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India's former President pushes plans for a rugged healthcare tablet

by Doug Drinkwater

March 23 2012

A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the ex-President of India, is backing a scheme to make a rugged healthcare tablet
A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the ex-President of India, is backing a scheme to make a rugged healthcare tablet

A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, and well-regarded cardiologist Dr B. Soma Raju have devised a plan to make a rugged tablet, which could be used by healthcare workers in rural areas if it comes to fruition.

The former president and renowned cardiologist have teamed up with Bangalore-based PSU and telecommunications equipment manufacturer, Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), to begin work on the tablet, while Hyderabad-based chip firm, Aizyc Technologies, is also on-board to work on the physical design and firmware.

The tablet is expected to run an Intel Atom processor, have an 8-9 touchscreen and feature connectivity options for a microphone and USB port. It is also believed that the tablet will support built-in medical software tools, including a multi-parameter detector, a diagnosis system and some kind of medical database.

The tablet project, tagged ‘Kalam-Raju’, aims to give physicians and nurse practitioners access to patient information, diagnostic tools and new treatment procedures in rural areas across India.

“What if an Anganwadi (a group to protect vulnerable children) worker or a doctor in a remote and inaccessible village has a tablet that stores medical information and patient's medical history? Villages are far flung, we have limited qualified physicians and there are challenges in logistics. Under such conditions, a rugged tablet computer becomes very essential and logical,” said Arun. K. Tiwari, who is actively involved in the project.

The first lot of the Kalam-Raju tablets are expected to roll out in the next three to six months.

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