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Reaching universal developmental screening: app platform supporting connections among parents, pediatricians, and communities

Improve early childhood developmental screening rates in California & later across USA with BabyNoggin & Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Photo of Dr. Jin Lee
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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

Vision: expanded vision from universal screening to also universal intervention Product: through our partnership with clinics, we learned that in order to reach 100% compliance with developmental screening, we needed a more streamlined app specifically for pediatric clinics (given they have less time) Partnerships: we learned parents hate being “left hanging”, we partnered with various local partnership to help refer the 25% of kids who are at risk of developmental delays. WE refer families to early childhood intervention services provided locally and by the state. Team: We realized that to reach our goal of universal screening, we had to tailor the solution to all socioeconomic class families. To tailor the solution, we hired a few critical teammates: an UX/UI research & designer with a specific focus on low-income families, a VP of solutions who specifically focused on integration to various electronic medical records, and sales to expand our reach to pediatric clinics.

Name or Organization

Qidza, Inc (BabyNoggin) Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) The Center for Early Learning (CEL) at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, conducted a survey of California pediatricians in Fall 2016 in order to understand the current landscape of pediatricians’ use of developmental screening and surveillance during well child visits. The survey focused on practice, attitudes, beliefs and barriers.


California, USA

What is your stage of development?

  • Advanced Innovator with 3 to 10+ years of experience in ECD


  • For - Profit

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Describe your submission in one clear sentence

SVCF & BabyNoggin will improve early childhood developmental screening rates throughout Northern California using BabyNoggin’s platform that educates parents on developmental milestones, provides parents everyday tips and resources to support their child’s development, automatically informs their pediatricians using data from recommended validated screening tools, and connects both families and clinics to local resources and treatment as needed.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

BabyNoggin: -Translates screening tools recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics into easy step-by step instructions that allow parents to easily screen at home. -Delivers age-appropriate content at the the right time and right amount to both parents and pediatricians -Integrates data & results to their physicians and child care facilities which allow them to receive higher quality ratings and can even gotten reimbursed from health insurance companies -Helps refer the child to local resources such as IDEA part C, FQHCs, andearly interventions services that are FREE for all familie

Select an Innovation Target

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early learning (CEL) and BabyNoggin aim to improve early childhood developmental screening rates in Northern California, with a big vision of achieving universal screening across the USA. CEL and BabyNoggin will implement a number of pilots throughout Northern California, initially through pediatric settings but eventually also through child care and preschool settings to ensure that children from birth through age five are routinely and consistently screening using an evidence-based validated screening tool. BabyNoggin is a mobile device platform that includes an app for parents to monitor and screen their child’s health on the go, an ipad app for pediatric clinic staff and other early child care provider staff to screen for delays, and a dashboard for both pediatric and early learning providers to share HIPAA-compliant data using parent digital consent to local resources and treatment. The platform not only empowers parents to understand and track their child’s developmental progress but also addresses the most common barriers to conducting developmental screening in both pediatric, early child care, and preschool settings. Using technology to collect aggregate data at a community level will be a gamechanger to ensuring communities understand how their children are growing and developing. Once scaled, BabyNoggin will be able to provide this screening data at the local, state and national level and help influence policy.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

CDC reports 1 in 4 children under age 5 hav developmental issues results in 1 million kids entering school with an undiagnosed disability every year. Early screening and intervention is key; yet 53-63% of pediatricians don’t have time or expertise to screen for developmental issues (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). What’s even more concerning is about 80% of those at risk are not being referred to early intervention and not receiving timely treatment that may change their brain forever.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

The Center for Early Learning (CEL) at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, conducted a survey of California pediatricians in Fall 2016 in order to understand the current landscape of pediatricians’ use of developmental screening and surveillance during well child visits. The survey focused on practice, attitudes, beliefs and barriers. Findings showed that despite AAP recommendations, pediatricians are not routinely screening all children during the recommended intervals with a formal tool. Pediatricians stated the following as the top barriers: lack of time, cost, lack of training, lack of services to connect to, unfamiliarity of tools and lack of training. BabyNoggin is software suite by QIDZA, Inc. that addresses all of the identified barriers and helps pediatricians adhere to AAP guidelines with easy developmental screening and, in the future, easy referrals. The smartphone app educates parents on developmental milestones & vaccines and empowers parents to do screenings at home. The iPad app allows pediatricians to easily screen in the office and feed the results to various EHRs for reimbursements. In addition, it can provide longitudinal view of overall development, and can help refer the child to local resources and specialists when needed. The platform can help: -Standardize developmental screening for all pediatricians. -Decrease provider time spent on developmental screenings by encouraging parents to do screenings at home, integrating to the EHR/ EMRs as well as decreasing scoring errors -Increase rates of referral and intervention to ensure all kids at risk are being treated -Empower parents by educating them on next milestones and providing practice activities to help their child reach their next milestone SVCF will help find partners (local community health centers and child care facilities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, CA) that can pilot BabyNoggin for 9-12 months with 100+ families with children under age 3. Our goals are to measure pre and post: -Screening rate -Referral rate -Intervention rate -Parent satisfaction & engagement -Parent-physicians relationship -Parent-childcare relationship

