2015 Finalists

In its fifth round, 53 promising finalists from over 750 applications came together to compete in the final stage of the 2015 Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge.  The finalists gathered at the Development XChange in Washington DC from July 21-22.  There, they learned from each other, interacted with potential collaborators, and met technical advisors in a number of discussion groups and one-on-one meetings designed to facilitate further innovation and impact.

Check out the links below to see all 53 Round 5 finalists. 

Organization Organization Location Project
A'as, Inc. Halethorpe, Maryland

Rationale: Early infant diagnosis of HIV in limited resource settings often comes too late to enable effective intervention, as peak mortality occurs at 8 to 12 weeks of age. Reliable diagnostics must therefore become significantly more accessible to enable HIV detection as early as possible. Approach: SolarDx is a new disruptive microfluidic PCR technology which offers bedside and in-field diagnostics that is more accurate than antibody tests and more portable than PCR instruments.

SolarDx: Enabling early infant diagnosis of HIV
African Population and Health Research Center Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya has registered the lowest percentage decline in maternal mortality ration among the USAID 24 priorities countries; 17% between 1990 and 2013. An overwhelming percentage of women in rural hard-to-reach communities continue to deliver at home without skilled attendance. To address the problem of low uptake of skilled delivery and improve maternal outcomes, the Kenyan Government introduced the Free Maternal Care in 2013, removing fees for delivery in all public health facilities.

Development and testing of “M-Mimba”: a mobile phone platform exclusively designed for pregnant women to provide innovative transport solutions and birth preparedness messages
Because of Kennedy United States

Obstructed labor due to cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), defined as the size mismatch between maternal pelvis and fetal head, is one of the lead causes for maternal mortality in rural Ethiopia and almost as prevalent today as 30 years ago. Despite being one of the most common preventable causes of unfavorable pregnancy outcome, CPD is hard to diagnose in low-resource settings where advanced medical care and sophisticated equipment is lacking.

Low-cost Technology to assess the Risk of Obstructed Labor in Ethiopia
Bempu Health Private Limited Bangalore, India

Hypothermia and infection are among top health issues facing newborns in LMIC. Regular temperature monitoring is an effective means of detection and prevention of hypothermia but in our extensive field research, we observed that newborn temperature monitoring is rarely practiced in under-resourced clinics and uneducated homes. After vetting the need with over 75 paediatricians and filtering through several proposed solutions, we are developing Bempu, a novel, simple low-cost newborn temperature monitoring wristband.

Proving Adoption of the Bempu Temperature Monitoring Band to Prevent Neonatal Hypothermia in Low-Resource Settings
Bioceptive, Inc. New Orleans, Louisiana

Bioceptive aims to expand access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) for the estimated 222 million women around the world with an unmet need for modern family planning resources. The discreet intrauterine device (IUD) is one of the most applicable LARC methods for global use due to its long term of use, high efficacy, and minimal user effort. However, IUD access is frequently limited because the insertion procedure is complicated and only carried out by highly trained physicians.

Validation testing of novel multi-use Intrauterine Device inserter in Bangladesh
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) remains the primary cause of HIV infection in infants in developing countries. Timely HIV detection and ART initiation in HIV-infected mothers can effectively prevent MTCT. Many infants born to women living with HIV are undiagnosed owing to unavailability of nucleic acid amplification tests. Routine antibody-based screening tests are not applicable to the diagnosis of infants born to HIV-infected mothers because these infants have high levels of HIV antibodies from their mothers for the first 18 months regardless of their HIV status.

Early HIV detection in pregnant women and infants born to HIV-positive mothers using a flexible printed paper microchip
Cambridge Design Partnership LLP Cambridge, United Kingdom

Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, accounting for approximately 130,000 deaths each year. Most cases of severe PPH can be managed through the use of uterotonic drugs which aren’t reliably available in LRS.

Accelerating sustainable deployment of Uterine Balloons Tamponades: Leveraging Human-Centred Design and Simulated Use Testing to develop design features and training strategies that empower birth assistants and accelerate deployment.
Centre Muraz Research Institute, Ministry of Health Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

Birth asphyxia is the second leading cause of neonatal death, leading to close to one million deaths per year. Still today even simple things like proper ventilation may not be performed or not performed properly. There is a need to raise the quality of resuscitation in both facility and community-based births. A newly developed free-of-charge application for smartphones guides health workers to proper resuscitation and proper registration of interventions. It guides the user in a step by step approach with voice and imaging guidance.

