Tech-savvy healthcare: India’s home grown digital platforms transform its Immunization programmes

April 25, 2024

Aarti Devi operating eVIN on her smartphone

UNDP India/ Gaurav Menghaney

"It’s as easy as hiring a cab," smiles Aarti Devi, a 43-year-old nurse, as she deftly manages vaccine logistics for thousands, using her smartphone. With just a few taps, Aarti schedules vaccine supplies for the next quarter for Sanoora, a village in Jammu & Kashmir — an impressive feat considering it involves nearly tens of thousands of entries. This is the new reality for healthcare workers across India, who are leveraging technology to efficiently deliver vaccines to 27 million newborns and 30 million pregnant women annually.

Aarti’s uses the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) app, a pivotal component of India’s Universal Immunization Programme, electronically tracking vaccine supply and revolutionizing how vaccines are received, stored, and distributed to the last mile. By integrating data from thousands of cold chain points, eVIN ensures that nearly 200,000 government health centres maintain a steady supply of vaccines.

eVIN has digitized the entire vaccine supply chain

UNDP India/ Gaurav Menghaney

Initiated in 2014 by the Government of India and supported by GAVI and UNDP, eVIN leverages big data and API development to foster interoperability and manage large data volumes efficiently. Its open-source architecture makes it a sustainable and scalable solution.

India’s immunization program caters to almost 27 million new-borns annually

UNDP India/ Gaurav Menghaney

Going beyond managing the supply chain, India has also built a front-end digital platform for immunization, which registers and tracks beneficiaries – pregnant women and children. U-WIN, which stands for Universal Immunization Win, currently in pilot, has registered over 40 million beneficiaries and recorded 125 million vaccine doses.

U-WIN, the front-end vaccination app that digitally tracks vaccinations

UNDP India/ Gaurav Menghaney

As U-WIN gets scaled up and adopted across India, it is slated to become the world's largest electronic immunization registry, catering to millions of beneficiaries of the universal immunization program. GAVI is proud to support this initiative, which is in line with our mission to save lives and protect people's health by increasing equitable and sustainable use of vaccines.

With individualized tracking of beneficiaries and vaccination details getting updated in real-time, this game-changing system will transform how India handles immunizations for newborns and pregnant women, leading to higher vaccine coverage and ultimately reducing infant mortality rates.

Over 185,000 healthcare facilities are integrated into U-WIN, which helps healthcare workers track upcoming vaccinations and plan accordingly, whether in-facility or in remote areas. Its comprehensive database supports appointment bookings and vaccination accessibility across India, crucial for migrant workers, like 25-year-old Rajeshwari, a mother from Andaman – part of the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands off India’s eastern coast.

Rajeshwari after the vaccination of her new-born

UNDP India/ Prince Prasun

"I am planning to move to a bigger city for a job . Continuing my baby’s vaccination schedule was a big worry. But now if we are able to get vaccinations anywhere, it is going to be a big help," she says.

U-WIN will be integrated into India’s impressive digital stack of interoperable health systems, including the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, eVIN and Reproductive and Child Health Portal, allowing healthcare professionals to see the complete health record of patients. This will drive efficiency in patient care and health services provided by the Government.

India’s success with digital platforms extends beyond traditional vaccines. The Co-WIN platform facilitated the rapid administration of over two billion COVID-19 vaccines in just 18 months, outpacing vaccination efforts in several major countries.

India administered over 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines in less than 18 months

UNDP India/ Gaurav Menghaney

Co-WIN enabled the country to administer vaccines at a staggering pace, eventually surpassing the combined vaccinations achieved by the US, Brazil, Indonesia, and Japan. At one point, 14,000 people across the country were getting vaccinated every minute!

Such has been the success of driving technology-backed large-scale healthcare programs that India has in 2024 launched another platform, TB-WIN - a vaccine management system that is steering a pilot to study the effects of adult BCG vaccinations in reducing the incidence of Tuberculosis.

India’s suite of digital solutions exemplifies how technology can revolutionize healthcare delivery, reaching every corner of the nation and ensuring no one is left behind.

Just like booking a cab, these platforms make accessing healthcare services straightforward but impact millions of lives profoundly.