How often have you wondered whether your child is suffering from any developmental delays or not. Now, stop worrying as soon there will be an app for early diagnosis of developmental delays in children across India.
Called Babysteps, the app has been developed by four at the recently concluded medical hackathon organised by CAMTech India along with Glocal Healthcare and GE Healthcare. “Many parents in India are not aware of developmental delays. Often it happens that a child is tagged naughty if he is hyperactive. But in actuality this can be because of some medical reasons,” says Milind Kopikare, one of the founders of Babysteps.
In India, 25 million children suffer from developmental delays that go undetected or are detected late. In US, where the stats are better available, CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) states that 13% (about 1 in 6 kids) suffer from developmental delays. The reason these delays get detected late is that pediatricians do not spend enough time with kids, and also parents do not have awareness of what signs to watch out for.
Incidentally, all the four founders met at the hackathon and had the common objective. “We all felt quite strongly about the problem. Hence, we thought of developing this app which can closely track a child’s development milestone,” says Kopikare.
So, this is how it works. Parents more often than not keep a track of their children’s memories like first smile, first step, first word etc in the form of a memory book.
Interestingly, these milestones are not very different from the ones that are needed medically.
The solution integrates the developmental milestones into the baby/memory book. That way, while the parent is emotionally engaged in tracking his child’s memories, the technology unobtrusively also keep tracks of the child’s development.
In cases where parents do not maintain such a book, the app acts like an alert mechanism and sends timely development report to parents.
The founders are now working on redoing the design of the app. “We want to get the emotional engagement with parents right and hence we are working on the design. We hope for the best.”
“We have got strong validation on the business feasibility of our idea and are talking to pharma companies and providers to scale our product. Our target is the lower income group who are in most need of tools to do early detection of developmental delays,” says Kopikare.
Rajesh Chandwani: Pediatrician and IIM-A professor. Teaches scaling up affordable healthcare services to the underprivileged.
Harkaran Dhingra: Engineer who runs his own manufacturing plant to make Biomedical devices.
Neha Kumar: Researcher on human computer interaction among low income youths in India.
Milind Kopikare: Entrepreneur who run his own company HealthKonnect that makes nano diagnostic devices