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What Odisha can learn from University of Washington in tackling the Jaundice Menace?

We are yet to awake to the monster under the bed. Jaundice. This comes just after the wake of being declared a #Smart City. Jaundice raised its ugly head around 2014 where it left close to 50 dead and affected more than 3000 people! It.

By Apr 17,2016  0

We are yet to awake to the monster under the bed. Jaundice. This comes just after the wake of being declared a #Smart City. Jaundice raised its ugly head around 2014 where it left close to 50 dead and affected more than 3000 people! It shattered the illusion and left our health authorities gasping for ways to control the fatal disease.

Come 2016 and its déjà vu again.  Almost 18(4 yet to be confirmed) cases of jaundice have been detected at Jharna Basti – surprisingly this is an area which is close to our Chief Minister’s residence! It’s astounding how such epidemic break-out is possible in spite of bagging the coveted ‘SMART’ City title recently.

However it’s not late. While we are not questioning the current authorities and their plan of action to tackle Jaundice. We thought it would be a good thing to take inspiration from global best practices and see if we can adopt any learning and solutions.

Especially with the advent of low cost smartphones and data connectivity – is there a way we can turn our phones into more intelligent early phase detection devices?

We looked at a few examples and realized researchers in US were facing a similar problem with Infant Jaundice. Due to the high penetration of smartphones, they developed an app for parents called Bilicam.

The app’s premise is simple: Just lay the printed color key on your baby’s belly and snap a photo. The app sends the photo’s data to the cloud, where an algorithm measures the difference between the baby’s skin tone and the color chart to instantly send an estimated bilirubin level to your phone.

image courtesy: washington.edu

image courtesy: washington.edu

How will this benefit us?

Such an app could provide enormous early-detection capability in developing states/nations like ours world where access to smartphones far outstrips the availability of high-tech screening devices or the gold-standard jaundice blood test.

A plea to our readers:

It’s time we accept this uncomfortable truth and come together to devise solutions. We would like to ask our readers to reach out to their network of entrepreneurs, mainly in the field of healthcare, academicians etc to think of various ways we can combat this together. Let’s start a conversation below in the comments or tweet to @thebrokenscootr with ideas and suggestions to defeat the ‘yellow’ monster.

Apart from the traditional methods of combating the disease, It’s time to rack our brains together and fight this menace together.

 

Bhubaneswar, through Bhang tinted glasses

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