Tap4Life - an integrated mobile application to support accurate neonatal resuscitation and essential newborn care
Cornell University Ithaca, New York

Nearly 20% of neonatal deaths are due to neonatal sepsis and most populations around the world don't have access to trained clinicians or sophisticated laboratory assays to determine cause and inform management.  The seed funding will help us develop the prototype for a three-step diagnostic assay to rapidly detect neonatal sepsis and antibiotic sensitivity profile with just a drop of blood at the point-of-care. The first step will identify the presence of an infection.

IDPhone: Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Neonatal Infections and Antibiotic Resistance for Appropriate Management
Dimagi Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts

New research has shown that FLWs are motivated for both extrinsic and intrinsic reasons; however, financial incentives typically appeal only to extrinsic motivation, and have been shown in numerous studies to erode intrinsic motivation. As FLWs increasingly adopt mobile technology, we believe there are important  opportunities to complement extrinsic incentives with tools and incentives that make service delivery more intrinsically rewarding. We hypothesize that gamification techniques can motivate FLWs to perform better and be more engaged in their work.

Using gamification strategies to increase postnatal visit rates by frontline health workers
Drexel Univeristy Philadelphia, Pennyslvania

A major cause of maternal and neonatal death and severe disability in developing countries is the lack of trained medical providers to perform timely or emergent cesarean deliveries. Our solution is a simulation-based method using operative models to rapidly train non Obstetrician physicians and non-physician providers to do a safe cesarean delivery (CD) to significantly increase the competence and number of trained providers. The operative models on which the training curriculum is based were developed under an earlier Saving Lives at Birth seed grant.

Validation of a simulation based training program for emergency cesarean delivery
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) Washington, DC

Annually, 120,000 HIV-exposed infants are born in Uganda with nearly 16,000 becoming HIV-infected through transmission from their HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Antiretroviral prophylaxis given from birth to six weeks of age can dramatically reduce the risk of transmission, yet 68% of HIV-exposed infants do not receive critical nevirapine (NVP) prophylaxis in Uganda. The Pratt Pouch, a foilized, polyethylene pouch (similar to a ketchup pouch) designed and proven to safely store NVP doses, offers an innovative way to expand NVP coverage.

Development of a Model for National Scale-up of the Pratt Pouch to Expand Infant Nevirapine Prophylaxis in Uganda, Prevent Mother-to-child Transmission of HIV, and Save Infant Lives
Emory University Atlanta, Georgia

Tetanus is an acute & often fatal infection characterized by painful, spasmodic contractions entering the body through a wound or contaminated object. Newborns lacking passive maternal immunity can be infected through the umbilical stump, particularly when cut with a non-sterile instrument. Despite WHO’s vaccination recommendations, tetanus is prevalent in 28 countries claiming 200,000 neonates & 3,000 mothers per year.

Microneedle patch for tetanus toxoid vaccination
Eva Diagnostics Limited London, United Kingdom

Anaemia is a globally endemic and neglected condition that is responsible for significant complications in pregnancy and early life. The provision of high quality anaemia diagnostic information across pregnancy and childbirth is critical to successful treatment outcomes. Eva Diagnostics has developed AnemiPoint, a lab-accurate and affordable diagnostic, capable of guiding clinical pathways and interventions. AnemiPoint also enables data capture to be seamlessly integrated into standard care practices, removing the need for manual data entry and additional equipment.

AnemiPoint; an affordable and accurate anaemia diagnostic for the point of care.
FUNDARED-MATERNA Bogota, Colombia

Use of risk stratification with accessible and cost effective technology and interventions will reduce the rates of the major obstetric complications globally.We will address the problem in all three categories, science and technology, service delivery and demand creation.

STRUCTURED SCREENING FOR RISK STRATIFICATION AND EARLY TARGETED INTERVENTION FOR PREVENTION OF THE MAIN OBSTETRICS SYNDROMES TO IMPROVE MATERNAL AND PERINATAL HEALTH OUTCOMES
Ifakara Health Institute Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Postpartum haemorrhage is the largest cause of maternal mortality in Tanzania, yet many of these women could be saved with a blood transfusion. Lack of fast, affordable delivery of blood profoundly restricts the number of lifesaving transfusions performed in the Dodoma region. We will use an autonomous Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) called Stork to transport screened and typed blood from a blood bank in Dodoma to peripheral health facilities, on-demand. In many cases, ground transport of blood would either be impossible or too costly using traditional means.

