The state of Assam in India has the highest maternal mortality rate in India. The aim of this project was to identify the problems faced by health care workers and pregnant women through extensive field research. The final outcome of this project was the development of a gesture based information kiosk installed at a health clinic. Extensive usability testing and user testing were conducted to drive design decisions.


Python, Panda, C++, Open Frameworks


Developer, Usability testing, User Research


The project began with extensive literature research wherein existing policies, programs and the problems were understood. Key members such as Pregnant Women, ASHA, ANM etc were identified and their work structure studied upon. Having done that, contextual inquiry was done in order to understand in depth the problems and difficulties in Assam. A few use cases of possible ICT interventions in these scenarios were prepared with respect to our findings. We used the affinity diagram method for compiling all our ethnography study findings.

Once complete, in phase 2, we shifted focus on the use of gestures in this scenario and trying to understand the process of identification of gestures for a proposed system. Finally, a multi modal system, Chetna was built. Pilot study and usability testing were conducted to examine the acceptance of such a system for information delivery.

Experiment on Touching or Pointing

In this experiment (conducted by IBM Research, University of Tampere, Finland and Embedded Interactions Lab, IIT Guwahati) , we tried to explore the possibilities of designing a healthcare system for marginalized populations with the use of gesture-based interaction. We compared two gesture- based selection interaction methods, pointing to a screen and touching one’s own body part, by deploying and testing a prototype with 37 users. We observed preference for pointing via touch-based gestures in the healthcare domain. NASA TLX was used to measure the cognitive workload between the two tasks. 


K. Sorathia, M. Amrit, M. Jain, D. George, A. Ranjan & J. Kumar.”Research Findings, Analysis and ICT Interventions for Empowerment of Maternal Health in Assam” in proceedings of Intelligent User interfaces for Developing Regions (IUIDR), International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2013, Santa Monica, USA


The Telegraph, The Times of India