Healthcare coverage should be available for everyone, anywhere in the world. Yet there is an enormous gap in coverage globally. THINKMD is working across ten countries worldwide to bridge this global gap, eliminate preventable deaths, and improve access to quality healthcare globally by combining digital intelligence with mobile technology. THINKMD was founded in 2014 by two physicians, Dr. Barry Finette and Dr. Barry Heath from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. Together, they aimed to create a way that ties together clinicians' perspective and technology to deliver better quality health solutions across the globe.
THINKMD is changing the status quo in digital health
Innovations in Healthcare sat down with Chris Powell, THINKMD’s CEO, to discuss THINKMD's journey and goals for the future. Frontline healthcare workers often lack the digital health tools necessary to increase capacity and improve access by decentralizing the healthcare delivery model. THINKMD is changing this paradigm by putting digital health tools in the hands of those workers via mobile phones. Healthcare workers in rural settings do not have access to the internet and these tools can be downloaded and used later in those settings without having to go online. By connecting to the internet later when in homebase, all the entered information and data can be uploaded. THINKMD believes in enabling the right healthcare journey by empowering frontline workers to provide quality care in low-resource settings across the world.
Insights on a few current projects of THINKMD
In Kenya, THINKMD has their technology tablets located in about twenty Goodlife Pharmacies. This enables people to take an assessment at the pharmacy and have the opportunity to talk with the pharmacist about the assessment. THINKMD is extending this work to be able to potentially provide drugs and a telehealth session all in one place.
In Somalia, THINKMD is working in twenty-two clinics and have providers with nearly thirty thousand frontline encounters in 2021. This has led to a high percentage of urgent risk assessments that have helped patients move positively forward to achieve better quality health outcomes.
In Bangladesh, THINKMD is working on a joint project with Save the Children, CDC.
In the United States, THINKMD is involved in a pilot program at The University of Vermont. The program enables patients to access THINKMD’s application so that they can complete assessments remotely and give the healthcare provider the necessary information before their appointment.
THINKMD is in conversation with Google on Google’s health ecosystem, to provide cost-effective and quality treatment solutions by taking an assessment using their application.
Challenges faced by THINKMD
A key challenge faced by THINKMD is the continued validation of clinical intelligence, technology that thinks like a doctor, using data models. Another challenge is attaining sufficient funds in order to find suitable people and resources necessary to build its technology and scale up its work. They aim to provide health solutions to everyone; currently, they are serving moms, babies, children and adolescents. Finding skilled people necessary to build a global workforce for the implementation of products to provide quality outcomes has been another significant challenge for THINKMD.
THINKMD’s future goals
THINKMD aspires to get their products into the hands of fifty thousand health workers doing at least a quarter of a million frontline health encounters to expand the data used for informing better clinical decisions across the world.
“You have to have a grand idea that you are really passionate about. There are a thousand great ideas but taking the risk of saying that I am actually going to make this happen is the first big step and then sticking with it is the rest. Being resolute in your determination is very important to get through the challenges that come your way. ”
Chris Powell – CEO, THINKMD