Integrated Assessment of Cognitive Health (REACH)
India houses the largest number of children in the world. While physical development of a child can be monitored by weighing and taking a child’s length there are no easily scalable methods to assess the way a child’s brain is developing during early childhood. Currently, assessments involve time-consuming evaluations by skilled professionals such as a paediatrician or clinical psychologist. They often have to use expensive tools, making this unaffordable for most families. As part of the REACH project, we are going to develop a scalable neuro developmental assessment tool for children aged 3-5 years. Our tool will be designed so that a community health workers can take it into the homes of young children. This tool will comprise a combination of interactive tablet-based games and EEG recordings and we will assess how children and families accept the tool and if the results we get are a valid marker of their development.
To develop a neurodevelopmental assessment tool comprising interactive tablet-based games and EEG recordings which can be administered in the community by a non-specialist health worker and conduct a pilot evaluation of acceptability, feasibility and validity of the assessment tool in Rewari, India.
Interactive tablet-based games have been developed and the gold standard for child development, the Bayleys Scale for Infant Development III, has been adapted for use in the local context. The tool has been tested on 100 children in Rewari, Haryana and the data is now being analysed to test its acceptability, feasibility and validity. Concurrently, protocols are being developed to collect EEG data from children while they play the tablet-based games and this will be done in phase 2, starting in August 2018. The project is being conducted in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India and Sapien Labs, USA
PROJECT AT A GLANCE
Principal investigator: Dr Vikram Patel
Sangath PI: Dr Gauri Divan
Collaborating institutions: Public Health Foundation of India, Sapien Labs
Funder: Madura Microfinance Ltd
Duration: May 2017 – April 2019