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Save the Baby: Global Data Commons created by digitized maternal and infant health record for disaster risk management



Save mothers and babies in the world
Create global data commons for improved maternal and infant care

【 OUR GOAL 】  
Our goal is to create communities that save mothers and babies all over the world.
The proposed system empowers mothers and babies by collecting and managing maternal and child health data via the use of ICT technology.


*This project began as a part of Race for Resilience / Code for Resilience, and we became a finalist for the global judging.

We will develop a system that allows mothers and babies to receive health care information. It is able to connect mothers and babies to medical personnel, disaster medical rescue teams or other key actors in a time of disaster.
 The system also helps health professionals and concerned parties to collect information regarding potential outbreak of epidemics and other health-threats in the field.

We propose two actions in order to achieve our vision of creating global data commons for improved maternal and infant care. 

1. Create an open source software system for baby care
The first action is to create a software system for baby care as an open source project to harness the use the potential benefits of crowdsourcing. The system has three key features.

 ① Record maternity and infant health data using telephone lines or internet connection
 ② Communicate with mothers in real time

 ③ Share data with key actors


2. Marketing Design
The second action is to design how the system is marketed. keeping the system up to data is crucial in order to strengthen the disaster risk management.

 ① Host seminars/workshops as rewards
 ② Distribute mobile phones and applications
 ③ Create business at BOP(Base of the Economic Pyramid)
 ④ Establish Save the Baby Foundation


【 DEMO WEBSITE : Dashboard for Medical Personnel 】

Category of the action


What actions do you propose?

1.  Introduction
We propose two actions in order to achieve our vision of creating global data commons for improved maternal and infant care. These actions could empower mothers and infants in the world through developing capability that each mother inherently has. 

2.  Actions 
 ① Create an open source software system for baby care
The first action is to create a software system for baby care as an open source project to harness the use the potential benefits of crowdsourcing. The open source model makes possible to develop secure, reliable, easy-to-use, and widely-used system supported by policy makes, NGO and NPO officials, business executives, scientists, engineers and others. Furthermore, supporters around the world enable multiple-language support of the system for global coverage. The system has three key features.

 − Record maternity and infant health data using telephone lines or internet connection
The system collect maternity health records and those of infants, such as weight, vaccination status, and allergies, and store them into databases. Depending on infrastructure availability, telephone lines or internet connections are used to collect the data. Especially in developing counties where internet connections are limited, SMS or entering digits on a keypad of a mobile phone or a fixed phone could be effective with Voice-over-Internet Protocol(VoIP) and SMS applications of the system. For countries where GPS-enabled smartphones are widely used, both health and location information could be utilized.

 − Communicate with mothers in real time 
Depending on due date or age of infants, information such as schedule for maternal postnatal examination, vaccination, and health care tips are directly and simultaneously delivered to targeted mothers through the internet or phones with VoIP, SMS, and other applications. This could improve mothers' ability to deal with basic health issues on a daily basis. In addition, evacuation advice and information about relief supplies could be sent to mothers.

 − Share data with key actors
For the purpose of effective risk management, collected data is shared with the right people at the right time. For instance, maternal and infant health data is shared with medical personnel on a daily basis and in case of disaster, so that mothers and infants get access to appropriate and prompt medical care. Also, visualization of the collected data is useful to let key actors make prompt and appropriate decisions. For example, mapping tools to visualize infectious diseases is effective in order to prevent epidemic.

 ② Marketing Design 
The second action is to design how the system is marketed. In order to strengthen the disaster risk management, it is crucial to involve as many people as possible in the system and to keep the system up to date.
In terms of supporting mothers and infants in developing countries, we believe that financial support alone doesn't resolve issues such as high mortality rate of infants. To resolve the problems, we propose ideas to improve empowerment experience for mothers to regain the dignity of its own.

 − Host seminars/workshops as rewards
We propose to offer rewards for keeping people register data into the electric maternal and child health system. One of reward ideas we propose is to hold seminars/workshops where health data is collected and mothers develop abilities to live their life with dignity. These opportunities for mothers could be more effective for long term sustainability of the system, although financial incentive could be one of reward ideas for the short-term operation.

 − Distribute mobile phones and applications
Distribution of purpose-built mobiles phones or SIM cards for pregnant women in developing countries is proposed. They receive mobile phones or SIM cards when they register maternal information into Open Medical Recode System for MCH (Mother and Child Health Record) at clinics, and then these mobile phones allow them to access the system with applications anytime anywhere.

In addition, in order to achieve comprehensive and secure rights of child survival, development, protection, and participation, starting from pregnancy registration leads to develop social infrastructure.

Examples of applications
 * Personalized contents for maternal and child health
 * Notification and reminder for maternal examination and vaccination schedule
 * Location-based services such as check-ins or searching friends and spots features  

 − Create business at BOP(Base of the Economic Pyramid)
Marketing and community design in developing countries could create business at BOP(Base of the Economic Pyramid)

 − Establish Save the Baby Foundation
Establising Save the Baby Foundation makes the project more sustainable. The foundation aims to redistribute wealth from developed to developing countries and support activities listed below.

 * Electric record system development as open source
 * Operation and maintenance of Electric record system
 * Rewards system
 * Maternal and infant care by organizations (NGOs, Community Healthcare Centers)

3.  Background 

 ① Need to initiative For Baby Care 
As mothers and babies are vulnerable, they need to be cared at all times by the society.  This need becomes critical during natural disasters when everyone are suffering and reducing possibilities to help others due to emergent situations for everyone.

 ② Maternal and child health record in Japan
In Japan, introduction of a small handbook and its distribution to all expectant and nursing mothers was organized about 70 years ago. And it has successfully reduced the infant mortality from 60.1% to 2.6%. This fact shows that the Millennium Development Goals by the UN could be achieved by recording and managing maternal and child health data.
This fact shows that the Millennium Development Goals by the UN could be achieved by recording and managing maternal and child health data.

