March 27, 2020

Dimagi Responds to COVID-19


IiH innovator Dimagi, Inc. has responded to the crisis by offering its support to governmental and non-governmental initiatives around the world. Dimagi is a digital health innovator headquartered in the United States with offices in New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa. The company’s flagship product, CommCare, is an award-winning, open-source mobile data collection and service delivery platform.

"During the 2014-2015 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa, Dimagi supported several organizations to deploy mobile applications on CommCare for numerous use cases," CEO Jonathan Jackson shared. "Through this experience, we saw a direct demonstration of the value of digital tools that can be rapidly deployed in offline settings." A 2018 study that reviewed 58 mobile health technologies used during the outbreak found that only two tools, including CommCare, supported all seven technical characteristics and the four key functionalities relevant to Ebola outbreak response.

When COVID-19 was deemed a global pandemic by the WHO, Dimagi took what it learned from Ebola and began to offer pro bono subscriptions for projects that required mobile applications for COVID-19 response. Through the support of generous funders, Dimagi has also quickly stood up free resources for organizations, including developing a free mobile applications that help with different phases of the response effort. They were able to launch their first template application based on the World Health Organization’s FFX protocol for case reporting and contact tracing in a matter of days, and saw over 200 downloads in the first day. A video demo of the application can be found here.

Dimagi continues to build technology for the COVID-19 response while also providing direct support to governments and organizations around the world. Government health systems are already using their technology at all ends of the development spectrum--rom hospitals outside of San Francisco (demo here) to Nigeria and, soon, Sierra Leone 

While Dimagi is witnessing a rapid growing demand for digital platforms to support community-based COVID-19 response efforts, Jackson warned of the dangers of building solutions for only one part of the pandemic. "As health systems increase their response efforts, community health workers and other frontline workers will play a crucial role in responding to the pandemic as well as supporting case reporting, surveillance, contact tracing, and community education," he shared. "We urge organizations to move quickly to equip their communities and community-based workers with the best tools that can support not just one, but all phases of the pandemic through pre-built solutions." 

Dimagi is frequently updating this comprehensive description of how CommCare can help with COVID-19 response. Please feel free to share with any organization that might benefit, as well as with funders that would be interested in supporting the development of new template applications for organizations working on the frontlines. If you have any questions, please email