Emergency aerial delivery of blood and life saving medicines to mothers in rural Tanzania for less than $10: the Stork autonomous unmanned aerial delivery system.
Ifakara Health Institute(IHI) Bagamoyo, Tanzania

Due to a healthcare shortage in Tanzania, rural pregnant women are often seen by healthcare staff with little training. We will connect rural women to physicians through a portable health clinic during traditional village market days.  The clinic transmits the patients’ basic information as well as blood pressure and weight change to a central location.  During the patient’s visit, a physician reviews the patients’ record and patient assessment by  local healthcare workers (HCW). The physician’s notes are printed.

A cost-effective link between physicians and rural pregnant women by providing the service in the location women naturally congregate
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Maharashtra, India

Preterm births continue to elude the advances in technology and remain to be important challenges in neonatal and maternal health across the globe. India has the highest number of preterm births in the world constituting about a quarter of the global total. The proposed project (through the genre of Science & Technology) uses stimulus responsive biomaterials to address this issue deriving inspiration from marine animals like mussel and puffer fish.

Novel mussel- and puffer fish-inspired stimulus-responsive cervical glue cum pessary as a safe and affordable technology for delaying preterm births and reducing neonatal mortality in remote areas
Intermountain Healthcare Provo, Utah

Babies and mothers die and have long-term health problems from preventable causes, nearly all in low income countries. Despite recent successful interventions in Bangladesh, mortality rates remain high because most births occur at home with unskilled traditional birth attendants (Dais). Our proposal centers around development of a novel device to help the untrained, illiterate user recognize complications in pregnant mothers (Science & Technology) with dissemination of the device by government health workers to Dais in a way that fosters education (Service Delivery).

Saving Moms and Babies through Empowering Unskilled Traditional Birth Attendants with Simple Technology
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Bangladesh nearly 2,000 women die from eclampsia and pre-eclampsia each year. A icddr,b study found that 24% severe preeclampsia (SPE) and eclampsia received loading MgSO4 by trained community health providers (CHP) and concluded that poor antenatal care (ANC) missed a large number of SPE. Therefore, SPE cases progressed to eclampsia and notified at later stage of pregnancy at the referral facility.  UPEHFPSC, one of the local government’s institutes in Bangladesh is neither aware about maternal health (MH) policy nor about their role to improve MH initiative.

Integration of a community based management of severe pre eclampsia and eclampsia with improved governance of local government in rural Bangladesh
Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research, University College Cork Wilton, Cork, Ireland

Neurological problems are more likely to happen in the early neonatal period than at any other time of life. Yet this is the exact period when you are least likely to have any brain monitoring. Eighty five per cent of neonatal deaths worldwide occurred in developing countries with neonatal encephalopathy due to the birth asphyxia being one of the major causes of high child mortality.

Newborn Brain Audioscope
Jhpiego Corporation Baltimore, Maryland

Annually, 90,000 maternal deaths can be prevented by family planning (FP) use, and 1.6 million children under the age of five can be saved with adequate birth spacing. Postpartum women have high unmet need for FP and limited access to long-acting, reversible FP methods such as IUCDs. To improve postpartum (PPIUCD) training, Jhpiego evaluated learning on Mama-U simulators under a previous Saving Lives at Birth seed grant.

Use of a Low Cost Simulation Model to Expand Postpartum Intrauterine Device Services and Client Demand
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland

Over the past decade, the discordant proliferation of mhealth innovations have led to calls for improvements in the evidence base to scale-up promising strategies.  In response, our group has developed collaborations with the Government of Bangladesh and local social enterprise company mPower-Health to develop, deploy and measure the impact of responsive, user-centered ICT solutions targeting obstacles to coverage of efficacious interventions.

Removing barriers to timely essential maternal and newborn services: Scaling-up mCARE and mTIKA as part of the Digital Bangladesh National HIS Initiative
Lucky Iron Fish Inc. Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Infant, children and maternal mortality rates in Cambodia are among the worst in South-East Asia and 45% of children are stunted. Iron deficiency plays a significant role in these statistics but current methods of treatment for the condition are not effective: compliance rates are low and the overall impact small. Infection with HIV compounds these health challenges. The project will scale-up distribution of the Lucky Iron Fish™: an innovative, affordable, and clinically-proven solution to iron deficiency.

