• Initiatives (181)
  • Urban eHealth Project in Rio

    New Cities Foundation equipped the local health clinic with an ‘e-health backpack’ designed to travel easily through the steep terrain, allowing nurses to provide primary care to elderly patients in their homes. They measured the impact of the use of the backpack on the community, the health care workers, and the public healthcare system.

    The study revealed the potential of e-health to transform healthcare in emerging cities by leapfrogging the standard, often barebones facilities available to the urban poor.


    Philips has unveiled its latest ultrasound system VISIQ in Kenya with the aim of reducing child mortality rates and improving maternal health, both top priorities for the Kenyan Ministry of Health.

    It’s approximately ten times smaller than a traditional ultrasound machine. With reduced energy consumption, this mobile innovation is easy to administer and imaging quality allows clinicians to perform ultrasound examinations in a variety of clinical settings. Health workers in small outpatient clinics, or community health centres can complete comprehensive obstetric and abdominal scans for diagnosis and treatment themselves rather than refer patients to regional ultrasound centers. VISIQ can also be used in community care programmes in remote rural areas to screen patients, triage patients and complete foetal well-being scans, all of which help to improve maternal and infant care in Kenya.

    JJ van Dongen, senior vice president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Philips Africa said “by launching this new system in Kenya, Philips continues to demonstrate its dedicated support to the Kenyan Ministry of Health in its mission to reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, meet the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5 and revitalise Kenya’s health infrastructure as part of Kenya’s Vision 2030.”

  • Vodafone Healthline 255

    Healthline 255 guarantees accurate medical advice and provides expert medical advice and information to people in need of quality health care from the convenience of their phones and has succeeded in revolutionalising access to health information and advice for Ghanaians as it provides important information that would help Ghanaians make the best health decisions, according to Vodafone foundation in Ghana.

  • Vula Eye Health

    The Vula Eye Health mobile app aims to change the way that primary health workers access information, carry out eye tests, connect with specialists and make referrals.

    Vula is the brainchild of South African doctor William Mapham, who saw the potential for technology to improve referral networks while working in a hospital in rural Swaziland. “Inefficient referral networks are a drain on resources” says Dr Mapham. “We’re hoping that by applying mobile technologies to this issue, Vula can play a part in improving the way referrals are made and creating more robust health systems”.

    Vula offers its users a library of information. This means that rather than lugging around medical tomes, rural healthcare workers can look up eye conditions on their mobile phone. It also allows healthcare workers to capture patient information and carry out eye tests using a smartphone.

    But what really sets Vula apart is its chat function, which allows the healthcare workers making the referral to send photographs and chat directly with an experienced medical specialist.

    The app is available on Android and iOS operating systems, and is already being used in five hospitals across South Africa, as well as one hospital in Swaziland.

  • Wazazi Nipendeni

    Wazazi Nipendeni (Parents Love Me) is a national Healthy Pregnancy and Safe Motherhood multi-media campaign in Tanzania. The service sends out free SMS with safe antenatal, motherhood and infant healthcare information to Tanzanian pregnant women, mothers with newborns, male supporters and general information seekers across all national mobile networks.

  • Wired Mothers

    The “Wired Mothers” project aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Zanzibar by increasing the proportion of women who attend antenatal care services and deliver in the presence of a skilled birth attendant.

    A wired mother is a woman who is linked to a primary health care unit (PHCU) via the telecommunication network between her first visit to an antenatal care clinic until 42 days postpartum. During this time, she will receive standard SMS reminders for routine health care appointments and will be able to contact the PHCU by phone in case of problems. In addition, she will be provided access to emergency obstetric care through improved communication and referral s from primary health care facilities to hospitals.

    This program consists of two components:

    An automated SMS system providing wired mothers with unidirectional text messaging A mobile phone voucher system providing access to emergency obstetric care through improved communication and referral links from primary health care facilities to hospitals.

