August 31, 2018    Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube
2018 DevelopmentXChange Recap

The 2018 Development XChange took place in Washington D.C. on July 26 th. This year's event convened more than 700 global experts and 52 innovators from around the world to develop and scale interventions for improving maternal and newborn survival in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the world. Here are just a few standout highlights:  
Four innovators were selected to move on to the final stages of deliberations for the Round 8 awards. In addition, The Peer Choice Award, The People's Choice Award and the Pitch Competition winners were announced. Read on to learn more about this year's winners below.  
Pitch Competition Winner: Gradian Health Systems 
Gradian Health Systems is scaling the Universal Anesthesia Machine ---  the world's only internationally-certified anesthesia machine that can generate its own medical oxygen and work without electricity ---  and training program to improve skills of health workers to boost the quality of medical care. As this year's Pitch Competition winner, the Gradian team will receive a sponsored trip to the Grand Challenges Meeting in Berlin in October to present their innovation and learn from innovators around the world.
Pitch Competition Runner-up:

Runner-up at this year's Development XChange Pitch Competition is UK-based company Simprints. Simprints is a nonprofit tech company based out of the University of Cambridge currently working to build an affordable, secure, rugged, open-source fingerprint system that works in low-resource settings. Simprints will be receiving in-kind strategic communications consulting from Fenton.  
The team is currently testing the safety and efficacy of the PfSPZ Vaccine for pregnant women and unborn children. They will receive a  subscription to the CASE Smart Impact Capital toolkit to help them assess their financing needs.
People's Choice Award Winner: Kybele Ghana
Kybele Ghana is scaling-up an obstetric triage system to reduce delay and improve quality of care in high-risk referral hospitals throughout Ghana. The team will receive in-kind support from Weber Shandwick, a global engagement and communication agency. 
Live Video Interviews 
The Maternal and Child Survival Program, one of our event sponsors, recorded  live videos with a variety of innovators, attendees, mentors and partners.   
Click here to view a YouTube playlist featuring videos captured at the event, and don't hesitate to leave comments on the videos that excite you the most! 
DevXChange 2018 In the News

NPR: It's "Shark Tank" For Global Health Inventions. Read more here

GHTC Coalition: 10 Brilliant Technological Innovations to Save Moms and Babies See the video and read the article

NPR: Whatever Happened To...The Car Mechanic Who Invented A Device To Pop Out A Baby? Read more here

Maternal and Child Survival Program: Faisa Ali from American College of OBGYN live at #DevX2018.

The hashtag #DevX2018 reached nearly 500,000 people in just one month! Be sure to follow Saving Lives at Birth on Twitter and for updates on the next Dev XChange and other SL@B events.

Click here for a full recap of the 2018 DevelopmentXChange.
Transforming Childbirth Survival Rates in Kenya with Mobile Technologies
Photo: Roopa Gogineni / Panos / The Guardian
According to the Guardian, a growing number of organizations are investing in the maternal health of low-income mothers in Africa via technology and innovation, including Saving Lives at Birth grantees Jacaranda Health and PATH. Jacaranda Health has seen success utilizing SMS messaging to remind mothers to attend antenatal appointments, spread awareness of pre- and post-childbirth complication danger signs (headaches, swollen hands, bleeding etc.) and to vaccinate their children once they are born. The company has since worked in partnership with 25 public hospitals across three counties to reach an estimated 2,000 women a day. PATH is also highlighted for its contribution to safe birth technologies, including chlorhexidine (used for disinfecting umbilical cords) and a simple device which stops postpartum hemorrhaging.

Risks during pregnancy in Kenya are significantly higher than in many other developed countries. Women in Sub-Saharan Africa have a one in 38 chance during either pregnancy or childbirth. This number sits in stark contrast to that of  developed countries, where one in 3,700 women are affected. "For me, there's really hope that maternal, newborn and child health is a space where partnerships between government, private sector businesses, NGOs and civil society can [work]," says Path Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer Pauline Irungu. "It's one of the areas where people are starting to see value in working together."

Promising Maternal and Child Health Results in African Countries
Mariam Claeson, director of the Global Financing Facility. Photo: Wilson Center Maternal Health Initiative / CC BY-NC-ND
The Global Financing Facility (GFF) has released its first annual report, highlighting gains in maternal and child health outcomes in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon among others. Tanzania in particular has increased its number of high-performing health facilities from 1% to 22%; outpatient care has risen from 2.5% to 14% in just 18 months. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, assisted deliveries have risen by 14%, with vaccination rates for children up 25%. Cameroon has more than doubled its budget for women and child health and nutrition in just one year, as well as a doubling in family planning visits and antenatal care visits in facilities using performance-based financing.

GFF currently operates in 27 countries, with aims to eventually increase its partnerships to 50 countries. "In this report, you will see us focus on a few case studies to better understand what happens in these countries," says GFF Director Mariam Claeson. "What does it take for a DRC, a Cameroon and a Tanzania to show results in just a year? You will see a combination there: highly prioritized, a strong focus on results, aligning financing with programs and being honest with data."

Challenges and Solutions: Mobile Healthcare Innovations in India
Infographic: Stanford Social Innovation Review
In a story from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, authors Aakash Ganju, Sumiti Saharan, Alice Lin Fabiano & Lily W. Lee outline the many hopes for and associated challenges of achieving success with mobile healthcare innovations in India. Four critical insights on mobile health usage patterns emerged from research involving a pool of over 250 new mothers and fathers living in low-income, urban communities: cost is no longer the largest barrier; infrastructure can overcome remaining barriers; digital experiences are not often built for low-income, urban populations; there is a lack of trust in health-related digital information.

Digital health technologies show a great deal of promise in India-particularly in light of the fact that Indians pay 70% of healthcare expenses out of pocket. The authors propose that companies hoping to succeed in the space of global digital health innovation must focus on four critical elements: behavior change, high-quality content, light/fast technology and streamlined design team structure.

G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council Releases
"Make Gender Inequality History Report"
Photo: World Health Organization   
A new report by the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council calls on G7 leaders to take concrete actions to ensure women and girls across the globe are "safe, healthy, educated, heard and visible." In a set of eight recommendations, the report highlights a variety of pressing needs that include addressing the gender pay gap, creating new opportunities for career advancement in the global health workforce and tackling the global prevalence of unpaid care work ---  disproportionately performed by women.  
According to members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council (which includes Melinda Gates, Malala Yousafzai and Christine Lagarde, among others), the recommendations outlined in this new report are crucial to meeting targets and milestones of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Investing in health workers can be instrumental in leveraging a 'SDG dividend,' as it is called, by helping to deliver comprehensive health services for women and girls worldwide.  

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