Scaling up the Lucky Iron Fish™: a low-cost, innovative solution to iron deficiency saving lives of women and children in urban Cambodia.
Mbarara University of Science and Technology Mbarara, Uganda

1.8 million Stillbirths and newborn deaths occur annually due to oxygen deprivation, but up to 70% of these deaths are avoidable by effective ventilation at birth. Unfortunately, one in five of the best-trained health workers fail to effectively ventilate babies and those that do, experience a rapid decline in proficiency. Every 30 second delay to ventilate a baby at birth increases the risk of death by 16%. The common causes of ineffective ventilation are: 1. Failed seal at the face-mask, 2. Blocked airways, and 3. Incorrect ventilation frequency.

Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR)
Moi University College of Health Sciences Eldoret, Kenya

Worldwide, women and children in poor and rural communities face the challenges of pregnancy and infancy without supports in the home, community, or facility. Often faced with financial, nutritional and political insecurities, the majority of women struggle to care for their own and their children’s health. To address this, we developed a peer-support model that groups pregnant women together in the same community to receive maternal and child health services, called Chama cha MamaToto (chamas).

Chamas for Change: Validating an integrated community-based strategy of peer support in pregnancy and infancy
Nanobiosym, Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Globally, MTCT of HIV results in approximately 230,000 infant infections each year. In 2013 the WHO recommended VL testing as the preferred monitoring tool for diagnosing and confirming failure on ART.

Nanobiosym® (NBS) Pilot Validation Study of Gene-RADAR® Nanotechnology Platform Point-of-Care (POC) for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Rwanda
Partners In Health Boston, Massachusetts

WHO estimates that two-thirds of newborn deaths could be prevented if effective health measures were provided during birth and in the first week of life. In Rwanda, 69% of births are facility-based, yet 46% of neonatal deaths still occur in the first day of life. To increase health-system capacity to prevent newborn deaths using evidence-based measures, Partners In Health has developed the All Babies Count (ABC) model, an intensive 18-month change acceleration process.

All Babies Count (ABC): Eliminating Preventable Neonatal Deaths in Rwanda
PATH Seattle, Washington

Anemia is a global health problem and a complicating factor driving negative maternal and childhood outcomes in low-resource settings, affecting individual mortality as well as long-term health, development, and productivity, particularly for women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Existing technologies to support World Health Organization-recommended screening and management are hampered by dependence on expensive proprietary consumables and invasive methods.

Reducing birth complications in Africa by increasing access to anemia screening with a transformative, noninvasive, and cloud-connected diagnostic device.
PATH Seattle, Washington

Early antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is of utmost importance for saving the lives of infants and children living with HIV. Up to 52% of children left untreated die before they reach their second birthday. For this reason, WHO released their strong recommendation to start children younger than three years of age (and infants greater than 14 days of age) on ARV treatment.

A pediatric-friendly ARV dosage form: validation of palatability, flexibility, and accurate dosing of LPV/r
PATH Seattle, Washington

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund recommend hand expression of breast milk and use of a small cup to feed newborns with breastfeeding difficulties in low-resource settings, yet no standard infant feeding cup exists. The NIFTY™ cup is a simple, safe, ergonomic, and affordable tool designed to optimize the efficient hand expression and feeding of breast milk to newborn preterm infants and other infants with breastfeeding difficulties.

NIFTY: A Neonatal Intuitive Feeding TechnologY for preterm infants who have difficulty breastfeeding
PATH Seattle, Washington

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) continues to be the leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide resulting in an estimated 125,000 maternal deaths per year. Women who survive PPH suffer from severe anemia and are more likely to die within the following year. Most of these deaths are preventable with timely management of the bleeding, yet in low-resource settings (LRS), especially in rural areas, women have little access to proper care during delivery. Evidence to support the use and efficacy of uterine balloon tamponade (UBT) for PPH is growing, as is awareness and demand.

Clinical validation of a novel, affordable uterine balloon tamponade, developed in Africa, to reduce maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage.
PATH Seattle, Washington

The World Health Organization estimates that preeclampsia/eclampsia (PE/E) accounts for at least 16% of maternal deaths in low-resource settings (LRS).

Validation of a Protein-to-Creatinine (Pr/Cr) Strip Test for Proteinuria Screening in Low-Resource Settings
PATH Seattle, Washington

Preeclampsia (PE) is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal death, yet screening and timely treatment for the disease remain a unsolved problems in low-resource settings. A new, potentially breakthrough screening test for PE has been developed and evaluated on a limited scale and is now ready for large-scale evaluation and pre-introduction activities. The assay, based on the biomarker glycosylated fibronectin (GlyFn), predicts PE in the third trimester with sensitivity of 0.97 and specificity of 0.93.

