Executive Summary

Indo-U.S. Partnership to Transform Research Education Capacity in Simulation and Virtual Reality Simulation to Improve Community Health Education Outcomes in Karnataka, India

According to the World Health Organization, life expectancy in India is among the lowest in the South East Asian Region and is largely attributed to growing rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes, which is also prevalent in the U.S. Many people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds do not seek healthcare treatment until they reach the terminal stage. At the end stage, treatment cost increases exponentially and is often ineffective. Strategies are needed to target NCD health disparities in India, particularly among populations with low health literacy. Most educational resources used in India for health teaching were designed for westerners, and therefore, do not translate to the Indian context where diet and lifestyle differ. Thus, innovative resources available in multiple Indian languages, enriched with Indian culture and applicable content are needed to improve NCD related health outcomes in India.

A team of multidisciplinary researchers from the Bangalore Baptist Hospital in India and the Baylor University in the U.S. will collaborate to develop and test simulation strategies, including a virtual reality simulation (VRS) mobile health (mobile health) application to improve diabetes health literacy in India. The project will set up processes for sustainable research exchange teams to build and implement in the future a cadre of culturally appropriate resources for health professionals to use in India. This project funded by the U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Grant will increase mutual understanding between the people of both countries and equip researchers to address NCD prevention and treatment worldwide. The overarching goal for this project is to mutually benefit Bangalore Baptist Hospital and Baylor University by transforming higher education research capacity for faculty at both institutions in the fields of cultural sensitivity, simulation and VRS to engage civil society and improve community development and outcomes in India.