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2018 Bulletin

Milestones, learning, insights

Digital Health,Rural Healthcare,AWH,UN WSA,Accenture HealthTech

We’re on a mission to make healthcare go further, so every community can thrive.

This first bulletin of 2019 shares our 3 simple insights for delivering healthcare in remote communities, a jargon-free guide to our latest digital health access apps, the latest news from our work in the Philippines and Cambodia, as well as recognition for our impact and innovation at the UN’s World Summit Awards and Accenture’s HealthTech Innovation Challenge.

Let us share with you three important things we learnt in 2018 in delivering affordable healthcare to undeserved communities, and big plans for the year ahead.

  • Innovative engineering, for yesterday. Technology is hugely advanced as we all know, with the rapid rises in advanced data services and platforms creating a breakneck paradigm shift. However, these can only penetrate the wealthiest, and to support a majority of our planet access healthcare we need to use the most innovative technologies, but make them work offline, on low-spec devices, with people that often haven’t used a smartphone before. Bleeding edge technology is great, but it doesn’t cater for lower resource settings.
  • Social is the new business. Everything from crowd funding, to ride sharing, to corporate social responsibility and environmental awareness demonstrates a shift in an individualist mindset and an awareness of sustainability. Profit with purpose is starting to rise, and reaping commercial rewards without giving back can ultimately damage reputation and future growth. Our partnership leading global pharmaceutical continues to thrive (and our partners such as Novartis and Sandoz have been radical and driven to innovate in their business model to serve lower income groups, and a fantastic organisation to work with on our journey). Many other partners have supported us too, and the momentum across pharmaceuticals, insurers, MedTech and a huge array of other businesses is gaining pace. 
  • Community ownership is king. We’ve had huge growth in our community presence, running new services and events, and plan for more sale within our communities and improve health access for more disconnected people. Key to this is the community themselves – having local leadership help shape projects (based on the insights we get through data collection), but also have the community run the service (so it’s localised, lower-cost and has a more sustainable cost base). In Cambodia, we have worked with Temple Garden Foundation who have been working in Siem Reap province for 10 years; and their development of long-lasting, deep community relations has been inspiring to learn from.

This year we are going to grow faster and further, focussing on how we build better community ownership to scale, use the most innovative platforms and make them ‘go offline’, and focus on how we engage communities to own their own health. We will continue to empower government, and create private partnerships that ensure safe, quality, affordable care in a way that has never been done before.

We have some exciting new partners in this space just about to be announced, so stay tuned!

Apps for access – a jargon-free guide to our latest tech

Although we pride ourselves on last-mile health access, digital and data is at our heart.

Imagine you are two hours from the nearest clinic or pharmacy. You and 50% of your village have never seen a doctor in your life, but you have heard it’s expensive, and just cant take the risk of travelling to the doctor (which costs a day’s pay) as it could cause financial ruin. You don’t have a phone, and even if you did there isn’t any signal to make a call or connect to the internet. You’ve left the symptoms for as long as you can, but now you have to do something.

But last month a new service launched. One of your community members was trained as an ‘Access Manager’ to support you using technology, and you attended a launch event where you had a basic health interview about your needs, and a doctor was brought out to do local check-ups. The data gathered was then used to design a range of local programs that meets the needs of your community. The local person knocked on your door and took your blood pressure, and the next week she gave a vitamin to your daughter. This was driven by the initial data. You then feel unwell and speak to the same person to connect to the health service and understand the costs (and what the government covers). You get a prescription from this but still can’t afford the medicine, but another resident helps you find an affordably priced product, orders it for you, collects the bulk order for the whole community in a nearby town (saving you the travel, that is twice the cost of the medicine anyway!), and you collect and pay in the centre of the village.

This is Allied World Healthcare. A grassroots service that provides a last-mile extension to primary care facilities and accessing a range of affordable partner products and services; delivered back locally, and avoiding the costs of accessing traditional facilities (which are frequently much more expensive than the health service itself). How does it work? We do our service with aid of our apps that now include:

  • Curis, a web and Android app for our field-based ‘Access Managers’ to collect data, provide health information, manage local health events, book appointments, and manage health at a local level
  • MediConnect, a training platform of information and videos aimed at health workers to improve their skills and knowledge – strengthening the local health system
  • Pica, as a marketplace of partner products and coordinating partner services (which we have also trialled in the Singapore eldercare market)
  • DisperGo, focussing on last-mile product distribution, supply chain and tracking
  • And finally… IDIAH, our data platform that provides graphs, charts and analytics across all of our applications
  • We are now focussing on more advanced features include chat/telehealth, advanced data analytics, authentication services and much more. If you would like a demo of any of our products please email

Breaking News

Philippines – faster growth, bigger impact in our pioneer market

We’ve grown rapidly in the Philippines, expanding into Cuartero, Guimbal and Pototan in Central Philippines, and Santa Maria in the north. This work has spanned 50 communities, empowering almost 100 new ‘Community Access Managers’ to manage and co-ordinate healthcare services.

  • Data collection to develop rich insights about community needs
  • Working with this data and local government to design targeted ‘Engagement and Outreach’ plans that meet community needs, including group events and targeted individual
  • Community activities from door-to-door blood pressure screening to distributing vitamins and access to other partner’s services
  • Setting up ‘Access Stations’ as a last-mile outpost to get basic health support and services at a community level
  • Working with other digital health platforms to extend services deeper into a community level, ranging from remote physiotherapy to medical technology solutions
  • Expanding our service delivery model to focus on health-financing (such as insurance) and medicines distribution

Click through to find out more!

Launch in Cambodia – continuing to make healthcare go further

Working with Temple Garden Foundation, we’ve now launched into Cambodia. We believe in starting small, testing what works, and scaling up to create a big impact. The starting point in Cambodia is a small pilot in Siem Reap Province where TGF have worked extensively for over 10 years. We’re delighted that Kolab Chhim has joined us our Country Director, bringing her extensive experience across public health, pharmacy and community-level programs. Kolab will support a local team, enabled by our core apps and the advanced features, analytics and service delivery models we are building.

Learn how this new approach is already delivering essential health services on the ground. Click here.

Having worked in Cambodian healthcare at a grassroots level for 10 years, the digital-approach Allied is taking has the potential to let essential health services reach further than ever before. Non-communicable diseases and other diseases are rising rapidly, and transformation is needed now to ensure essential care for patients.

UN World Summit and Accenture HealthTech Innovation Awards

It’s great to get some external recognition for our work, which has included:

  • Singtel Future Makers, a leading Asian telco’s social innovation program (more here)
  • Winning Singapore’s World Summit Awards (the United Nations global technology competition, more here ) and representing Singapore in the global round
  • Winning the regional Asia final of Accenture’s HealthTech Innovation Challenge (and taking part in the global finals in San Francisco)

It has also been exciting to see much external validation of our work from large multilateral organisations, businesses, government and partner NGOs. This helps advance our thinking further and deliver our goals for the world’s poorest communities.

We hope you enjoyed this bulletin. Help us make healthcare go further by spreading the word, please forward this bulletin to colleagues who may be interested or follow us on social media.

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