Hospitals are for more than on-site healing, the Bangalore-based Noora Health realized, so in 2014 it began training patients’ visiting relatives on what to do to assist in the recovery back home; it’s now trained more than 76,000 people. In 2016, it tackled the most vulnerable patients of all: infants, particularly low-birthweight babies. In India, approximately 20% of babies are born underweight, making them 20 times more likely than average-weight babies to die in infancy. According to the World Health Organization, 3.5 million babies were born prematurely in India in 2016, more than in any other country. In rural public hospitals across several Indian states, Noora Health began training parents and close relatives in more than 10 skills to increase the baby’s chances of developing healthily, including identifying warning signs of hypothermia and treating it, strapping the baby against one’s bare chest in a technique known as “kangaroo care,” and teaching mothers better breastfeeding techniques. The organization says that it has demonstrated that improving these skills in family caregivers dramatically reduces complications. In 2017, its neonatal training program will expand to 15 district hospitals and 59,400 families.
Born out of Stanford's d.school and part of the winter 2014 cohort from the Y Combinator accelerator, Noora uses an iPad app and an offering of videos, quizzes, and interactive content to impart valuable knowledge for at-home recovery, while working to reduce hospital readmission rates. Noora Health has conducted several successful pilots in the U.S.