Two pediatricians from the University of Vermont, Dr. Barry Finette and Dr. Barry Heath, founded THINKMD in 2014 with an ambitious mission to eliminate preventable death in children worldwide. They believed that if everyone had the knowledge to think like a physician, then access to quality healthcare across the globe could be dramatically improved. Listen to Dr. Finette share more about the inspiration behind THINKMD here.
Nearly 15,000 children die every day from treatable clinical conditions, in particular respiratory distress, pneumonia, dehydration, and sepsis. While countries have made great strides in decreasing child mortality, at least 30 countries must at least double their current rate of reduction to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing under-5 mortality to below 25 deaths/1000 live births.[i] A major barrier in increasing healthcare delivery is a growing lack of healthcare professionals to identify children who are sick and recommend appropriate, early therapeutic intervention.
As a result, Dr. Finette and Dr. Heath spent 3 years developing a simple-to-use technology called MEDSINC with backend algorithms that were tested in field-based trials with 1,000 children on 4 continents including 5 countries ranging from South Africa to Bangladesh. The trial demonstrated correlation rates of between 80-95% to that of a medical professional. Read more about the clinical validation of their technology in this manuscript published in the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
THINKMD’s diagnostics platform puts advanced clinical logic into the hands of any health worker, regardless of their level of training. It increases a user’s adherence to recommended protocols and improves assessment accuracy by using data to continually improve the disease algorithms with geotagged health and epidemiologic data. Treatments are automatically calculated based on the age and weight of the patient or the platform can be configured to referral only mode depending on the type of user and national/local guidelines.
The population subsets currently addressed include: 1) Newborn; 2) Children under 5; 3) Youth and Adolescent (ages 5-15); and Antenatal (ANC) and Postnatal Care (PNC).
THINKMD has partnered with Vodacom and Mondia Health to launch a consumer-based triage platform on the Mum and Baby platform in South Africa that has more than 1.9 million users. To achieve scale and sustainability across Africa, THINKMD is developing a direct-to-consumer solution that incorporates THINKMD’s sophisticated risk assessments as a white label product that can be branded by distribution partners. This intelligent platform will support consumers through their daily health and wellness journey, including medicine management and reminders; behavioral change content; health information; and access to healthcare services.
Recently, THINKMD launched Healthy Kids / Brighter Future (HKBF) to empower school teachers with mHealth technology. HKBF is a creative, rapidly expanding school-based health program in Zambia in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Utilizing teachers as frontline health workers, HKBF enables the efficient delivery of healthcare and health education to school-aged children and adolescents. By utilizing THINKMD’s clinical assessment and data analytics technology, HKBF will now be able to empower its ‘School Health Workers’ to perform high quality clinical assessments of their students, as well as automate data collection, referrals, and follow-up consults.
After four years, THINKMD is working with world-class partners in 7 countries and is available in 8 languages. Learn more about their impactful work here.
[i] The World Bank (2013). UN: Global Child Deaths Down By Almost Half Since 1990. [online] Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/ press-release/2013/09/13/un-global-child-deaths-down