2018 Finalists

In its eighth round, the Saving Lives at Birth partners nominated 10 promising finalists selected from nearly 500 applications who will come together to compete in the final stage of the 2018 Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge. The finalists will gather at the DevelopmentXChange in Washington, D.C., from July 24–26 to exchange information, interact with potential collaborators, and meet technical advisors in a number of discussion groups and one-on-one meetings designed to advance innovation and impact. The finalists and their innovations are:

Organization Organization Location Project
Center for Public Health and Development/Mediquip Kenya

The Pumani CPAP is a successful and well-known Saving Lives at Birth innovation that has reached the point of commercialization. 3rd Stone has rapidly expanded the CPAP business through direct sales and shipment, lean staffing models, and by leveraging significant clinical work in Malawi by the Malawi College of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Rice University.

Pumani® Plus: Creating a Roadmap for Sustainable Expansion in Deployment, Distribution and Demand Creation for Global Health Devices
Dimagi Inc India

A rigorous randomized controlled study conducted by Harvard Medical School, the University of Washington and Dimagi proved the effectiveness of mobile-based performance improvement graphing to increase motivation of frontline workers, translating to a 27 percent bump in the rate of home visits. Performance graphs on the mobile phone create a feedback loop for the frontline worker to track success against key responsibilities; the critical tasks she has yet to complete; and progress against peers.

Scaling Performance Graphs and Machine Learning Techniques to 100,000 Frontline Nutrition Workers across India
Health Information System Program Malawi Malawi

The Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH) sees health surveillance assistants (HSAs), their official cadre of trained community health workers, as critical to reducing maternal and newborn mortality. Yet a heavy work load, complex protocols and cumbersome reporting structures hinder HSAs’ ability to provide consistently high-quality care, while paper reports limit the MOH’s ability to use data effectively.

Digital Village Clinic: Scale-up of a Proven Digital Community Health System in Malawi through National Management and Ownership
INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED Andes Peru

Morbidity and mortality from newborn jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) due to disease under-recognition and lack of local access to treatment are a significant threat in resource-constrained regions in Peru. Despite the fact that jaundice is nearly always curable with high-intensity phototherapy, newborns will continue to remain at risk for poor jaundice outcomes until integrated screening and diagnostic programs that work in conjunction with improved access to phototherapy treatment are deployed within regional health networks.

Bilikit: A Systems-integrated Approach for Diagnosis and Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice
Kybele-Ghana Ghana

Maternal mortality ratios in Ghana referral hospitals remain as high as 957–1,004/100,000 live births, and national newborn mortality rates have stagnated at 27/1,000. Poor outcomes and the dismal quality of care stem from delayed identification of complications upon arrival, as women wait hours or even days for evaluation and treatment.

Addressing the Third Delay: Scaling Up an Obstetric Triage System to Reduce Delay and Improve the Quality of Care in High-risk Referral Hospitals in Ghana
Malaria Research and Training Center, University of Science Techniques and Technologies of Bamako Mali

Malaria is a scourge among pregnant women in developing countries, causing maternal, perinatal and infant mortality. Current tools (i.e., drugs, bed nets) are losing efficacy and the search for new safe tools has been unsuccessful. Sanaria’s PfSPZ vaccine prevents malaria infection both in laboratory settings and in Africa. In this project, the vaccine will be tested as a tool to prevent infection during pregnancy and improve newborn outcomes.

Saving the Unborn Child from Malaria: Safety and Efficacy of PfSPZ Vaccine for Pregnant Women and Unborn Children
Ona Kenya Limited/World Health Organization Kenya

Antenatal care (ANC) is a vital opportunity to provide integrated high-quality services that are essential for detection and case management of preventable causes of maternal morbidity and mortality. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), including pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, are a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide, yet can be prevented through early detection of blood pressure (BP) and timely evidence-based case management.

Cuffless Optical BP Measurement Integrated with Antenatal Decision-support and Client Tracking to Improve Health Provider Performance to Detect Hypertension and Improve Pregnancy Outcomes
Summit Institute of Development Indonesia

Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services are provided by multiple community-based frontline health workers (FHW), including midwives, vaccinators, nutritionists and health volunteers, each of which has different responsibilities and expertise. Clients typically visit each FHW, who may work in isolation without coordination, to receive RMNCH services. This leads to fragmented care, low coverage and quality, and increased mortality.

The Golden Generation: Thriving Community Health through Client-centered Precision Care with Coordinated Teams of Frontline Health Workers and Next-generation mHealth
University of Malawi College of Medicine Malawi

Newborns are at increased risk of jaundice when excess bilirubin builds up in blood. If untreated, jaundice can result in neurological impairment and death. Although jaundice is easily treated with blue light and phototherapy systems have been developed for low-resource settings, there is no way to diagnose or monitor bilirubin in these settings. In response to this challenge, Rice University developed BiliSpec, which measures bilirubin concentration in a drop of blood.

Design for Manufacture and Validation of Disposable Strips for Low-cost, Point-of-Care Bilirubin Measurement to Diagnose Neonatal Jaundice and Monitor Phototherapy in Hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa
University of Malawi College of Medicine Malawi

Newborn hypothermia is a pervasive global challenge; as many as 85 percent of infants born in hospitals in low-resource settings are too cold. Although temperature monitoring is critical for newborn care, in over-crowded wards, temperature is often only taken twice per day. For at-risk infants, the hours in which newborns’ condition are undiagnosed can make the difference between life and death.

Scaling a Low-cost, Robust, Continuous Temperature Monitor to Reduce Neonatal Death Due to Hypothermia in Sub-Saharan Africa