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Idea A mobile app for monitoring child growth and development

By Manu Gupta | 05 Dec, 2014

Idea submitted by: Manu Gupta

Timely monitoring and treatment is critical for proper child growth and development. Growth monitoring consists of routine measurements to detect abnormal growth, combined with treatment when this is detected.

I propose a mobile application, which can also be used by health workers in a home setting. This aims to improve nutrition, reduce the risk of death or inadequate nutrition, educate parents and lead to early referral for conditions manifested by growth disorders. This application would act as a guide for monitoring child development for early detection and management of developmental difficulties, and would also catalyze communication between health workers and patients.


A/Prof. Terry HANNAN Advisor Replied at 11:44 PM, 5 Dec 2014

Manu, your posting triggered my older neurons to things that I thought I had seen in the recent past. Here are a series of weblinks on this topic.
The last is and 'integrated' part of a larger e-record system [open source] thus allowing for data accumulation and evaluation of the health systems the growth charts are trying to support.

Manu Gupta Replied at 12:27 AM, 6 Dec 2014

Hello Terry ,

Thanks for the comments and sharing the links , which would surely help me to strengthened my idea.
But , I would like to use this app for isolated communities who stay in remote regions with limited access to health care.My idea is to link this through telemedicine to doctors and specialist for their expert advice. This would also help patients who stay in such regions with difficulty in travelling.Looking forward for further comments.Thanks !

A/Prof. Terry HANNAN Advisor Replied at 2:02 AM, 6 Dec 2014

Manu, thanks for your prompt reply. Here are some points you may consider
1. Is the data you require "acutely time-dependent"? It would appear that child growth patterns are not IMMEDIATELY NOW critical for decision making.
2. With this in mind consider intermittent connectivity and data capture on the "m" device (see video below). It demonstrates even older technologies can store adequate amounts of data.
3. When internet connectivity is available then the telemedicine facilities can be built around the use of the direct care patient data.
You will see the myriad of "functionalities" that can be built into existing and currenlty affordable hand held devices.
Feedback is welcomed.
MDRTB Pakistan:
IRDResearch Data visualization using Google Earth:

Nancy Street Advisor Replied at 9:00 AM, 7 Dec 2014

Terry and Manu-

I support your proposed idea and know that the use of mobile technologies is improving access to growth and development monitoring and referral.
When thinking through such programs, I concur with Terry's points and would add that acuity may be dependent on age of child (newborn, infant, toddler, etc.) and extent of growth delay. Decision trees have been created within mobile apps for health workers, affording them vital tools to assess the patients and to determine referral timing.

Marc Mitchell, a pediatrician, and his colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health have piloted programs using technology in resource limited settings ( His findings revealed that the use of e-technologies improved assessment for acutely ill children as compared to paper assessments. I would encourage you to take a look at his methods and findings. Your proposal aligns with this work.

Health e-Villages, a non-profit organization. may also serve as a resource to you as their mission is to bring up to date medical information to clinicians using mobile technologies ( They are working to establish best practices in this ever growing area for delivering quality health care.

I look forward to following your work in this area.

Anne-Marie Audet Replied at 2:26 PM, 10 Dec 2014

Dear Manu and colleagues in this conversation, could you provide some insights along the following lines:

I am a mother of a 2 year old. I live alone in a food desert. I work from 4AM-noon, and then 2PM-10PM. I am concerned about my son, he is crying all the time, he looks smaller than his friends. How would you sell your idea (which is terrific) to this mother? And how would you "sell" your idea to Medicaid? What problem will it solve, how easy will it be to use, how does it fit with the workflow of the mother and son, and the workflow of the providers?

Thank you for your idea!

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