Reality (VR) and Haptics IIT Madras have developed VR tools to combat maternal and newborn deaths.  

The IIT Madras researchers are working with National Health Mission of Tamil Nadu to improve newborn and maternal health. 

Dr. Darez Ahamed, Mission Director, National Heath Mission Tamil Nadu, released the ‘SmartNRP project’ IIT Madras on 19th April 2022 for rural healthcare workers to reduce Maternal Mortality Rate (NMR) in India.

The researchers identified that skill training of the health workers was a major challenge that India was facing, specifically at the primary health centres in rural settings, IIT Madras said.

Neonatal Resuscitation Protocol (NRP) is the global standard in first aid technique for newborn babies that are not breathing/crying, it added.

“Using VR, Gaming Technologies, cloud, and AI/ML, the SmartNRP tool will be used for training the PHC health workers in Tamil Nadu under National Health Mission (NHM) to take the technologies forward. This will be scaled subsequently to other states in India where NMR is very high,” the institute said. 

Dr. Ahamed also released the ‘SmartFHR project’ to reduce Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), aimed at monitoring foetal health using smartphones without clinical assistants. 

This project will be scaled subsequently to other states where MMR is very high, IIT Madras informed. 

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