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Rem Health

RemHealth an offline based immunization service tracker with components including immunization reminder and immunization history.

Photo of Tochukwu Egesi

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

Rem Health aims to apply offline technology to increase demand for vaccination services and strengthen the health system in Africa by providing offline mobile health services To do this work we will partner with the government and health workers.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

In Africa where immunization cards are used, they could get missing or contain errors which lead to missed appointments and repeated vaccination. Mothers who are illiterates may not understand the content of the cards. In Nigeria, there 5 million births per year, we hope to reach 2 million with our service. Between the ages of 0-5 years. RemHealth an offline-enabled immunization service tracker with components such as immunization reminder, immunization history, immunizable disease tracker and child registration. OUR Approach Rem Health leverages on offline technology. Rem Health works using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)Technology. USSD does not require the internet or a smartphone Rem Health, therefore, places no burden on caregivers or health workers Rem Health features include: Register childbirth and receive a unique identifier for the child. Check immunization history to prevent repeated immunization Health workers can confirm actual immunization using child unique identifier. Check for the nearest health care centre Caregivers or relative receive automated SMS and VOICE calls for immunization reminder in their selected language (English, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Pidgin English)

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

  • North Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Middle Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Northern America
  • Central Asia
  • Eastern Asia
  • South-eastern Asia
  • Western Asia

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

North Africa Eastern Africa Middle Africa Southern Africa Asia Western Africa North America

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

End users: Caregivers Our team is highly experienced with the end users have worked at the Primary health sector level prior to Rem Health. Assets and strengths: Use of any mobile device to access services Our understanding of the sector Our continuous effort to build strategic partnerships with stakeholders. Our pilot showed that mothers that cannot read English are most unlike to read their local language. So we added the automated call in the selected language. Currently, we have Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Pidgin English and English. We hope to add more predominant local languages as we scale up.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

Rem Health leverages solely on offline technology. Rem Health works using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)Technology. USSD does not require the internet or a smartphone Rem Health, therefore, places no burden on caregivers or health workers Our team is led by highly experienced experts in the Public and primary healthcare sector. Our partnership with the Private Sector Healthcare Alliance of Nigeria, Africa Resource Centre and the National agency Our technology team is NOT outsourced, hence we have adequate technical resource. Our approach will be more successful because it places no internet or hardware burden on health workers or caregivers We are providing a single suite for managing vaccination service

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 1 year to implement phase one of our work and achieve the desired impact of 80% satisfaction from users.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

Innovation Corner

Type of Submitter

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

Organizational Characteristics

  • Female-led organization
  • Youth-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Lagos, Nigeria

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

  • Community (working within one or a few local communities within a region)

Website URL

www.remhealth.co

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

Innovation Corner is a social innovation centre focused on creating social development innovations related to healthcare, data science and governance. Rem Health is our first product and fits into our goal of providing innovative technology for social development in healthcare.

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

Private Sector Healthcare Alliance of Nigeria: Organizational Support/Funding/Networking Africa Resource Centre: Organizational Support/ Networking National Primary Healthcare Development Agency: National Pilot/ Scale up and access to healthcare facilities.

How many people are on your team?

4

Tell us more about you and your team

We are a team of 3 and a board chair Madonna Emmanuel is Public health expert with over 9 years of experience working at the national level on public health programs relating to child care and maternal care. Madonna is trained as an epidemiologist and has a masters degree in Public health. Tochukwu Egesi is a business professional with a background in finance and accounting. Tochukwu is chartered banker and accountant and a graduate of Economics. Kelechi Ezenwaka is software programmer with over 6 years of experience working for local and international players in health technology, GIS mapping and USSD technology. Kelechi is a graduate of computer science. Dr. Alero Roberts (Board Chair) is a senior lecturer in public health in the faculty of medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria. A leading community-based researcher in areas related to PHC and Nutrition, universal access to affordable, effective health care and maternal, newborn & child health.

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

The most important change to our idea in response to user research has been the inclusion of automated voice call reminders as we discovered that mothers who cannot read and write in English are most unlikely to read their local language in the text format as SMS. The Business Model Canvas activity has afforded us an opportunity to design a clear sustainability plan beyond the Gates foundation support hence we are now charging the beneficiary, the government and approved research agencies. Our thinking has been most influenced in the area of applying human centred design principles to our product road map

Viability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

https://canvanizer.com/canvas/rx1WnE3B65JvE

Feasibility (3-4 sentences):

Our product works using offline and online technology. Considering the low resource setting of our immediate market, our primary user/beneficiary engagement platform works primarily offline using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). The data dashboard is updated in real time and can be accessed online. Our other components are automated calls in different local languages and also SMS in local languages. Our disease tracking tool is community focused and also works offline and online in this format as described above.

