28Aug2017

GPS finds another application in Ultrasound

Soon ultrasound machines at your local hospital will be installed with GPS-enabled active tracking devices. This move has been initiated to curb the practice of prenatal sex discernment which is illegal in India. Prenatal sex discernment is the prenatal testing for discerning the sex of a fetus before birth. This practice was banned in India under the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act of 1994 to prevent sex-selective abortions.

Active GPS-Tracking devices will be installed in sonography machines in all the private, government and civic run hospitals. These devices will enable to authorities to ascertain when and which machine was used for determining the sex of a fetus. Once the tracker is installed, data collected through these will be transmitted or handed over to state health department systems where authorities can track any misuse of their ultrasound machines. The data is in the form of recorded images that an ultrasound machine generates while in operation. 

The commission’s chairperson stresses on the usefulness and efficacy of wireless-based GPS tracking technology for stopping this unlawful practice. It was banned in 1994, but still, the ratio of newborn girls is decreasing at an alarming rate. The ratio of new born per 1000 boys decreased from 907 in 2015 to 899 in 2016 whereas national sex ratio stood at 940 females per 1000 males.

Local authorities and district health departments are demanding to make installation of tracking devices in sonography machines compulsory for all the Government and State-run hospitals at the least.