Half the world lacks access to essential health services, with 100 million still pushed into extreme poverty every year due to health expenses. As well-functioning clinics can be few and far between, many people do not seek medical care for themselves or their family members until it is often too late. In Mauritania, the level of human development is among the lowest in the world with some of the highest levels of maternal mortality in the region and half of children without all of their immunisations. Global public health efforts have catalysed donor organisations, national governments, and not-for-profit organisations, mobilising significant funding and, in certain contexts, demonstrating real progress.
For example, both new cases of and mortality from HIV/AIDS have been sharply reduced over the last 15 years. Still, broader effectiveness is undermined by a crowded field of poorly organised actors. In Mauritania, financial and geographic obstacles add additional challenges to access, with huge discrepancies between urban and rural areas.
Through remote diagnostics, telemedicine, adherence monitoring, and more, digital technologies offer the opportunity to improve healthcare delivery by increasing access to data and knowledge. Yet, deployments of both open source and private sector solutions require the right enabling environment to scale. The challenge: How might we design and launch a digital data platform to improve health outcomes?