By: Jamie Johnston and Pooja Suri
In December 2016, Stanford Digital MEdIC began a collaboration with the Government of Rajasthan and the Antara Foundation to produce digital healthcare education content in order to improve capacity among community healthcare workers. Specifically, the focus of the collaboration was to improve the work of Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), and Anganwadi workers in the area of maternal and child health. Together, the healthcare workers serve as the first point of care for the majority of mothers and children in India, and yet they often have limited knowledge and support to address the needs of this population.
Prior to the collaboration with Stanford, the Antara Foundation had already provided in-service training as well as tablets/mobile devices to healthcare workers in the Jhalawar District of Rajasthan. But healthcare workers still needed digital video content to load onto tablets. As a pilot, the Stanford team created a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) online course with Dr. Maya Adam that covered topics like breastfeeding and nutrition. Healthcare workers accessed the content via an app created by developers from Stanford Vice Provost of Online Learning (VPTL). Because of the lack of adequate wifi / internet access in the rural areas where healthcare workers operate, the app was designed so that videos could be directly uploaded and accessed in the absence of internet.
For the past year, the Stanford team has conducted focus group discussions, knowledge assessments and feedback surveys to understand obstacles to take up. Participants have expressed the need for video content to serve not just as knowledge refresher for themselves, but also as a useful tool for communicating with beneficiaries and explaining the content to them.