Brain Health

Learn to Care

By Telepsychiatry Innovation Lab

Location

Bangladesh

Team Leader

Dr. TANJIR RASHID SORON

Our solution:

An audio or video supported customized parent skill training program for caregivers of Person with Autism Spectrum Disorder from distance. Integrating SMS service to the health care system to reduce the waiting time and preparation. Connecting caregivers through a social network sites to share experience and reduce their distress.

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Our pitch:

We offer a customized audio or video based cased caregiver skill training program from distance. Caregiver will share audio or video of a disruptive behavior of the child to our system and the expert team will evaluate the behavior and develop a customized feedback of the behavior including the area need to be improved as well as a role modeling audio or video service for clear understanding, learning and practicing.   

 

A Short Message Service (SMS) will be integrated with health care service to reduce the waiting time in the hospital as the person with ASD frequently face difficulties in unfamiliar environment. Moreover, a series of SMS based customized information will be given to caregivers to help them in a smooth journey to the hospital and better acceptance. The hospital will also receive a SMS that a person with Autism is going to visit the hospital and they should make the necessary preparation.

A Closed Facebook group will be created to connect the caregivers so that they can share their experience, distress, ventilate and support each other that is supposed to reduce their stress and depression as well as it will improve the resilience of the caregivers. The disruptive behavior of the child is one key source of depression, anxiety and stress. Through this training program caregivers can learn the most appropriate behavior to reduce it. This technology based human centered caregivers training program can bridging the treatment gap connecting the professionals and caregivers of every part of the globe. If scaled up it can be global platform to combat the rapidly increasing burden of Autism. Moreover, similar technology based initiatives can be used for other mental illness as well.  

 

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The problem:

Care givers of person with Autism want to acquire the skill and training necessary for their children. However, the scope is limited as the number of children outnumbered the experts. Moreover, the experts are aggregated in the big cities. Hence, children living in rural area are deprived of standard treatment and parents have no idea what they should do during child’s challenging behaviors.  It is difficult to bring them to medical centers for their inflexible nature and altered sensory perception that makes them stressed. Depression, anxiety and stress are more common among their caregiver, however, they hardly seek help.

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Why our solution will solve the problem:

The delivery of evidence based mental health intervention by non-specialists is one of the top research priorities and supported by existence evidence (Reichow et al., 2013). The caregivers are ready to learn necessary skill to help their child. Mobile phones are available with good internet facility and people are taking mobile based health service on a routine basis. SMS based health service has been successfully launched in many countries including Bangladesh and integrating SMS service to reduce waiting time has been documented in various settings. Facebook becomes part of modern life that is increasing used for data collection and intervention.

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Our solution's stage of development:

Research

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Target Outcomes

Our target outcomes:

We think the solution can reduce the disruptive/challenging behaviors of the child and improve the overall quality of life of the person with Autism. It will reduce the waiting time in hospital and improve smooth journey to hospital. Moreover, it can reduce depression, anxiety and stress level of the caregivers.

People of all strata will be benefited from this solution in fact the marginalized people of remote area will be most benefited. To ensure wide coverage we will deploy it in both basic phone and smart phone with or with out internet and in English and Bangla

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How we will measure our progress:

  • Outcome: Improved Quality of Life at home
    Measurement Plan: Regular qualitative and quantitative measurement using: 1) World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale 2) Caregivers diary record 3) Caregiver-Child Interaction Scale 4) WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0
  • Outcome: Reduction of waiting time and difficulties during travel
    Measurement Plan: Comparing the waiting time of a person with ASD taking care in SMS integrated center with non-integrated centers and from caregivers’ interview.
  • Outcome: Reduction in Depression, anxiety and stress Improved mental resilience
    Measurement Plan: Using the following scale: 1) DASS-21 2) MADROS 3) Family Empowerment Scale 4) Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
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The populations we will benefit initially:

  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Old age
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The regions we will benefit initially:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • South Asia
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The countries we will benefit initially:

  • Bangladesh
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Technology

The technologies we employ:

  • Consumer-facing software (mobile applications, cloud services)
  • Digital systems (machine learning, control systems, big data)
  • Robotics
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Why our solution is unique:

Applied Behavior Analysis based on the audio/video track from distance and personalized feedback of this behavior by an expert with role playing is innovative idea in the field of Autism. The SMS service integration to reduce the waiting during hospital visit with the support of prior information has not been tried in most of the developing countries such as Bangladesh.  Moreover, Facebook has been used to provide various health issue however, its usage to reduce depression, anxiety and stress with increasing metal resilience for caregivers of autism is a novel idea.

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Why our solution is human-centered:

We observed that person with ASD from rural area and marginalized community are deprived of access to standard service in the developing countries. To reach them we use the technologies that everyone afford such as mobile and Facebook in a cost effective way. However, everybody don’t have the smart phone so we considered to provide service through both basic phone and smart phone.  The project was designed based on the need, acceptability and feasibility findings from multiple focus group discussions involving caregivers, patients and professionals. Providing care for all is a global challenge and our solution can reach.

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How people will access our solution:

People can access to our service from their mobile phone or Facebook. To accommodate people of all strata we used both basic and smart phone. More than 5 billion people are using mobile phone in the world and the monthly Facebook user crossed 2 billion mark recently globally. In Bangladesh 97% family has mobile phone and Dhaka has been ranked second in terms of having the most active Facebook users in the world.  People can take the video feedback with $6.5 and audio feed back with $4.5, SMS service costs $0.1 and Facebook group annual registration fee is $1 .

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Technology-Readiness Level:

1-3 (Formulation)
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Our website

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Business Plan

Our organization:

Not Registered as Any Organization

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Where we are located:

Bangladesh
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How we will sustain our team financially:

We are piloting the system in Bangladesh where at least 2 million people living with Autism. Caregivers need to spend $30 to $350 for travel, accommodation and professional’s fee. If they get similar hands on effective guideline at home spending only $4.5-$6.5 they will grasp it. At the initial stage we are expecting 1 caregiver/10,000 may seek help daily, 1/20,000 request for hospital appointment service and Facebook users may reach upto 100,000. It will give the necessary cost to maintain office and service. With the increase of popularity, the number of caregivers will increase and it will be profitable as well. After the initial stage when a bulk of audio, video and SMS service will be developed, the customization will be easier. We will develop these service in multiple language to scale up and replicate in other low and middle income countries.

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How long we have been working on our solution:

Less than 1 year
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How long it will take to develop a pilot:

1-3 months
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How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:

6-12 months
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Our expected annual budget:

$42500

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How much of our budget we've secured to date:

$1350

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Partnership Needs

We're looking for partners in these fields:

  • Human+Machine
  • Behavioral / Mental Health
  • General Wellness
  • Healthcare Delivery
  • Digital Health
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Our current partners:


1. Neurodevelopmental Disability Protection Trust of Ministry of Social Welfare, Bangladesh

2. National Institute of Mental Health, Bangladesh

3. Institute of Paediatric Neurodisorder & Autism (IPNA)

4. University of Edinburgh

5. Telepsychiatry Research and Innovation Network

6. World Health Organization

7. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

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Solution Team

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