At the Thanthai Periyar Government Headquarters Hospital in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 40 women may be in labor at any given time with a single doctor on a 24-hour shift attending to all of the patients. The ward is packed and hectic. The doctor is tired and working under immense pressure. Lives are on the line.
How can one doctor keep track of every soon-to-be mother, detect any dangerous change in vital signs, and intervene quickly to prevent complications— or worse, death?
Dr. Narmadha Kuppuswami, an Illinois-based obstetrician and gynecologist with nearly 40 years of experience, may have the answer.
As the founder and project coordinator of the Women’s Obstetrical Neonatal Death Evaluation & Reduction (WONDER) Project, Kuppuswami and her team are working with HP’s Global Healthcare Solutions group to develop tools and protocols to reduce maternal mortality.
Kuppuswami wants to develop a framework for a global system of cloud-based electronic birthing centers, where highly trained obstetricians can guide skilled maternal care no matter where the patient is located. They’re piloting the project in India, and have multiple upcoming programs in the United States, as well as possible programs in East Africa and the Middle East.
“Now that I’ve gathered knowledge and experience, I have to put it to use to see how we can reduce maternal mortality in India — and the world,” she says.