Desirability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VKkLXZWmPAR3zQUj9jy-LFA-4jG5SgA3CkpCPaLiJ6g/edit?usp=drivesdk

Community Focus (2-3 sentences):

The target community considers this problem as urgent because it is widespread (urban & rural). Immunization coverage in some states in Nigeria is as low as 8.2% (National Survey Finding Report, 2018), Immunization card collection rate is as low as 29% (National Survey Finding Report, 2018). In a country with 144 Million active mobile lines (Nigerian Communication Commission), it becomes urgent to use everyday tools such as USSD to improve healthcare. Rem health is community focused and we are leveraging on our partnership with the government agencies to work with existing health structure

Community Impact (2-3 sentences):

1. Increase demand for vaccination services. 2. Reduce disease surveillance time to real time. 3. Improve data collection, analysis and decision making. Sustainability 1. 1.5 USD per year. To be paid at Primary healthcare centres, through their mobile phones using the airtime on the phone and also payable by their health insurance scheme. 2. Governments are to pay to access our database and use our API to connect to their central database. 3. Agents are service resellers. Who will use Rem Health to improve their service offerings such Agents include: Health Insurance companies (HMO),

16 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Shahed Alam
Team

Hi Tochukwu Egesi interesting use of low-tech for immunization. How did you decide the messaging and the order of the topics once the user dials in the number? Also, how are you planning to educate users on it? one-on-one or group sessions?

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

Hi Shahed Alam thanks for your comment. The first set of messages are the routine immunization information that is standardized for every country. With the child's date of birth collected at the point of registration, our alogrithm personalizes the reminders the registered phone numbers receive. We also send out relevant immunization campaign information as healthcare trend determines. The government use our system to send to non-routine immunization information to the target audience.

Our primary point of contact currently is the routine immunization centres hence we train the health workers to onboard the mothers. Also, we have large fliers at the routine immunization centres and USSD is already in use for financial inclusion in Nigeria and Africa (banking)

Spam
Photo of Shahed Alam
Team

Thanks for your reply, Good luck!

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

We are working on our user experience document, Please can we use the document provided and attach a google drive link to access it.

Spam
Photo of Manisha Laroia
Team

Hey @Tochukwu Egesi 
Please have a look at this idea which is also based on USSD technology.
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/briefsgates-vaccine-innovation/ideas/every-child/

@Conrad Tumwine
I hope it could help with some collaboration and taking learning from each ones user stories.

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

Hi Manisha,

Thanks for pointing us to the idea above. They are currently not using USSD as their user engagement tool.

Going forward I will engage Conrad to explore how we can work together in their primary market.

So for us, we use USSD and web channels for User engagement and use an online dashboard for the health authorities and partner agencies.

Spam
Photo of Manisha Laroia
Team

Tochukwu Egesi 
Thank you for pointing that out. I was attempting to help your teams notice each other's work and see if you could support and inspire each other.
@Conrad Tumwine

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

The potential for support and inspiration exists. Thank you for pointing it out too. I will comment on the idea to start a conversation with their team.

Spam
Photo of Manisha Laroia
Team

Tochukwu, is so great to read about your venture. I was wondering if you could look deeper into other USSD based companies who might be operating in your context and how you have a unique service in comparison to them. I came across Africa Talking a USSD API, you could look into whether they are a possible competition.
It is great to know that you are in Pilot stage and I would recommend that you apply to our other OpenIDEO challenge also,which is looking to support teams with ready prototypes.
https://www.openideo.com/challenge-briefs/infuse-urban-immunization
_
You can apply to both these challenges!

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

Hi Manisha,

Thanks for your well-researched feedback.

Africa is Talking is not a competitor but a vendor for USSD code purchase. That is an organization that sells the code on behalf of the country's communication agency.

Hence they act on behalf of the government to sell the code as agent and have paid a steep price to cut down the bureaucratic process of going to the government directly.
Currently, our code is *347*01#, if we buy from the government directly, it will be shorter(eg: *348#) and will cost us more.

However, the code is plugged into our software for data collection and access purposes ONLY.

Thank you for bringing our attention to the GAVI challenge.

We will act on the GAVI challenge as soon as possible.

Spam
Photo of Manisha Laroia
Team

This sounds great! Thank you for sharing.

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

Hi Manisha,

You are welcome.

Please, see a more recent video link below.

https://youtu.be/UEtaQGQezTE

Spam
Photo of Manisha Laroia
Team

It would be really helpful if you could add the latest developments to your solution in the idea share above and update it before the Idea phase deadline which ends on March 10th.
Do add this youtube link in the idea above!

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

Hi Manisha,

Thanks for the prompt, I have now updated the video.

Best

Spam
Photo of Manisha Laroia
Team

You have mentioned above that many mothers or caregivers are illiterate. I was curious if you could you share with us how are they responding to the USSD input and output text process. How are you tackling this challenge uniquely for them?

Isaac Jumba Could you recommend suitable partners or similar startups that they could collaborate with?

Spam
Photo of Tochukwu Egesi
Team

So a more recent video of the use of the code will show you that mothers can select a language at the registration point. The notifications are sent in their selected language as an automated text message and automated call in the selected language.

Our pilot showed that mothers that cannot read English are most unlike to read their local language. So we added the automated call in the selected language.

Currently, we have Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Pidgin English and English. We hope to add more predominant local languages as we scale up.

I will look forward to Isaac's recommendation.

Thank You