Lane Goodman

Promising Practices: CHMI highlights 71 pro-poor innovations improving health care around the world

2014 was a year of surprising new challenges, but also one in which we gained ground in surmounting long-lasting health challenges in primary care and treating people in remote populations.

We looked on, heartbroken, as Ebola ravaged West Africa’s health systems, seemingly destroying the hope and recent progress on health outcomes. Health innovators searched for effective ways to respond, finding hope in programs and products working to stop new infections and combat the effects of Ebola on poor communities.

In Nigeria, we witnessed a success story; the mobile application used by eHealth Africa, originally designed to track and prevent polio, was instrumental in contact tracing Ebola, decreasing reporting times for new cases by 75 percent. Many analysts have pinpointed contact tracing as a major asset in Nigeria’s ability to eradicate Ebola.

By identifying programs such as eHealth Africa, analyzing their impact and connecting them to potential partners, funders and interested researchers, the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) supports the diffusion of promising practices working to ensure better health care for the poor. CHMI (where the author serves as communications associate) provides information about more than 1,400 such programs around the world.

Highlights: Findings From 2014″ identifies health care programs, policies and practices, documents and analyzes promising practices, and spotlights programs with potential for scale up and adaptation within and across borders. Read about eHealth Africa and more than 70 similar programs working to make quality health care delivered by innovators affordable and accessible to the world’s poor.

Key insights from “Highlights: Findings From 2014” include:

• CHMI presents improved profiles for more than 1,400 innovative health programs in more than 130 countries around the world.

• 85 programs have reported 148 new examples of scaling up in 2014, including offering a wider range of services, replicating their programs in new countries, adding more facilities and increasing the number of people served.

• Health programs in rapidly changing health markets are improving and expanding access to quality care. Read about the innovation landscape in the Philippines, Nigeria and Pakistan.

• More programs are reporting promising results with the integration of technology and mHealth platforms into maternal and child health. In Mali, Djantoli community health workers have used mHealth to help track and prevent disease among more than 3,500 children since 2010.

• New research on the Indian pharmacy Medplus shows the market-wide impacts of entry by the retail pharmacy chain on drug quality and prices of entry in Hyderabad. Other private pharmacy chains show evidence of increasing quality and reducing prices of medicines through partnerships with drug companies, ensuring protection for the poor.

• The CHMI Reported Results initiative is ensuring that innovators gain access to information on “what works.” The 1,170 results reported by CHMI-profiled programs include improvements in health outcomes, affordability and population coverage.

• Furthering our network’s knowledge of what works, new research previews include lessons learned by members of the CHMI Primary Care Learning Collaborative, results from the Rapid Routes to Scale review of more than 450 primary care programs, and indications for innovative ways to empower women by investing in certain health business models.

• A new system to increase visibility for programs with completed, up-to-date profiles and monitoring and evaluation systems in place will help CHMI present promising innovations. Read more about CHMI Plus and learn how this new system spotlights health organizations that are focused on measuring and reporting their impact.

Lane Goodman is a communications associate for the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) at the Results for Development Institute (R4D).

This blog originally appeared on the CHMI website.

Health Care
healthcare technology, scale