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

By using BabyNoggin, parents, physicians, and child care facilities are able to: -Increase parental understanding of their child development -Increase parent-provider engagement and satisfaction -Decrease screening time -Increase screening rate -Increase referral rate to early intervention services Healthcare professionals are able to get reimbursed: from Medicaid $5-62 and from private insurance $10-$20 per screening per child per visit, and meet clinical recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Child care facilities are able to receive high quality meatric ratings that translates into higher state and federal fundings. BabyNoggin now has paying clinics in California and Washington states. We are also working with several early child care facilities on pilots in California, Connecticut, and other states to improve screening and invention rates.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

BabyNoggin partnered with 2 private clinics and 1 community health centers to measure parents tracking behavior though a mobile app. Among the 1071 app downloads, 80% are first time parents. 77% of parents reported their children’s developmental health is their top concern. After three months using the app, 78% of parents reported increase understanding of developmental milestones. 96% completed at least one developmental screening and 70% of which reported wanting more developmentally appropriate activities for them to practice with. On average, BabyNoggin can help clinicians reduce 70% of the time it takes to screen, meet health quality measures, and help increase the clinic’s screening rate by at least 50%. This study further demonstrated that developmental milestone is the top concern for parents. With proper tool, parents are motivated to learn about developmental milestones and help their children achieve them. By 2020, we aim to reach 5000 pediatricians, 1000 child care facilities, and help 1 million kids screened. As we partner with more nonprofits and state entities, our goal is to leverage the real-time, large amount of developmental screening to demonstrate that lack of developmental screening is a public health issue, to change policy in training more pediatric specialists, increase reimbursement incentives, and have public funds in place to expand services and help more low income families in need.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

Children born in low income households and/or households with parents with lower education levels are 2-3 times more likely to experience developmental delays. BabyNoggin, as a platform, addresses the needs of parents in households with lower income and education levels because it is very easy-to-use (all content are written in 2-4th grade reading level), provides push notifications to parents informing them it is time to track their child’s developmental progress, uses step-by-step video examples. The platform is also available in English & Spanish and adding on Asian language soon. Initial pilot testing has shown that all parents/caregivers regardless of income or education level are highly engaged with the platform. During recruitment for the pilots, we will target communities with a higher-percentage of low-income households.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (1500 characters)

The Center for Early Learning (CEL) at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, conducted a survey of California pediatricians in Fall 2016. They found that despite AAP recommendations, 63% of pediatricians are not routinely screening all children during the recommended intervals with a formal tool. The top barriers are: lack of time, cost, lack of services to connect to, unfamiliarity of tools and lack of training. BabyNoggin helps by: -saving time: educate parents to screen for developmental delays at home and connect the data to experts prior to the visit -reducing cost: offer monthly subscription rate with unlimited screenings unlike the traditional fee per screening -connecting to local resources: help parents and providers to refer those children screened at risk to local FREE services regardless of socioeconomic status -automate scoring: to avoid time taken out of the job for training and eliminates human scoring errors -aggregating data at a community level: by having all screenings done in one tech platform, it avoid duplications of screening, ensures accurate tracking of screening and referral rates, and can be used to help influence policy.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Pediatric health is a $186B market in the U.S with 4 million annual births (135 million annual birth worldwide). The screening market alone is $747M in the US and $24B worldwide. BabyNoggin see partnerships with pediatricians, early childhood educators, local nonprofits, early intervention services, and even state department of health as critical to our scaling. Given healthcare providers can get reimbursed using our tool, our current focus are healthcare professional, then early childhood education organizations. As we expand, we are adding and customizing our solution to local and national partners. In healthcare, the larger the organization, the longer the sale cycle. To combat this, our sales team divide our time and tailor our pitch to private clinics, medical groups and children’s hospitals. To do so, we’ll · Increase visibility & reach through showcases at the American Academy of Pediatrics conferences · Build an audience & our reputation through content marketing- publishing white paper & peer reviewed articles on clinical outcomes, as well as achieve early screening & intervention · Gather referrals to other pediatric groups through hospital partnership, investor networks etc. · Convert by tailoring our platform to their needs · Retain through price discounts

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

Late 2015 · Launched BabyNoggin 1.0 iOS in Canada & USA -> revenue! -team: 3 founders 2016 · Contracts with the army & children’s hospital · increase # of contracts with children's hospitals & pediatrics · Babynoggin 2.0 across iOs & web -team; added marketing -funding: angel round 2017 · pilot customers from pediatrics and federally qualified health centers · Distributors/ promoters: local and national nonprofits · Physician dashboard & in -clinic iPad -team: added VP of operations 2018 · increase number of paying customers -Increase number of local, state, and national partners- include early childhood educators, state departments, and national nonprofits -team: added sales, marketing -funding: seed round

