The Katerva Awards

Founded in 2009 by Meg Wirth—who now serves as chief strategy officer—and Allyson Cote—who stepped down last year from her COO post—Maternova participated in Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s first accelerator program, taking the leap from idea to action after it was “percolating for a long time,” according to Veenam.
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/ri-tech-and-innovation-report-the-katerva-awards

Big Win at SXSW by Sproutel, Slater and More

“I’m so very proud of our team for both awards, and they represent very different achievements,” said Aaron Horowitz, co-founder and CEO. “For me, the People’s Choice Award means a lot because it was chosen by all of the attendees. I was blown away by so many of the companies and products I saw at SXSW so this award, in particular, was a great honor.”
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/ri-tech-and-innovation-report-big-win-at-sxsw-by-sproutel-slater-and-more

These 5 New Startups Are Turning Heads And Changing Minds

Another household necessity that no one wants to talk about are sanitary pads. Periods are pretty much taboo conversation in most cultures, but Saathi Pads are hoping to change the “yucky” into the “yes!”. Saathi Pads are made from banana fiber, so they’re fully compostable and biodegradable. They also are free from bleaches and perfumes so you can easily say bye bye to that nasty pad rash.
https://feminisminindia.com/2019/04/17/these-5-new-startups-are-turning-heads-and-changing-minds/

Biosense: Low-cost medical diagnostic devices, for rural doctors

While volunteering in rural India 10 years ago with several NGOs, Abhishek Sen, a doctor, saw a large number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases but few ways to diagnose them. “There were several families suffering from serious non-communicable diseases. The male would be hypertensive, the female would be anaemic and the kids would be underweight,” recounts Sen, who along with Yogesh Patil, a classmate from TN Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, and a doctor, decided to come up with technology to deal with the problem.
http://www.forbesindia.com/article/innovation-factories/biosense-lowcost-medical-diagnostic-devices-for-rural-doctors/53083/1

From Commander to Student to Fellow to CEO

“Prakash’s leadership role at Maternova evolved swiftly based upon his combination of strategic leadership skills and ability to execute tasks and decisions at all levels,” shared Wirth. “We have worked with many, many students, recent graduates, consultants, and colleagues, but Prakash’s immediate understanding of the mission and vision of the company and his business acumen stood out.”
http://entrepreneurship.babson.edu/from-commander-to-student-to-fellow-to-ceo/

Sproutel May Be RI’s Most Innovative Company

Providence-based Sproutel has now developed two remarkable — and successful — interactive, smart stuffed toys to assist children with complex health challenges.
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/Sproutel-May-Be-RIs-Most-Innovative-Company-See-What-CEO-Horowitz-Says-t

2 Kenyan e-health startups secure grants from Villgro

“The mission of Maisha Meds is to develop systems to improve access to high quality and affordable medicines. We are incredibly excited to work with Villgro in this mission, and have heard wonderful things about the support that Villgro provides companies working to scale health technologies in East Africa,” she said.
http://disrupt-africa.com/2018/12/2-kenyan-e-health-startups-secure-grants-from-villgro/

How Myanmar Can Embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Michael is the son of two doctors who moved to the United States from Myanmar in the 1970s. When U.S. sanctions for Myanmar were suspended in 2012, he came to Myanmar to form Koe Koe Tech with his cousin, Dr. Yar Zar Minn Htoo, a Myanmar citizen, doctor, and software developer. Today Koe Koe Tech has 80 employees, 77 of whom are Myanmar nationals, about two-thirds of whom are women, and nearly 40 software developers, all of them Myanmar nationals.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl4BcB6Ul4o&app=desktop

Entrepreneurship on the Rise in the Medical Supply Chain in Africa: A Tale of Four Pharmacy Disruptors

Originally set up to improve diagnosis and prescribing for pharmacies in Kisumu, Kenya, Maisha Meds faced a growing demand for pharmacy management, stock keeping, and supply chain tools. Two years on, Maisha Meds offers pharmacy owners a cloud-based android app which is a point of sale (POS) system that collects procurement and patient data; it also negotiates prices with manufacturers and coordinates deliveries with distributors.
https://www.cgdev.org/blog/entrepreneurship-rise-medical-supply-chain-africa-tale-four-pharmacy-disruptors

How women entrepreneurs are advancing woman’s health

Asha Curran, Chief Innovation Officer and Director at the 92nd St Y, and Zubaida Bai, Founder and CEO of ayzh Inc., talk about making health care accessible for girls and women living in poverty across the world.
https://mashable.com/video/asha-curran-zubaida-bai-sgs-2018/#g37ABjLzpiqI