 ③ Mothers as Life Savers
Effects of climate changes are spreading a minute to years, namely, from such sudden attacks as local downpour to gradually increasing infectious diseases.   So as to be ready to such non-predictable risks, empowerment of mothers are the key to save their babies.
Developing necessary capabilities through their daily cares for their babies are required, which can be promoted by collecting and managing maternal and child health data through the use of ICT technology.
If the number of mothers who can think properly and take actions for their babies, it will prepare a resilient culture all over the world.

 ④ Issues : Trends alarming disaster
(References: World Bank, GFDRR「THE SENDAI REPORT」− Managing Disaster Risks for a Resilient Future )

 − The global impacts of disasters are not evenly distributed
With more exposed assets, economic impact is concentrated in fast-growing middle-income economies. In these countries the average economic impact of a disaster from 2001 to 2006 equaled 1% of GDP–10 times higher than the average in high-income economies for the same period. Smaller and poorer countries, such as small-island developing states and land-locked developing countries, tend to have the least resilience to natural hazards. (Quote「THE SENDAI REPORT」:P11、World Bank) 

 − Disaster risks cross national borders
As businesses become more interconnected and supply chains become more international, seemingly local events have increasing global impact.
In South Asia, for example, river basins straddle multiple countries and upstream precipitation can have severe downstream impacts in neighboring countries. This presents particular challenges, such as how to effectively manage risks across frontiers or how to reconstruct in the event of a cross- border disaster. To manage this, countries can benefit from regional cooperation, including in areas such as early warning or risk financing. (Quote「THE SENDAI REPORT」:P11, 13、World Bank)

 − Disasters hurt poor and vulnerable people the most. And disasters exacerbate existing gender inequities

In many cases, mortality amongst women is significantly higher than men. For example, 70% of fatalities in Banda Aceh after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami were women and as high as 91% in Bangladesh after Cyclone Gorky in 1991. While the factors behind these figures may vary, the trend is avoidable if addressed upfront in DRM strategies.(Quote「THE SENDAI REPORT」:P13、World Bank)

 − Delay in the birth registration system in developing countries
Development of social infrastructure to help disaster risk management

 − Millennium Development Goals about maternal and child health
The United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which consist of eight objectives to be achieved by 2015, was agreed by 189 countries and development institutions in 2000 (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013).
Some goals such as reducing extreme poverty and hunger by 50% have already been achieved ahead of the deadline. However, two of the critical goals, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, has been considered to be missed although substantial progress has been made (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013).
While the number of children who die under the age of five has declined from 12,000,000 in 1990 to 6,900,000 in 2011, the two-thirds goal won't be reached. Similarly, although the number of mother who die at the time of childbirth has been reduced by almost half - which is incredible progress, the target of a three-forth won't be missed (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013).




Who will take these actions?

1. Pregnant women and parturient mothers
2. Medical doctors, medical service staffs
3. Kindergarden, day nurseries
4. Local and central governments

Health center in the region ( Community health centers )
Ministry of Health, Department of Health, Health and medical institutions in the region


Where will these actions be taken?

Not only for developing countries but also for the cases of other countries and/or regions under natural disasters, inner wars and so on where risks of babies and there mothers matter.

What are other key benefits?

Build the maternity health record system for the developing countries.
Expected outcomes of our efforts are listed as follows:

1.“Reduce child mortality”
Prevent the health imbalance of the mother and child worldwide, and bring a smile to each.

2.“Reduce viral infection”
The cause of the children’s death in developing countries are diarrhea, malnutrition, and infectious diseases.

3.“Improve maternal health”
Improve reproductive health by creating an environment for the mothers to learn about hygiene in developing countries.


What are the proposal’s costs?

1. System development cost: about $100,000 USD

2. Operation cost (maintenance cost): $40,000 -60,000 USD every year

3. communication expense : $60,000  and will depend on number of ID
ex. 10,000 ID × 20 times × 2 min = $11,000 USD a month

It doesn't cost in countries where in information infrastructure is well established.
But it costs in developing country for people to use available telephone lines at low price. Detailed economic analysis is necessary for each region of different market statuses.


Time line

1. Short Term (5-15 years)
 (1)Create a system to record maternal and infant health data by 2015 
 A. Build a prototype in collaboration with the Climate CoLab
   (We are now developing our alpha version)
 B. Test and improve the system with early adopters (NPOs etc.), especially those in developing countries where infant mortality is high

 (2)Work with government, business, NGOs, and NPOs to spread the system around the world and create the "Creative Data Commons for Baby Care" by 2025

2. Medium term (15-50 years)
Reduce the infant mortality to 3% around the world by the use of big data for maternal and infant health and by collaborating with key actors such as government, business, and other organizations, and human capabilities.

References : Human Development Reports

3. Long term (50-100 years)
Create a sustainable society where people are physically and mentally healthy, and live longer, and human capabilities

References : Human Development Reports

Related proposals


All medicine for a baby is family medicine to be supported by public sectors. "Seamless support" through marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and child care is required.
In order to be precautionary enough for a baby' health, it is not enough to identify the decease in the baby.  We need to keep multi-faceted holistic viewpoints including the social settings.  

①  JICA( information from JICA

② ADRC-Natural Disasters Data Book-2007

③ Unicef 

④ Save the Children Japan
「Investment in the survival of children suppress the population

⑤ psychological features and support about parent and

⑥ Disaster support system manual by

⑦ 「Disaster psychosocial response: handbook for community counselor trainers」

⑧ Support for pregnant

⑨ Human Development Report