Toward Introduction of a New Screening Test for Preeclampsia (TINSTEP)
PATH Seattle, Washington

Many of the 39,000 annual neonatal deaths in Kenya could be prevented by increasing babies’ access to human milk (HM). Breastfeeding (BF) is considered a pillar of child survival, however, more than 15% of vulnerable infants—pre-term, low-birth weight, sick, or orphaned—do not have access to their own mother’s milk. The World Health Organization recommends donor HM and has called to globally increase access by establishing human milk banks (HMBs), an evidence-based intervention shown to significantly reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Saving Newborn Lives by Scaling an Integrated Human Milk Bank and Breastfeeding Promotion Platform in Kenya
PATH Seattle, Washington

PATH proposes to overturn persistently poor maternal and newborn health outcomes in Uttar Pradesh, India, by scaling up the proven and cost-effective Projecting Health approach to social and behavior change communication.

Projecting Health India
Prince Leopold Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp, Belgium

In Malawi only 71% of births are attended by a skilled birth attendant. Disrespectful treatment of women in maternity facilities represents one of the most important barriers to accessing facility based maternity care. This action research project will support delivery of respectful maternity care (RMC) by enhancing the capacity of midwives to provide RMC. In collaboration with service users and midwives, it will identify barriers as well as factors that enable provision of RMC and develop, implement and evaluate strategies to support delivery of RMC.

Pathways to respectful maternity care in Malawi: a participatory action research project.
Queen's University Kingston, Ontario, Canada

One woman dies in childbirth almost every hour in Tanzania. The use of a single and inexpensive dose of oral misoprostol at the time of delivery is a proven, and effective tool to reduce the likelihood of post-partum hemorrhage. At present, due to a multitude of barriers, women who deliver at home (50%) or in many health centres do not have access to oral misoprostol or other uterotonics.

An integrated mobile health strategy to reduce post-partum hemorrhage in Tanzania
RTI International Research Triangle, North Carolina

There is a strong need for cost-effective solutions that achieve substantial reductions in exposure to harmful household air pollution (HAP) and its toxic emissions. HAP generated during the combustion of solid fuel for cooking and heating and has been linked to increased risk of infant mortality and morbidity. We will test an innovative approach using HAP exposure data to inform behavior change. Pilot data of spatial HAP gradients suggest that movement within a room away from the highest HAP levels can decrease exposures by up to 85%.

Transitioning Technology-Derived Knowledge into Behavior Changes to Reduce Household Air Pollution Exposure for Newborns
Save the Children Federation, Inc. Washington, DC

Evolving case management of pneumonia and serious bacterial infections the WHO guidelines for neonates, infants and children require community and facility health workers to measure and assess various vital signs for which they have limited tools and often rely on subjective measures leading to underdiagnosing and overprescribing antibiotics. Also overlapping disease symptoms make it difficult for health workers to confidently triage infants or children.

An Integrated Diagnostic Device for Neonates and Young Children in Low-Resource Settings
The Mintaka Foundation for Medical Research Geneva, Switzerland

Every year, over 100,000 mothers die as a result of uncontrolled bleeding after giving birth, with over 1.5 million more surviving but with debilitating anemia. Virtually all live in the deprived regions of the world. Shockingly, many could have been easily and effectively treated by an immediate injection of the drug oxytocin. However, oxytocin is unstable in warm climates and trained staff are not always available to give injections.

Reduction of maternal death through post-partum hemorrhage: a highly heat-resistant form of oxytocin that does not require injection
The Research Foundation for the State University of New York Buffalo, New York

Among the 2.8 million deaths each year in the neonatal period, 24% are attributable to infections.  Observational data suggests that maternal handwashing could prevent neonatal infections and death.  Handwashing promotion is a relatively weak component of neonatal care counseling, typically not addressing barriers to hand washing relevant to mothers of newborns in high neonatal mortality settings.  Barriers to handwa

A pathway to scaling up chlorhexidine hand cleansing for prevention of neonatal infections in Bangladesh
Uganda Industrial Research Institute Kampala, Uganda

Over 900,000 children under the age of five died from pneumonia in 2013, accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old (WHO, 2013). In Uganda, pneumonia accounts for 17% of deaths of under-fives, of which 5% are neonates. Child deaths in remote resource-poor settings due to pneumonia could fall by 30% if accurate diagnosis is performed early. Misdiagnosis is attributed to low-skilled Community Health Workers (CHWs), the lack of available appropriate diagnostic tools, and scarce to no power access.

