VaxiBead, a team comprising Akondi Saisri, Dhruv Suri and Dr. Arun Shanbhag won the ‘New Zealand-India Sustainability Challenge 2017 (NZISC)’ trophy for their innovation on ensuring complete vaccination for every child – at New Delhi on December 7.
The competition was organised by Education New Zealand, in association with premier New Zealand universities, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the New Zealand High Commission. The team was also accompanied by Nicholas Steyn from the University of Canterbury.
VaxiBead is an innovative health platform that replaces the present paper-based vaccination record-keeping system with a bracelet embedded with a digital chip that stores the entire vaccination record.
“In Manipal, while there is greater than 95% vaccination coverage in the regular population, in the migrant community only 60% of the children get regular vaccinations. This is primarily because migrants routinely misplace their card while shifting homes. This inspired us to develop a digital platform which will store the entire vaccination record, reduce the workload of our healthcare workers and make it easier to track unvaccinated children,” said Dr. Arun Shanbhag, Chief Innovation Officer at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology.
Ninety teams from India participated in the NZISC an after multiple evaluations, six finalists were invited to Delhi to present in front of the leading social workers and Education New Zealand members. The win has earned the winning team an all-expense paid internship for three weeks at the New Zealand partner universities – University of Canterbury, University of Otago and University of Waikato.
The vaccination record keeping program is being evaluated in several villages in Udupi District. With this innovation, we have a unique opportunity to make our vulnerable children grow healthy and become productive members of the society.