    Specific areas for scale-up supported by the grant will include the training of additional health providers.

  • Wisepill

    Wisepill was founded in 2007, contributing a suite of solutions to the real-time adherence support. Wisepill’s been selected by Family Health International (FHI360) for their trials of antiretroviral agent Truvada and used by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard and Columbia Universities in HIV research in Uganda and in South Africa.

    The original vision for Real time adherence management was to address the problem of disease management for conditions such as TB and HIV in low resource settings. Wisepill went on to create a system that would be practical to use in low recourse settings but also be attractive for users in the developed world.

    Its the winner of the South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Technology Award in the category of small businesses. 

  • Young Africa Live

    Young Africa Live is an initiative by the Praekelt Foundation, South Africa. It is dedicated to educating young people about sex, HIV/AIDS, rape and gender issues in a lively and fun, mobile-web format. 

    Launched on World Aids Day 2009, it took just 15 months to reach 350,000 users, and now has a community of 1.8m, making it one of the largest private social networks in South Africa. 

    The platform has some permanent content: health information about HIV and AIDS, the numbers of helplines and support organisations, plus provocative news stories and features, celebrity-led stories, quizzes, video downloads, daily polls, live-chats with doctors and relationship experts, and guest blogs on specific experiences and issues. It set out to educate and encourage discussion of love, sex and relationships in the country with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. It aims to encourage more young people to get tested for the disease, by providing links to voluntary counselling and testing centres. The site is now expanding to Tanzania and Kenya. 

    It runs an annual sex poll, on subjects ranging from teenage pregnancy to condom use and attitudes on circumcision and sexual violence. Its 2013 survey had an unprecedented 323,000 respondents, most aged between 16 and 24, giving a vital benchmark of current attitudes and behaviours.

  • Zapmedic

    Zapmedic, the flagship product of startup Bitways, Uganda, has launched an online medical appointment scheduling service that aims to ease the process of finding the right doctors on line. Zapmedic is a mobile and web app for both doctors and patients. Patients are able to schedule an appointment and check in online, while the app manages the doctor’s daily appointments.

    The aim is to improve access to healthcare by helping patients and medical practitioners find one another easily and conveniently. Zapmedic was selected as a finalist for the fourth edition of the PIVOT East mobile startups event in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2014.

    Bitways Chief executive officer (CEO) Wasswa Samuel says, “Our country has one of the lowest doctor to patient ratios, meaning getting access to doctors remains a huge challenge. We thought that if we could make details of these doctors available and provide direct access to them, perhaps we could in a small way improve access to these doctors.”

    The latest figures suggest that Ugandas doctor to patient ratio stands at 1:15,000, well below the recommended WHO ratio for Africa of 1:10,000.

    The app is currently being piloted by 26 doctors in two hospital chains. The results so far are positive. The app registers anywhere between 20 to 50 appointments per week. Zapmedic charges each practice as it uses its platform to send out appointment reminders, confirmations and prescriptions.

  • ZiDi

    ZiDi was started with the aim of tackling the administrative burdens faced by medical staff in dispensing health care at medical institutions. For example, each clinic submits eighteen paper reports monthly requiring over 60 man hour days per year. The nurses track over 160 commodities manually on bin cards and send to the Kenya Medical Supply Authority (KEMSA) through the county offices via courier.

    Personnel attendance is tracked on sheets with a full moon for full attendance and a crescent for part time attendance. These administrative duties detract from the core duties of health workers, who end-up dissatisfied and demonstrates the gaps in technology adoption in the health sector in Africa that ZiDi seeks to fill. ZiDi is trying to transform and bridge the digital divide in the health sector at a very fundamental level using the opportunity technology offers in the health space. The application runs under Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud coupled with Microsoft productivity suite, Office 365 to channel real time secure communication between health centres in different locations, and facilitate scalable access to backed up data. 

    ZiDi is the 2014 Innovation Award Winner in the Health Care Delivery, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) and Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award winner.