African innovation scores wins at 2018 MIT Solve Global Challenge finals

Access Afya runs a chain of micro-clinics in Nairobi’s informal settlements. The startup was founded in 2012 by Melissa Menke. Access Afya’s Akiba ya Roho initiative — a comprehensive diabetes and hypertension management programme — scored the social enterprise a place on the 2018 MIT Solver class.
http://ventureburn.com/2018/09/mit-solve-africa/

African innovation scores wins at 2018 MIT Solve Global Challenge finals

Akiba ya Roho (Melissa Menke, Kenya): Access Afya’s Akiba ya Roho programme helps trained community members conduct mass non-communicable disease screenings in slums with a mobile app which guides users through a series of simple health questions, and community members take basic measurements like blood sugar and pressure.
https://ventureburn.com/2019/05/african-innovators-mit-solve-event/

Meet the tech whiz building robotic teddy bears to comfort sick kids

The experience sparked the idea for Jerry the Bear, an adorable robot teddy that simulates symptoms of Type 1 diabetes — including fluctuating blood sugar, bathroom urgency and feelings of dizziness. It’s designed so kids can better understand their own health and help normalize their experiences.
https://nypost.com/2018/09/27/meet-the-tech-whiz-building-robotic-teddy-bears-to-comfort-sick-kids/

Ayzh founder Zubaida Bai on the ‘birth kits’ helping women in rural India have hygienic deliveries

Ayzh (pronounced ‘eyes’) is a for-profit venture that is perhaps best known for its JANMA birthing kit. The kit, which is aimed at rural women in areas where healthcare and sanitation are often a low priority, includes the tools necessary to have a hygienic birth in the presence of a doctor or midwife. The expectant mother is given the jute purse after delivery for her own use, which Bai sees as an advocacy tool that furthers the movement for cleaner births.
https://www.firstpost.com/life/ayzh-founder-zubaida-bai-on-the-birth-kits-helping-women-in-rural-india-have-hygienic-deliveries-5236291.html

Myanmar’s Startup Revolution

Koe Koe Tech’s app is called “Maymay,” meaning “mother.” It’s a health support service for pregnant women and mothers.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/editors/1/myanmarsstartuprevolution/index.html

Manufacturing an end to maternal mortality

“I saw women around me whose potential was not being recognized,” said Bai, which stoked a desire to give back to those she cared so deeply about.
https://biz.source.colostate.edu/ending-maternal-mortality-gsse-mba/

Mapping women hygiene through innovation

Saathi began in 2015, when its co-founders came together on a mission to create fully eco-friendly, compostable sanitary napkins using locally sourced banana fiber from the state of Gujarat, where Saathi is based. Saathi pads are Biodegradable & Compostable, using plant-based materials for the leak-proof outer layers of the napkin. Saathi pads are made with banana fibre because of its highly absorbent properties, and the environmental and social benefits of its supply chain.
https://www.biospectrumindia.com/news/69/11162/mapping-women-hygiene-through-innovation.html

Biosense Technologies raises $ 1 million

Impact investment fund Menterra Venture Advisors, announced a new round of investment in Biosense Technologies alongside its investment partner Artha Venture Challenge.
https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/biosense-technologies-raises-1-million/article23495927.ece

100 Bold Ideas to Improve Women and Children’s Health and Rights in the Developing World

Access Afya Kenya is developing and testing a revolutionary approach that aims to put nutrient monitoring into the hands of mothers using the non-invasive technique of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Fingernail scanning can be done by mothers at home, and results are instantaneous and easy to interpret. With the 1000 Day Nutrient Monitor, each mother can repeatedly analyse her and her baby’s nutrient levels, informing proactive diet changes.
https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/05/31/1515272/0/en/100-Bold-Ideas-to-Improve-Women-and-Children-s-Health-and-Rights-in-the-Developing-World.html

When a robot duck stole hearts

When Aaron Horowitz was a child, he had human-growth-hormone deficiency and was administered daily injections for five years in order to grow. It left a big enough impact for him to start a company called Sproutel, a company that collaborates with brands for better health. When Aflac, a supplemental insurance company in the US that has funded the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta, asked for a product to be a companion to children with cancer, they developed My Special Aflac Duck, a robot that interacted and responded intuitively. At the Consumer Electronics Show 2018, they won the Best Innovation in the Tech for a Better World category.
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/when-a-robot-duck-stole-hearts/article22656114.ece

