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An automatic and personalised vaccination reminder tool for caregivers, coupled with a tracking system for drop outs.

Photo of Conrad Tankou
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

1-Clock is using a revolutionary and innovative calendar to permit caregivers get personalised, automatic, on time reminders of all vaccination schedules, and also monitoring of vaccination coverage of any area, and easy tracking of drop outs.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

Though vaccination for all children less than 1 year is free in Cameroon, there is still a great problem of caregivers fully vaccinating their children, with high rates of vaccine dropouts and incompletely vaccinated children, mainly due to forgetfulness and lack of proper information for caregivers. Many studies demonstrate that the vaccination coverage at birth is very high but decreases significantly with time following later doses up to 9 months, resulting to over 50% of babies being incompletely vaccinated, especially in rural and peri urban areas. The challenge faced with vaccinating children thus results from lack of information and a reliable reminder and tracking system for caregivers, no reliable identification and tracking system of missed appointments and dropouts by CHWs. 1-Clock comes in to increase adherence to infant immunisation services, reduce vaccine drop outs and increase rates of vaccine completion, educate caregivers and orientate them to vaccination sites, and it is coupled with a QR code scanning and data collection system to permit real time monitoring of vaccination coverage at community levels. 1-Clock’s design is made up of a circular electronic wall calendar which has a year’s calendar designed on its front surface in a circular manner and has just one arm (pointer) that has been electrically programmed to move just once every day and completely goes round the design in 1 year. A unique stencil complements this design to accurately mark on the face surface of our product all the due dates for immunisation for any infant, based on the child’s date of birth. In this way, the product automatically notifies all the days caregivers must bring children for vaccination. The QR code is pasted on the product as well as on the baby’s vaccination or identification document and permits a systematic tracking of the child’s immunisation status by scanning at community level by CHW and in the hospital as well when the child shows up for vaccination.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • Eastern Africa
  • Middle Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa
  • South-eastern Asia
  • Southern Asia

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Our idea targets countries in Sub-Sahara Africa and Asia, with our pilot country being Cameroon. It's design permits it to be easily implemented and work in diverse communities, no mater the socioeconomic background.

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Our end users are caregivers, living in rural and peri-urban areas especially. We have been working in these areas for several years now, implemented five different projects in the health domain, and perfectly understand why vaccinating children is a challenge for these caregivers, who are mainly farmers and pay a lot of attention to dates. Building a product which leverages on the use of the calendar has a strong potential to succeed because while paying attention to reviewing calendars for tracking important socioeconomic events, these caregivers can now easily be reminded on the immunisation days for their children as well as get educated on each of the vaccines.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

Our unique and innovative product accurately and clearly indicates the date and points the exact days of immunisation of any child based on the child’s date of birth, after being personalised, and permits real time visualisation of immunisation coverage, effective tracking, stock and data management. It is inspired from a universal tool (the calendar) thus can be used by anyone of any language, culture or level of education, serving both as a reminder and an educational tool. The product was born through a coworking design process involving engineers, doctors, nurses, CHWs and some caregivers. It is also very easy to produce and scale, and outweighs all challenges faced by mHealth technologies linked to phone ownership, network coverage.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

It will take us 12 Months to implement our project in a given community and start observing desired impact.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

GIC Space Ltd

Type of Submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organizational Characteristics

  • Women’s health/rights focused
  • Youth-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

City: Yaounde Region: Center Region Country: Cameroon.

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • National (expansive reach within one country)

Website URL

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

GIC Space is a social venture that has as objective to design, promote and implement innovative and cost effective solutions targetting the most pressing health challenges in Cameroon in particular, with the potential to be implemented in other developing countries. 1-Clock is one of our innovations that seeks to improve infant immunisation services and reduce vaccine preventable deaths in children.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

In order to reach and impact caregivers, we partner and collaborate with all health institutions and CHWs. This enables 1-clock to be personalised and given to all target caregivers; in the hospitals immediately after they give birth, and in the communities through community health workers, so no child is missed. Thus, all targeted caregivers in a given community can obtain and use our product. In addition, our QR scanning platform permits real time data visualisation, and community health workers track babies with missed appointments, and enables outreach vaccination campaigns to be organised in areas with high unvaccinated or missed cases. We have already successfully tested and are implementing the same concept to increase ANC attendance

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

We have a strong and dynamic team made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds, extensive experiences, who complement each other. The team comprises 3 Medical doctors; Dr Conrad Tankou; team lead, medical doctor, award winning social entrepreneur. Dr Geofry Ngwa; Medical Doctor, public health specialist, in charge of Monitoring and evaluation. Dr Sama, Medical Doctor and project coordinator. Mrs Luma Jane: reproductive nurse and Immunisation specialist. Mrs Fru Judith; In charge of training and development. Fred Ngo and Emmanuel Ndedi; engineers, lead the design and production of the hardware products and ICT platform. Our company culture lays emphasis on team work and collaboration, as well as simplicity and innovation. Our organisation designs and manufactures the product (1-clock), as well as does monitoring and evaluation, while the partner health institutions and community health workers are in charge of reaching and distributing the products to our targets.

