Community Accessible and Sustainable Health System (Ca:sh)
Country of Operation
- MIT- Media Lab AsiaNot-for-profit
- Dimagi, IncNot-for-profit
- All India Institute of Medical SciencesNot-for-profit
SummaryIn Ballabhgarh, India, Media Lab Asia community health workers used an open source software application on PDAs called Ca:sh—the Community Accessible and Sustainable Health system—to collect medical and demographic data.
The Ca:sh pilot aimed to improve maternal and child health through Compaq iPAQs, which could run a MySQL database capable of storing up to 7,000 records.
Key program components
Started in 2002, Ca:sh (community accessible and sustainable health system) is a mobile electronic medical record (EMR) system designed to be used by outreach workers in large communities. The Ca:sh system was designed to address the problems of poor data flow and logistical support for rural paramedical workers in the State of Haryana, India. Dimagi, in association with Media Lab Asia and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, developed a handheld software application to facilitate ordered data collection, immunization scheduling, pre-natal care for pregnant mothers and recording routine demographic changes in the community.
The Ca:sh software is a Linux-based Qt/Embedded application for the entry and retrieval of demographic and medical data. An embedded MySQL database is used for data manipulation and storage. The software is currently deployed on Compaq iPAQ handheld devices. However, the system can run on any other Linux compatible system. Dimagi has further extended the system to run on low-cost Palm OS based systems. The new Ca:sh engine incorporates a rule-based decision support engine to facilitate triggers of disease management guidelines such as WHO-Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. The Ca:sh system has potential to be adapted as a disease case-management system in many situations. It can also be adapted for use as a mobile survey toolkit for large scale population based surveys. Maintenance of the Ca:sh project was trasitioned to the Media Lab Asia in 2003.