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (1500 characters)

BabyNoggin are focusing on B2B licensing to children’s hospitals, pediatric groups, and early childhood nonprofits to help pediatricians increase efficiency during well-child visits and their revenue (reimbursed up to $61 per screen per child) while saving clinical staff 15 minutes per screen. We charge subscription rate at per provider per month. For early childhood nonprofits or anyone don’t get reimbursed from health insurance, we charge per child per month. Currently, we have revenue. This year’s goal is to expand paying customers from healthcare professionals to nonprofits (local, state, and national partners). Our biggest barrier are unfamility with technology, resistance to change, and long sales cycle. To combat these, we Educator clients: hosting our own expert webinar with partners, present at relevant conferences, will publish white papers/ studies Covert competitors to partners: show them we are here to help, share the same mission, and can do better for both of us together Focus different amount of energy to different client profiles: while the CEO focus on larger strategic accounts, our sales team focus on the smaller medical groups and private clinics.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (1500 characters)

We follow IDEO’s design thinking religiously. For every single feature, word, flow, and change to our app platform, our design, product, and sales team work together to Understand the user’s needs. -Define the problem -Ideate way to solve their needs -Prototype rough mockup/ app flow -Test with the users through surveys, in-person interview, video recordings Our goal is to leverage rapid iteration to move closer to the ideal product. Through this method, we are now in the third version of our mobile app, second version for tablet app and our client dashboard.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

In early 2014, my finance and I decided to have kids together. “so when can they recognize my face?” he asked. “Around 3-6 months.” I replied. “When can they read? How about feeling empathy?” He continued. I had no clue. If I, with a PhD in developmental psychology from Oxford, cannot answer these questions, how can other parents? How would they know what’s considered normal or not? “I have no idea, but I think we can develop an app to find out! It’s going to be the best startup ever for moms!” My passion is early childhood began in 2008 when I started my PhD at Oxford. After recording the brainwaves of 137 infants (1-18 months old), publishing 3 first author articles in top visual science journals, teaching developmental psychology and neuroscience to undergraduates, I committed to the advocacy of early child development. Given my experience in entrepreneurship (4 restaurants, 1 startup in radiology and another in self-publishing) and healthcare management (Humana Innovation and Providence Venture Capital), I believe in social entrepreneurship where the consumers can decide whether the product is of value. BabyNoggin is thus the fruit of all my experience, combining my PhD expertise with 10+ years of business management. After bringing onboard a team of IT, education, and healthcare experts and pitching to angels, I believe this is the best moment to dedicate all my efforts to BabyNoggin and help parents everywhere by monitoring their babies’ growth.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (500 characters)

We understand that in order to bring BabyNoggin to scale, we need to partner with everyone who shares our mission of universal screening and universal intervention. This includes parents, entrepreneurs, investors, healthcare professionals, early childhood educators, community partners, and policy makers. My team is confident that with the right partners, we will perfect our product and process, and help every child reach their full potential.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

BabyNoggin would love: -Work with like-minded entrepreneurs to share ideas -Referrals to investors, healthcare professionals, early childhood educators, community partners, and policymakers who share our mission of reaching universal screening and universal intervention -Referrals to potential hires wanting to join the team We are also here to help you. Let us know how :)

Would you like mentoring support? [Relevant only for Early Submission Deadline]

  • Yes

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

Dr. Jin Lee is the CEO and founder of BabyNoggin, an app platform allowing parents to track for developmental delays at home and connect to clinicians and local resources for further follow-up. Dr. Lee was formerly a committee member for the American Heart Association and worked in the innovation and venture arms of Humana, 4th largest health insurance company, and Providence St. Joseph Health, 3rd largest nonprofit hospital system.

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.

[Optional] Video: You are invited to submit a 30-60 second video that introduces you and/or your team and your idea.

See above "Qidza- 2 minute"


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jennifer Hart

What an incredible idea and project, Dr. Lee. As a former early childhood special education teacher and special education coordinator, I can't tell you enough how excited I am to hopefully one day see Baby Noggin used in preschools, doctor's offices, and by parents all around around the country! I spent countless hours pouring over ASQ paperwork and speaking with parents about next steps for their child when a concern was identified or expressed, and I know Baby Noggin would have helped streamline the process so our most deserving kids and families could get the support they needed faster. I am so happy to see how innovative technology is being used to empower parents with the knowledge to become lifelong advocates for their child. I look forward to being witness to the the impact Baby Noggin will have on many future generations of children. Many thanks to you and your team for your contribution to the field of early childhood screening and intervention!

Photo of Dr. Jin Lee

Thanks Jennifer! hopefully we can bring this to more families in need, everywhere.

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