Overview of How Your Concept Has Evolved (5-6 sentences):

Some caregivers gave valuable insights, that marking on 1-clock important dates valued by fathers such as days of important cultural events or important trading or farming events will motivate the fathers to be more concerned and get involved in ensuring proper immunisation of children, while tracking other events. Secondly, some caregivers suggested that integrating a normal clock to indicate time on the already existing product will motivate further interaction with the device, an option which is very cost effective and we have started exploring. And through the prototyping support we were able to get valuable feedback on how to model our product to cover vaccination reminders after the first year to fit in different contexts.

Viability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

Link to Business Model Canvas: Brainstorming and refining our business model canvas permitted us identify more commercial sectors that value branding and advertising through our products, some of which we have already approached and established MOUs for future collaboration. We also noticed that upgrading our product by including more attractive technology and design features such as including alarms, lighting systems, or printing the picture of the baby or a family portrait on the face of the product attracts some care givers in urban cities especially, who intend to buy the products with these added features, thus becoming an additional revenue stream.

Feasibility (3-4 sentences):

Our tool is an effective and reliable personalised vaccination reminder tool with no barriers to implementation linked to culture, language, income. Through a 15 months pilot study, which involved a case-control study design with 408 caregivers retained in the test site and 412 retained in the control site, we were able to effectively demonstrate the following in the implementation sites: 1. a significant increase vaccination coverage 2. a significant higher proportion of on time vaccination demand 3. A significant drop in missed cases 4. A more efficient data and stock management

Desirability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

Like Jane, we noticed caregivers are aware about vaccination and its benefits, but face a big problem of knowing exactly when to take their children for vaccinations as the child grows up. They appreciate the concept of being reminded with a visual tool, and where more attracted to it because it involved a very commonly used tool, the calendar. The excitement doubled because they could use this tool to track other important events dear to them. More importantly, this tool proved to have won the hearts of the fathers aswell, making them more involved in the vaccination of their children, and the mothers are more excited about this important engagement from the fathers.

Community Focus (2-3 sentences):

Though vaccination coverages have improved in Cameroon, studies show that up to 50% of babies are not completely vaccinated especially in rural areas, with forgetfulness and a poor reminder systems for caregivers always being the main reasons why. Our solution comes in to strengthen the current health system by empowering caregivers to get reminded and track vaccination of their children, with an effective identification and linking back to care system in case of missed appointments, regardless of their age, income, language, phone or network access.

Community Impact (2-3 sentences):

Our venture will permit all target children to be reached, identified and promptly vaccinated following our personalised reminder tool and tracking system, whether born in a health facility or homedeliveries, leading to timely vaccination completeness. We are targeting vaccination coverages of at least 93% and implementing the project in a given community takes 12 months for the positive impact to be observed. The unique marketing and brand awareness opportunity we offer to companies is rapidly gaining attention and guarantees a sustainability model after support from Gates Foundation.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Avijit Singh

Hi Conrad, I think this is a great idea and love how you structured your solution above. It is easy to follow and the potential impact is clear. I think it could be helpful to provide some more information on the price point and how microfinancing could play a role in certain regions to enable access to the product. Thanks so much for sharing!

Photo of Shahed Alam

Conrad Tankou I like the idea of nudging families about immunization using a tangible product. On the due day, how does it gives feedback to families? through the voice or is there any color code associated.

Photo of Conrad Tankou

Hi Shahed Alam and thanks for your remarks. So to simply explain our device, it functions the same way as if the caregivers where looking at a normal clock to find out the time, but in this case they are looking at a calendar with an arm pointing at the date of the day. So monitoring or simply observing the movement and progress of this arm with respect to the personalised marks inscribed on the product tells them how near the next vaccination session is, and notifies them of the due date when the rotating arm finaly lies over a marked date on the product. The regular product has just the visual reminder while upgraded versions have alarms integrated with other features as well.

