IIT Madras develops VR tools to reduce maternal mortality rate

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Pallavi Pathak
Assistant Manager Content
Updated on Apr 21, 2022 09:41 IST

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras and the National Health Mission (NHM) of Tamil Nadu have joined the forces to release Virtual Reality (VR) tools to reduce the maternal mortality rate.

IIT Madras develops VR tools to reduce maternal mortality rate

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

Dr Darez Ahamed, Mission Director, National Health Mission Tamil Nadu, released the ‘SmartNRP project’ for rural healthcare workers to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate (NMR) in India. 

The project report was released in the presence of IIT Madras Director Professor V Kamakoti, among others.

IIT Madras, NHM's VR tools to provide skill training to health workers

A team at the IIT Madras Centre of Excellence on virtual reality found that the main reason behind the health workers facing challenges at primary health centres (PHCs) in rural areas of the state is the need for proper skill training.

"Using virtual reality, artificial intelligence/machine learning, the SmartNRP tool will be used for training the workers at PHCs in Tamil Nadu under the National Health Mission. This will be scaled subsequently to other states where NMR is very high," said the official statement of IIT Madras, as reported by NDTV.

Mr Kamakoti said, "I am sure virtual reality will make impact not only on healthcare verticals but in other areas as well. There are a lot of very interesting ideas from IIT-Madras research scholars and students." 

"If you look at infant mortality, the biggest contributor is the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) which is death within 28 days of birth. Around 40 babies are lost per every 1,000 births. We want to bring this down to single digit and all these initiatives are towards this direction", Ahamed said.

"IIT-Madras should also develop tools to train healthcare workers on various other areas such as treating accident victims...there are numerous other areas that virtual reality can be utilised", he said.

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Pallavi Pathak
Assistant Manager Content

Pallavi is a versatile writer with around eight years of experience in digital content. She has written content for both Indian and International publications and has a solid background in journalism and communicati... Read Full Bio


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