MUTIMA: Automated Low Cost Diagnostic Tool for Pneumonia
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore, Maryland
Malnutrition is a serious developmental problem in low-resource settings. “Simply put,this is how it works. A newborn with low birth weight (less than 2.5 kg) has a high risk of dying in early infancy. On survival,deprivation of colostrum, a rich source of nutrients and the first administration of antibodies for developing immunity increases the neonate’s risk to infection.
Low-cost smart incubator with telemedicine capability for low birth weight infant development
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan

Worldwide, 113 million women have unmet contraceptive needs. If these needs were met 54 million unintended pregnancies would be prevented, 26 million abortions avoided (16 million of which are unsafe), 7 million miscarriages averted, 79 thousand maternal and 1.1 million infant deaths avoided.

The design and assessment of a task-shifting contraceptive insertion device: Increasing access to long-term contraception in rural low- and middle-income countries
University of Nairobi Nairobi, Kenya

We have developed a sustainable barcode-based incentive system that encourages “loyal health visits”. Pilot proof was undertaken for child and mother vaccinations with strong evidence that our Barcode Mother and Child Wellness Card innovation could very quickly elicit a positive behavioral response for immunization adherence in low resource smallholder settings.

A Loyalty Program to Mobilize and Sustain Maternal and Neonatal Health
University of Ottawa Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This project addresses the problem of early detection of Fetal Growth Restriction syndrome or Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) during pregnancy. This is crucial for fetal and maternal health. Currently there is no effective method available. Herein a new diagnostic procedure will be developed that will allow early detection of IUGR in pregnant women by measuring the activities of 5 enzymes namely Amylase, Arginase, Pepsin, Cysteine Proteases and MMP9 in maternal saliva.

Saving Lives Through Early Detection of IUGR via Monitoring Maternal Salivary Enzyme Activities
University of Toronto Toronoto, Ontario, Canada

Iron, folic acid and B12 deficiency contributes to maternal,infant and neonatal deaths annually. Folic acid deficiency also leads to serious birth defects and neonatal development problems. Salt is universally consumed at a constant, predictable level independently of social status. Our approach is to develop innovative technology for incorporating these micronutrients into salt at levels that can have a significant beneficial health effect.

Quadruple Fortified Salt: An efficient and scaleable vehicle for simultaneous delivery of iron, folic acid, vitamin B 12 and iodine in low resource settings
University of Washington Seattle, Washington

Mobile WACh NEO, a human-computer hybrid communication system, connects women and newborns to care during the most at risk period, bringing a virtual provider into the home. Mobile WACh NEO harnesses the efficiencies of SMS messaging while actively engaging the end-user to increase facility delivery by targeting birth partners and developing birth plans, increase utilization of neonatal services with algorithm-based assessment of newborns and improve delivery of appropriate contraception with tailored counseling.

Mobile WACh NEO: Communication empowering mothers and newborns
WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Currently, the three options for managing prolonged second stage of labour are forceps, vacuum extractor or caesarean section. All these interventions require relatively expensive equipment (e.g. operative theatre for caesarean section, maintenance of vacuum extractor) and highly trained health professionals. In addition, all these options are associated with increased risk of maternal and perinatal complications.

Phase I trial: Safety and feasibility study of the Odon device for assisted vaginal delivery
William Marsh Rice University Houston, Texas

During the first days of life, neonates are at increased risk of developing jaundice – when excess bilirubin builds up in the body. Lack of treatment can lead to severe neurological impairment and death.   Fortunately, jaundice is easily treated with blue light phototherapy. In high resource settings morbidity and mortality from jaundice is exceedingly rare due to readily available bilirubin monitoring for guidance of effective phototherapy treatment. Several commercial phototherapy systems have been developed and marketed specifically for low-resource settings.

BiliSpec: Low-Cost, Point-of-Care Bilirubin Measurement Device to Diagnose Neonatal Jaundice and Monitor Phototherapy
WITS Reproductive Health and HIV Institute Johannesburg, South Africa

In South Africa 41% of maternal deaths in 2013 were attributed to HIV. Despite high skilled birth attendance (84%) and near universal attendance of ANC (94% having 1 visit), only 56% of women receive the recommended four or more visits and only 32% attend their first ANC session prior to the fourth month of pregnancy. The objective of this project is to improve knowledge, coverage, continuity, timeliness and access to maternal, newborn and child health services in two sites in South Africa through the integration of demand (MomConnect) and supply side (OpenSRP) digital platforms.

Using mobile technology to improve knowledge, coverage, continuity and access to maternal, newborn and child health services in South Africa: Integrating OpenSRP into the MomConnect Program