Photo of Shahed Alam

Sounds good, Good luck!

Photo of Aayush Shah

I really like your idea for caregivers to have a clock that informs them of the dates of the vaccines needed for the first year of their child's life, especially given that it's a tangible item that they would look at often. However, I do not understand some specifics of your idea.
1. If the hospitals and health workers are distributing these clocks to the mothers, would they be giving it out for free? Who would front the cost of making and distributing these clocks?
2. Wouldn't this idea only encourage women to get their kids vaccinations for the first years and not be able to incentivize them to get vaccinations after the first year for their child.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Conrad Tankou Congratulations for being selected in refinement. I really like your idea because of its simplicity but have a similar question regarding costs to the caregivers (how much do you think the clock will cost to make and who will pay for it). I also am curious of how you are thinking of how to support immunization after the first year. You mentioned a pilot. I'm curious to know when you started it and what have you learnt about it so far? How many families have been involved? Is the pilot one year to follow the first year of the family? Looking forward to learning more and seeing your idea evolved. Tagging the prototyping team from NYU Amrut A Patil Mohamed Ibrahim Heather Riess Shiyu Chen Maidah Mir so that they can follow up this conversation.

Photo of Conrad Tankou

Hi Aayush Shah , thanks a lot for your interest in our project. To answer your questions:
As concerns distribution of the product, production cost and cost of purchasing, we have put in place a business model which is implemented based on the setting and context. Our main financing model targets brands and commercial agents whose products target especially caregivers, and we provide a unique advertisement and branding solution for them, leveraging on the design of our product. Using this model, we are able to distribute the product free to more targets (caregivers), and while impacting them positively with respect to vaccination, we raise awareness of these brands in a new and unique way, by putting their brands in every home for a year long publicity. This model thus guarantees both impact and sustainability of the project. In addition, caregivers in urban areas with a higher purchasing power can buy the product with other personalised features on it, such as their baby’s picture on it, a family portrait, etc.
Concerning your second question, I’ll use this opportunity to communicate that our product currently doesn’t only target vaccination, but has been customised for ANC reminders, family planning reminders, and also tracking menstrual cycles and fertility periods especially for teenage girls. The product can thus be customised in many other domains based on the desired result. In this proposal we specifically talked about vaccine reminders for the first year based on the Cameroonian context, as immunisation services for children are subsidised only for the first year but since adherence is still a big issue and target coverage is hardly reached, our concept sets in to fill that specific gap, though can be customised to do much more.

Photo of Conrad Tankou

Hi Anne-Laure Fayard . Thank you so much for your interest in our venture.
Currently it costs 5USD to build one product, we have come a long way with the design and are still into a lot of research and development to bring down production cost as low as possible. The product is given for free to targets, but the financing model is based on brands paying for printing their brands on the products before distributing to targets, and the pricing is based on the quantity of products to be branded requested by the companies.
Concerning immunisation after the first year, the product can be customised to target a variety of options. But like in Cameroon and many other developing countries, immunisation is completely free of charge for the first year only, with poor vaccination coverages still recorded despite these free services. As described in our proposal, we are thus coming in to solve this challenge.
We launched 1-Clock about 18 months ago, and the pilots we’ve done so far have permitted us first refine our product to obtain the current design, and also gain valuable feedback from users and other stakeholders (health personnel, CHW, sponsors). We carried out a case control study, then followed up both cohorts for 9 months. We will be publishing our results soon. A summary of the feedback and results with respect to immunisation has showed a significant increase in on time immunisation, increase in immunisation coverage, and more involvement of other family members especially fathers on the immunisation tracking process of the children in the intervention cohort. On the side of health personnel, our designed stencil permits easy programming of immunisation days, and recently we introduced a QR code scan and data recording system to easily identify and track down cases of missed appointments and lost to follow up in the communities by CHWs.

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hey Conrad Tankou 
Thank you for sharing your idea!
The electronic paper clock looks like an exciting idea.
Please have a look at this idea and see if you guys and support and inspire each other
Mikey Rosato 

Photo of Conrad Tankou

Thanks Manisha Laroia . The concept is equally very innovative, with a similar approach to ours.

Photo of Conrad Tankou

Thanks a lot. We will definitely look into that.

Photo of Manisha Laroia

We would also encourage you to apply for the other OpenIDEO vaccine challenge. Please see here.

You can apply to both the challenges at the same time. We feel your idea would fit the challenge brief very well.