Meghalaya’s Smart Village Movement Launches Groundbreaking Preventive Healthcare Initiative

Smart Village Movement, July 28, 2023

Preventive healthcare plays a crucial role in enhancing the well-being and productivity of a community. By focusing on proactive measures to prevent diseases and promote healthy lifestyles, individuals can avoid the burden of chronic illnesses and enjoy a higher quality of life. Access to healthcare services is severely limited for residents of rural Meghalaya populations. Current health indicators such as average lifespan and infant and maternal mortality rates cause concern. Therefore, preventive measures such as regular health screenings, vaccinations, and health education programs to receive early detection and intervention for potential health issues are even more vital to help prevent the progression of diseases and reduce the need for costly treatments or hospitalizations.

The Meghalaya Smart Village Movement has launched a groundbreaking initiative called Positive Population Healthcare Management (PPHM) to transform Meghalaya’s healthcare. This pilot project initiated at Bhoirymbong, Ri Bhoi District aims to screen for concerning health indicators, address the chronic health issues within the population, and shift the focus from disease management to disease prevention.

  1. Sylliang, an Anganwadi Worker, shares about PPHM: “Project PPHM has truly been a blessing for our village, Umroi Umdohbyrthih, not only in terms of the health tests offered but also in providing increased access to healthcare. As an Anganwadi Worker, I’ve witnessed the tremendous impact it has had on our community’s health.The impact of this program has been remarkable as it has allowed our people to know their health status without any financial burden, thanks to the numerous tests offered.The significance of Project PPHM lies in its ability to reveal hidden health issues within our bodies, even in seemingly healthy individuals.Additionally, the accessibility of these health tests has been a significant factor in ensuring that even those who may have otherwise struggled to afford or access healthcare services can now benefit from this initiative. During the screening program, I too wanted to undergo the tests, but unfortunately, I was not present in the village that day. However, I have met others who express a keen interest in participating if the program returns in the future. PPHM has not only brought positive change but has also empowered our community to take charge of their health and well-being.”

In Image: Health Workers with participants in Health Checkup and Screening Camp

Months of meticulous planning and collaboration with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Meghalaya; Healthcare AI screening partner Maya MDKRSNAA as the Diagnostics partner; and Martin Luther Christian University as the Mobilization partner have culminated in the launch of the PPHM pilot project in Meghalaya. The pilot hub, located at the Community Health Centre in Bhoirymbong, Ri Bhoi, aims to collect, analyze, and arrange clinical data to improve patient health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs associated with disease management.

“As technology plays an integral role in shaping the future of healthcare, the Meghalaya State Health Policy will work towards implementing an electronic Health Information System (HIS) to digitize health records and support health reforms. The policy will also encourage using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for problem-solving and predicting health needs” says Mr. Ramkumar S, IAS, Nodal Officer – Smart Village Movement Meghalaya.

He added, “With a focus on preventive care, PPHM is poised to create a healthier and more prosperous future for the people of Meghalaya, setting an example for the rest of the country to follow.”

Due to its significant social impact potential, this innovative project has gained global recognition and was invited to participate at the World Open Innovation Conference 2022 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

In Image: Tulenam Laloo (State Director, SVM Meghalaya), Mr. Sampath Kumar (IAS, CEO-MBDA), Mr. Ramkumar (IAS, Nodal Officer- SVM Meghalaya) at WOIC, Eindhoven , Netherland

The primary objective of the PPHM Project is to shift healthcare focus from disease management to proactive disease prevention. The collaboration between Smart Village Movement, the Government of Meghalaya, and private partners will establish a connected digital healthcare delivery platform and network for the population of Meghalaya. Over the next few years, the project endeavors to bring 43 Positive Health Parameters in the state up to WHO standards, specifically focusing on the aspirational district of Ri Bhoi. The project will leverage Artificial Intelligence and physician expertise, reducing disease management expenditures and increasing longevity.

Meghalaya’s new State Health Policy aims to foster a culture of informed decision-making regarding healthcare. With the PPHM pilot program, the state aspires to increase its average life expectancy and reduce DALY. This transformation will involve innovative financial and social approaches, prioritizing overall quality of life, happiness, and well-being. A participatory, collaborative approach will engage healthcare providers and participating families, empowering citizens with the tools and information to take better care of themselves.

As a strategic facilitator, SVM, in Alliance with UC Berkeley Haas, plays a vital role in the project, mobilizing stakeholders and streamlining activities. We lead research engagements with the University of California Berkeley Haas and establish pathways for lab investigations and diagnostic processes with healthcare facilities. Additionally, SVM curates educational and social welfare pathways through community engagement and awareness campaigns. Our comprehensive involvement ensures the project’s success in enhancing healthcare management in Meghalaya.

Intensive efforts go towards fostering a healthy lifestyle among the population, preventing the burden of NCDs. Emphasizing disease prevention and ensuring good livelihoods will go hand in hand breaking the vicious cycle of poor health in the state.

“I’ve had stomach pains for weeks at a time for the past few years. The PPHM blood testing helped me learn that I have fatty liver. I became aware of the significance of blood tests in detecting our true health issues after visiting with doctors and taking the advised medications.

I wish to encourage everyone to take advantage of the government’s offer of free physicals to identify our illnesses and ailments. My wife also describes how I used to experience stomach pain, and how the physicians prescribed gastric medications, which only offered short-term relief.” -shares, H. Chyne and his Wife, Residents of Umdoh Byrthih Village.

The project’s deliverables include curating preventive healthcare strategies for villages under the Bhoirymbong CHC. By creating a platform for positive health management, this initiative aims to streamline and standardize healthcare parameters while leveraging data and technology to make informed decisions. Data privacy and security will also be a priority, with anonymized data and information storage to infer trends and causative factors.

About Smart Village Movement: The Smart Village Movement is a collaborative process facilitated by the SVM organization with the Berkeley-Haas Center of Growth Markets to create a Smart Village ecosystem. We partner with Government, Academia, Corporations, and Rural Communities to foster independence and sustainable rural development in Indian villages and other emerging markets. We aim to empower rural people through digital technologies and open innovation platforms to access global markets.

In Image: PPHM Khasi Flyers for Free Screening Camp awareness