Save the Children and THINKMD expand partnership to bring care to kids around the globe

Steven Loeb · April 5, 2023 · Short URL:

The two organizations have so far partnered in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Kenya but will now expand

When it comes to the under-five child mortality rate globally, the good news is that it declined by 59% from 1990 to 2021. The bad news is that it's still way too high: in 2021 alone roughly 13,800 under-five deaths occurred every day.

Save the Children is an international, non-government operated organization that was founded more than 100 years ago with the goal of helping improve the lives of children worldwide. Since 2017, it has partnered with clinical intelligence platform THINKMD, a company working to improve healthcare access for the 50% of the world's population that don’t have access to a doctor’s office and basic primary care, to bring care to children in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Kenya.

Now, the two organizations have announced an expansion of their partnership, an enterprise-wide technology licensing agreement that they say will enable adoption and scaling of THINKMD’s platform to improve the health of children globally.

The new agreement builds on their current partnerships in those aforementioned three countries, and aims to make it easier for all countries to adopt and scale THINKMD’s clinical intelligence and data analytics platform across Save the Children programs.

"Save the Children aligns with THINKMD's mission to improve access to the 50% of the world who are not able to access a doctor's office, including children. Save the Children works across over 120 countries, enabling our platform to potentially be integrated into life-saving health programs globally," Chris Powell, CEO of THINKMD, told VatorNews.

"We have seen the impact in terms of clinical quality, cost and healthcare impact. We hope to replicate and scale this impact rather than do anything different. However, the digital health software global enterprise agreement will facilitate this in a far more streamlined way."

So far, in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Kenya, over 366,000 high quality clinical assessments have been performed by over 400 frontline health workers, thanks to the two organizations working together.

Now, they plan to bring their combined forces to countries around the globe.

"Government healthcare policy, lack of funding, and lack of consistent use of digital tools and adoption have burdened the expansion of digital health in the traditional global markets. Save the Children understands and values the need to improve capacity and get care to its front line workers and this was not doable one product, one program at a time. It takes too long to fund, to define, to implement and these projects tend to be short lived," Powell said.

"Our agreement spans multiple years and provides country level configurations so that any program in a country can use the tool, pre-configured, with pre-negotiated use terms and investments. This will allow for the first time for a digital tool to scale to drive impact."

THINKMD's mission

Founded in 2016, THINKMD's clinical decision support platform is created by doctors to help users on the frontlines of care, regardless of their level of clinical skill; that means they can be anything from a patient, a parent, a school health worker, a community worker, or a doctor, and THINKMD will help them identify how sick a person is, what illnesses they may have, and what appropriate next steps to take. The company works with its partners across three verticals: education-based health, workforce health and community-based health.

"The clinical analytics platform that is enhanced with each use of our platform empowers users, healthcare delivery organizations and governments that informs clinical and public health decision-making to improve community health one patient at a time," said Powell

"Imagine if every person, with a simple smartphone, could have a tool that 'thinks like a doctor' always in their hand to help direct their care. This is THINKMD."

To date, the platform is utilized in 10 countries with other partners, including Healthy Learners in Zambia, Alight in Somalia and Sudan, eHealth Africa in Nigeria, Integrate Health in Togo, and VF in Cambodia. All frontline health workers across these programs and countries, including non-clinicians such as Community Health Workers, pharmacists, school teachers, parents and patients themselves are able to access information and tools to be the first point-of-care for themselves and their communities.

The platform works across multiple groups of patients but, as its founding providers are pediatricians, it began its work focused on where they believed the world needed the most help, which was reducing the deaths of children from lack of basic medical care. 

"We enable a journey that can save lives by enabling anyone to make accurate healthcare decisions, identify a health risk, and know what to do about it. That's powerful for providers as well as patients, and puts health knowledge and accurate decision-making as close to the point of care as possible. At scale, this can impact the entire healthcare system and improve outcomes for everyone," said Powell.

Training users on the THINKMD platform can be completed in two to five days, thus creating the capacity for 1.5 quality clinical encounters to be performed within two weeks. So far, it ha shown a sustained increase in clinical assessments by 2 fold and health counseling sessions by 2-8 fold; a sustained increase in adherence to WHO clinical guidelines by 40 to 60%; 40% sustained acquisition of WHO recommended danger signs; a 50 to 70% reduction in healthcare training costs; and a 50% reduction in frontline health worker supervising cost. 

In regards to its newly expanded partnership with Save the Children, success for THINKMD will look like every country office and program utilizing the platform by their frontline health workforce, thereby reaching more children globally, said Powell.

"We look to positively impact hundreds of thousands if not millions of children lives around the world," he said.

"We are in a growth phase; our first phase was product design and testing, our second phase of growth was focusing on validation and market growth and we are now in a scaling mode both our company infrastructure and teams to new markets and new releases of the platform. Our agreement with Save the Children is an exciting step in our scaling phase."

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