August 2

Jennifer Cook

In Search of the Best Health Care Innovators in the World

NextBillion readers know that truly great, market-based ideas have the potential to expand access to quality, affordable health care everywhere. The trick is to find and then scale solutions. To that end, Innovations in Healthcare is excited to kick off this year’s search for the best health care innovators worldwide.

Our current network includes 67 innovators operating in 49 countries and serving over 7 million people. Spanning the full range of health care delivery – from rural and urban clinics, specialty hospitals, anti-counterfeiting devices, telemedicine technologies and safe birthing kits – our innovators have a reputation for excellence.

What makes our network so special? Last year’s cohort of innovators included organizations working around the world that are providing care in the right places, at the right prices and with the right partners. Some of last year’s selected innovators included:

  • Health City Cayman Islands, a medically advanced tertiary hospital that is working to provide more affordable surgical care to patients in the Caribbean, the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
  • AccuHealth, a tele-monitoring company in Chile that uses data to predict and prevent complications from chronic diseases, ultimately saving both patients and health systems money.
  • PurpleSource, a company in Nigeria working to elevate the quality of existing clinics in Lagos and link care across the health care system.
  • Microclinic International, an organization that uses a “train-the-trainer” model to lead community groups that meet to learn about healthy behaviors, manage and monitor their health, and engage in social activities.
  • access.mobile, a digital health company operating in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana that digitizes patient records into a light patient management system and automates communication with patients via SMS, email and smartphone notifications.
  • WiserCare, a company that helps physicians and patients make customized treatment decisions through an online survey platform that uses an individual’s clinical information and survey responses to determine best-fit treatment options.


 Why Should Entrepreneurs Join?

Innovations in Healthcare offers entrepreneurs a passport to new opportunities, information and connections. We connect our innovators to the people, organizations and information they need to strengthen their organizations and ultimately help expand access to quality, affordable health care. These connections might involve matching up our innovators with academic resources such as the Duke Global Health Institute’s Evidence Lab or student intern support to assist with evaluation or business planning. They might include a targeted introduction to a corporate leader, fellow innovator or funder, or maybe a chance to pitch your business model to a group of investors at our Annual Forum. We have strategic research partnerships to explore transferring models from one country to another, and routinely find opportunities to showcase our innovators in events held throughout the world. We also study and help innovators think through fundraising strategies.


What Types of Organizations Should Join?

Innovations in Healthcare selects organizations to join the network based on three main criteria:

  • Innovative approach: Does the organization address critical health needs and provide significant improvements in cost, quality and/or access to health services?
  • Readiness to scale: Is the organization past the pilot stage and poised and prepared to expand? (Does it already have paying customers?)
  • Sustainability: Does the organization have a financially sustainable business model or a serious commitment to becoming sustainable?

Our innovators include both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. This year we are looking to grow our network to include companies working in some of the geographies and health care areas listed below:

  • Geographies of focus: Brazil, Southern and West Africa, Southeast Asia, India, Kenya and Mexico
  • Type of care focus: population health management, chronic management for non-communicable diseases (especially as connected with primary care) and health care financing models


What Does Membership Cost?

Membership in our network is free. We were founded by Duke Medicine, the World Economic Forum and McKinsey and Company in 2011 and are financially supported by corporate sponsors and foundations. Innovators are at the heart of our mission to increase access to quality, affordable health care around the world and we believe that by supporting our innovators, we are helping to strengthen health care delivery everywhere.


What is the process for applying?

More information about what it means to be in our network and how to apply can be found here. To get straight to nominating your organization or an organization you think we should consider, please go here.

The deadline for nominations is Sept. 16. Finalists will be notified Oct. 1 to submit a full application. Those organizations selected to join Innovations in Healthcare will be notified in mid-December.

Any questions? Please e-mail Logan Couce at logan.couce@duke.edu.

Happy nominating!


Jennifer Cook is communications manager at Innovations in Healthcare (formerly IPIHD).

Photo courtesy of Microclinic International on Facebook.



Health Care
Base of the Pyramid, healthcare technology, innovation, public health