Categories: Paediatrics

IBM ‘KidSmart’ and Narayana Health Inspiring learning through technology

To help our young patients learn and keep in touch with their academics, NH has partnered with IBM to leverage technology to their advantage.

When a child suffers from an ailment, the disease takes a great toll on him physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially as well as academically. This becomes very visible in cases where the treatment requires long term hospitalization or isolated stays. It is heart wrenching to see the young patients sitting all by themselves or in the company of adults in the pediatric wards of the hospitals away from their siblings, peers, friends and school.

In our opinion, nothing could be more limiting than the absence of books or methods to acquire knowledge for these wonderful inquisitive minds. In the quest to engage our pediatric patients constructively, we found IBM’s KidSmart program handy and interesting.

KidsSmart Early Learning Program is aimed at children between ages 3-7 and was launched 10 years ago by IBM. Since then it has reached 10 million students across 60 countries. The IBM KidSmart program is instrumental in bringing together technology and the world’s youngest students from remote areas to underprivileged areas of towns and cities around the world. This program promotes better learning opportunities that help children transition from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten.

We at NH have implemented the IBM’s award winning ‘KidSmart’ program for the benefit of in- house young patients who are here for long term treatment. This includes the ‘Young Explorer’ which actually is a computer housed in a brightly coloured, child friendly furniture. It is equipped with an award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language. So whenever our pediatric guests feel like adding 2 and 2 or learning about shapes or colours, they have access to these consoles to explore.

Independent international studies also have shown that this program by IBM leads to substantial improvements in teaching and learning and shows significant positive outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities. Here, we aim to provide the same benefit to our special children by enabling them to use computers and learn through them.

To give easy access to the pediatric children we have deployed two units in the 7th floor children’s play area at Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, Health City, Bangalore and two in the 5th floor Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Health City, Bangalore last month. These consoles are conveniently placed in the specifically marked play area for paediatric
patients. These computer centers also serve a very important role of helping children learn socialization skills such as working together and sharing. In an environment where socialization is restricted to the visits of doctors, nurses and family members, these consoles in the play area are an exciting avenue for the young patients to have some social exchanges with their peers. We believe that exploration and socialization skills are important to prepare children for future success in school and life and help level the playing field. We wish to ensure that at NH we not only treat the children for their ailments but also keep them constructively engaged so that they do not lose out on any aspect when they walk out of here with dreams in eyes and smile on their faces!

Narayana Health

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