– A US$530,00 grant, and collaboration with Google Research, will support ARMMAN’s goal of reaching 300,000 women and children in 2021 through mMitra
MUMBAI, India, Feb. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — ARMMAN, an India-based nonprofit, is leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance adherence in maternal and child health programs. Initiated in 2020, the project with Google Research India and IIT Madras uses AI to predict the risk of women dropping out of healthcare programs such as mMitra. Along with scientific collaboration, the project was supported with funding from Google Research and Google.org.
India accounts for 11% of global maternal mortality, and a woman in India dies in childbirth every fifteen minutes. However, almost 90 percent of maternal deaths are avoidable if women receive timely intervention. Access to timely, accurate health information is a significant challenge among women in rural areas and urban slums.
To address this issue, ARMMAN launched the mMitra program in 2013. mMitra is a free service sending voice calls with critical preventive care information directly to the mobile phones of women, covering the period from pregnancy till the child turns one. With Google’s support, a project was launched to increase adherence to mMitra, with an overall goal of improving maternal and child health outcomes. Researchers from Google Research and IIT Madras have been working with ARMMAN to design an AI technology solution that could provide an indication of women who were at the risk of dropping out from mMitra. The early targeted identification helps ARMMAN to personalise interventions for an improved engagement with mMitra. Test results indicate a reduction in the risk of drop-offs by up to 32% for women at high risk of dropping out. So far, mMitra has reached over 2.3 million women in India and is 1 of only 5 scaled mobile-based maternal messaging programs in the world.
“We are very happy to execute this project across our mMitra program, supported by Google. We see an immense potential to replicate these learnings from AI across other technology enabled at-scale programs implemented by ARMMAN,” shared Ramesh Padmanabhan, ARMMAN’s CEO.
Milind Tambe, Director – AI for Social Good at Google Research India, added, “ARMMAN has made tremendous strides on the project with IIT Madras and Google to apply AI to help improve preventive care for mothers and children. Together with Google.org, we’re excited to continue to support them as they continue to scale their work to even greater impact.”
Google Research and ARMMAN are currently working towards scaling this to 300,000+ mothers and children in mMitra, with a goal of eventually reaching 1 million mothers and children.
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ARMMAN leverages technology to create cost-effective, highly scalable solutions to improve the health and well-being of under-served mothers and children in India. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), ARMMAN is currently implementing the largest mobile-based maternal messaging program (Kilkari) and the largest mobile-based training program for frontline health workers (Mobile Academy). The largest programs of their kind across the world, Kilkari has reached 21 million women and children while Mobile Academy has trained 166,000 frontline health workers in 13 states of India.
About Google Research India
Google Research India is an AI Lab in Bangalore established in 2020. Along with advancing fundamental research in computer science and AI, it seeks to apply AI to tackle big problems in fields like healthcare, agriculture, and education while also using it to make apps and services used by billions of people more helpful.
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone-and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle in four key areas: education, economic opportunity, inclusion and crisis response.
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