Pragati - A Mobile Based Virtual Reality (VR) Platform to Train and Educate Community Health Workers

  • Keyur Sorathia
  • Kshipra SharmaEmail author
  • Shimmila Bhowmick
  • Preetham Kamidi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10516)


Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) are essential link to healthy communities in resource-constrained environments. However, they are insufficiently trained to solve community health challenges. In this paper, we present Pragati - a mobile-based Virtual Reality (VR) platform to train and educate ASHAs in rural Assam, India. Mobile based VR platform was chosen due to its ability to increase focus, attention and learnability among users. We developed 3 modules on maternal and child healthcare. Modules were presented via audio-visual interface in local Assamesse language. This paper presents the design of Pragati, user interactions, technology implementations and future directions of our study.


ICT in social development - interaction design for developing regions Technology in healthcare Virtual reality Medical training Community health workers 


  1. 1.
    Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Annual Report on Penetration of Mobile phone (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fiore-Silfvast, B., Hartung, C., Iyengar, K., Iyengar, S., Israel-Ballard, K., Perin, N., Anderson, R.: Mobile video for patient education: the midwives’ perspective. In: Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, p. 2. ACM, January 2013Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kallander, K., Tibenderana, J.K., Akpogheneta, O.J., Strachan, D.L., Hill, Z., ten Asbroek, A.H., Meek, S.R.: Mobile health (mHealth) approaches and lessons for increased performance and retention of community health workers in low-and middle-income countries: a review. J. Med. Internet Res. 15(1), e17 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Li, J., Alem, L.: Supporting distributed collaborations between mobile health workers and expert clinicians in home care. In: Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2013, pp. 493–498. ACM, April 2013Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mantovani, F.: VR learning: Potential and challenges for the use of 3D environments in education and training. In: Riva, G., Galimberti, C. (eds.) Towards Cyber Psychology: Mind, Cognitions and Society in the Internet Age, pp. 207–226. IOS Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2001)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Molapo, M., Marsden, G.: Software support for creating digital health training materials in the held. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development: Full Papers, vol. 1, pp. 205–214. ACM, December 2013Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Molapo, M., Marsden, G.: Health education in rural communities with locally produced and locally relevant multimedia content. In: Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, p. 25. ACM, January 2013Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pakenham-Walsh, N., Priestley, C., Smith, R.: Meeting the information needs of health workers in developing countries. Br. Med. J. 314, 90 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Youngblut, C.: Educational uses of virtual reality technology. Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria (1998).

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keyur Sorathia
    • 1
  • Kshipra Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shimmila Bhowmick
    • 1
  • Preetham Kamidi
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia

Personalised recommendations