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Unveiling the 20 Finalists for our Maternal Health Challenge

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Congratulations to you, our amazing OpenIDEO community, for contributing your 285 inspirations, 182 concepts, countless comments and applause to the Maternal Health challenge!


It’s been an amazing few months of zooming out and seeing some truly great ideas take shape. Now we’re entering the Refine phase of the challenge, taking some finalist ideas and refining them to be bigger, better, fully-formed solutions that can be realised in the real world.


Here’s a quick lowdown of how the Refine phase will work:

Our selection team have nominated 20 finalists based on feasibility (in terms of technology and infrastructure), desirability (in terms of fitting with the needs of low-income countries) and your applause & comments.


For each Shortlist Concept, we have also named some concepts as Honorable Mentions, these were additional concepts that we felt could be incorporated into the Shortlist Concept to make it stronger and better.


During the Refinement phase, we hope our finalists will evolve their submissions based on feedback from the community, their virtual teams and our selection team.

We encourage our finalists to reach out to the community members we have suggested to discuss potential collaboration and builds, to form a virtual team together.


To aid this, we’ve added 2 more fields to the concept forms:

- Concept Builds – This is where you can list additional builds to your concept

- Virtual Team – Recognise and reward community members who’ve helped you with your concept by adding them to your virtual team. At the end of the challenge we will reward your team members with bonus DQ points!


Simply click the ‘Update this’ button on your concept page to update these fields.


Here’s an introduction to our selection team, so you’ll recognise them on the platform:

  Ian Sullivan

"I'm a digital campaigner with Oxfam and much of my work focuses on health and education issues."

 Mokeira Masita_Mwangi
"Currently my job at Nokia Research Center entails conducting various user and research studies amongst low income communities in Sub Saharan Africa focusing on various sectors including but not limited to health, education, entrepreneurship."

 Ingrid Baron

"I'm a product designer and location lead at the IDEO London office. Loved being a part of this process!"

 Haiyan Zhang

"As design lead and co-founder of OpenIDEO, I'm super-passionate about this platform and community. I'm looking forward to seeing the concept refinements and virtual teams working together."

Now here are our top 20 finalists!

1. mBaby: Making Information Actionable

  erika johansson

To date, neonatal mHealth SMS programs have taken two forms: reminders sent to expectant mothers, and reporting done by certified health workers. mBaby asks the question - what if we combined the two, making the reminders actionable?

Honourable Mention:
Self Diagnosing Phone Service

2. Rainy season, NON-VULNERABLE SEASON, Dry season

Estudio 6, Colombia

Considering that Labour vulnerability (whereas victims are Burkina Faso Mothers) influences directly on the physical and emotional health and the fact that agricultural sector (where most of them work) has a Dry and Wet season, as well as non-productive seasons;we have decided to focus our concept taking in advantage this last season which has been named as “Non Vulnerable Season”, to develop activities with mothers and expectant ones.

3. Free Maternity Camps

Krassimira Iordanova

The idea is to send medical teams from a base hospital to remote areas where moms-to-be will be examined by doctors. The concept of the maternity camps is inspired by Aravind's free eye camps.

Honourable Mentions:


Eat well Be well!!

4. Free Midwife Hotline

Avi Solomon

A free 24/7 hotline operated by volunteer midwives and doulas

Honourable Mentions:

Decentralized mobile health care system

Pregnant Chat Line

Text for your closest Health Worker

5. OpenIDEO targeted collaboration project

Ian Sullivan

Let's create a specifically maternal health and targetted collaboration project. Let's work with a handful of communities and bring them on board the collaboration process. Let's create products that the community want.

6. Mom 2 Mom Mentor Matching

Vincent Cheng

Imagine if a mom to be could simply send a text message or make a short phone call to automatically connect to a qualified experienced mom in her community for a real life meet up in a popular public place (such as the central market).

Honourable Mentions:

Mom to Midwife

Mum-2-Mum Chatline

7. Portable Maternal Health Video Library for Community Health Workers

Avi Solomon

Make a portable maternal health medical video library available to CHWs preloaded on mobile phones or on a SD card.


Honourable Mentions:

Plays for Maternal Health

8. SMARTmoms

Julien Bassan

Smartmoms is a smartphone centric program designed to bring pregnant mothers together in support groups where they learn about pregnancy, neo-natal care, health and other pregnancy related topics.

Honourable Mention:

Mom Community Gardens

9. Medicine stock-outs

Krassimira Iordanova

The concept tries to address the stock-out problem mentioned by Ian Sullivan as a comment to Sarah’s decentralized mobile health care system proposal. In the core of the concept is placing an order for drugs and medical supplies via sms.

10. Pregnancy Nutrition Package

Vincent Cheng

This concept focuses on making nutritional intake convenient, attractive, and culturally-relevant to improve maternal and infant mortality and morbidity (direct improvements on anemia, neural development, infection, low birth weight, premature delivery, hemorrhage, heart failure, etc.).

Honourable Mention:

Text for your closest Health Worker

11. SMS Pregnancy Journal

Haiyan Zhang

Mothers-to-be can keep an SMS journal of their pregnancy. Each day they send how they're feeling & health details to the service and this is kept as a record. The service can alert mums or healthcare workers of any anomalies.

Honourable Mention:

Photo diaries for tracking maternal health initiatives

12. The Full Story: Booklet + Audio Phone Service

Siri Johansson

By using a combination of printed material and audio, knowledge about maternal health can be shared in an inclusive way using simple methods, while still offering a rich learning experience.

Honourable Mention:

An Audio Guide through Maternity

13. Community Maternity Education


Maternity education and knowledge about health services would drastically improve maternal health across both high and low income countries.

Honourable Mention:

Mum Radio

14. Paying healthcare workers salaries via mobile phones

Sarah Fathallah

Mobile money services may be able to deliver gains in transparency, accountability, and savings in the health care system. Paying salaries to HCWs through mobile phones could help diminish corruption down the payment chain, and potentially increase the HCWs salaries.

15. Global village supporting new mothers

Brian Puckett

Through the use of SMS text messaging, community members with low-end handsets that send and receive text messages can act as information hub to support the needs of families in emerging markets.

Honourable Mention:

Phone Pool

16. Creating a Sense of Family

IDEO Palo Alto

The idea of using texting to create a sense of family, especially for Dads, came up a lot in our brainstorm. The images here both touch on the concept of including Dads in the experience even after childbirth, as in on the baby's first birthday or as part of a family tree.

17. Mother Mati’s Phone and Flipbook

Tristan Cooke

Call Mother Mati for A Trusted Voice. Follow her picture book for a healthy Mother and Baby.

Honourable Mention:

An Audio Guide through Maternity

18. Make it a game!

Loretta Rae

Design a game where community members gain points for actions that help bring healthy babies into the world (with healthy moms). Winners can be designated as community heros and offered mobile phones, minutes or other sponsor-driven incentives .

19. Low cost internet free forum

Olga Shipilo

When questions occur pregnant women just need to send an sms to the other women and local (or not) healthcare workers. Whoever knows the answer replies to it thus helping the woman and everyone else who might have the same problem later.

20. CareGiver Solution for Midwives

  Krassimira Iordanova

The solution could help midwives/HCW monitor expecting mothers, identify risk pregnancies and involve a doctor when required. I suggest a hybrid between Nokia Data Gathering tool and Medica Application from Nokia.


10k 7
Maternal Health Challenge


Join the conversation:

Photo of Margaret1977

I like that someone thought about a Free Midwife Hotline. It's quite a brilliant idea.

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