MyTelemedicine Forms Strategic Partnership with PACEMD to Leverage the Power of Telemedicine across Latin America

Digital health care technology leader MyTelemedicine has partnered with PACEMD, an international organization focused on supporting health initiatives in Latin America, to provide telehealth services to Spanish-speaking patients in the United States and Mexico.
https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/mytelemedicine-forms-strategic-partnership-with-pacemd-to-leverage-the-power-of-telemedicine-across-latin-america-1016021028

Saving Mothers Announces Innovative Partnership With Maternova, Inc. to Advance Maternal Health

“The partnership with Maternova will enable Saving Mothers to reach a far broader number of pregnant women in need within underserved communities around the world,” stated Dr. Shirazian, “Providing this access will ensure that Saving Mothers can continue its efforts to reduce maternal morbidity rates, bringing us closer to our goal of eradicating preventable death during childbirth within the next decade.”
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3653073

Pharmacy lifeline in Kenya

Newsday’s Alan Kasujja visited an organisation which is trying to change that. ‘Access Afya’, runs three micro clinics and two pharmacies which service thirty thousand people in Nairobi’s informal settlements.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05wmd67

The Aflac Duck and Chemotherapy: How One Company Is Creating a Companion to Help Children with Cancer

Sproutel is a company that has been creating ‘companion robots’ for a few years. Their first robot is called ‘Jerry the Bear’ and was created to help children with type 1 diabetes better understand their disease and management. The children take care of Jerry, feeding him, checking his blood sugar, and giving him insulin. In many ways, it helps children understand why they need to do certain things. By taking care of Jerry, they can better take care of themselves.

http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/timothy-aungst-pharmd/2018/01/the-aflac-duck-and-chemotherapy-how-one-company-is-creating-a-companion-to-help-children-with-cancer

My Special Aflac Duck™ Takes Home Best of CES 2018 Award

Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the United States, capped off a busy week at the Consumer Electronics Show® (CES) by accepting the Best of CES 2018 Award for Best Unexpected Product for My Special Aflac Duck, the company’s new social robot designed to help children coping with cancer. The smart companion was created by Sproutel, a research and development workshop focused on making health care playful.
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/my-special-aflac-duck-takes-home-best-of-ces-2018-award-300581870.html

Banana fiber sanitary pads can solve big problems in India

With its sanitary pads for the Indian market, startup company Saathi solves two problems at once. Just 16 percent of women in India use them due to poverty and other reasons, which causes health and social issues. At the same time, manufacturing them wastes millions of gallons of water, and two million tons of pads end up in landfills every year. To help with all that, Saathi’s pads are affordable, made from discarded banana tree fibers, manufactured in a sustainable way and 100 percent biodegradable.
https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/29/saathi-banana-sanitary-pads-hello-tomorrow/

Urban Health In Slums Between Addis Ababa And Nairobi

In light of the gap left by formal healthcare systems and in an effort to cater to the largely underserved population of Nairobi’s informal areas, Access Afya is a chain of three clinics located in the capital’s largest slums.
https://progrss.com/sustainability/20171221/urban-health-addis-nairobi/

In Burma, Facebook can be your OB-GYN

For the country’s women, reproductive and sexual health care often remains out of reach – and it’s having deadly consequences. Each year, 2,800 women die due to complications from pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care.
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/05/burma-facebook-can-ob-gyn/#dIvc7zeiTVCxxP7v.97

How safe are sanitary pads in India?

“Contrary to claims, most of what is in the market doesn’t even use cotton. It is mostly wood pulp. Almost all use the same materials, changes are in the form—how it looks and feels versus what materials are used. As for the chemicals used, every company will say that the quantity of chemicals, SAP or chlorine bleach they use will not kill you,” said Sarah McMillan, business development lead at Saathi Pads, a start-up that makes biodegradable sanitary pads.

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/T3XIiwJI31WZuK1IsoUOJL/How-safe-are-sanitary-pads-in-India.html

Mobile Tech Spans Health Gap for Developing World’s Pregnant Women

Developed by IT social enterprise Koe Koe Tech, the app provides comprehensive information to pregnant women from pre-natal to post-natal care. It includes quizzes and daily alerts for the duration of pregnancy and the first three years of the infant’s life.The app helps users find doctors, hospitals, maternity and child supplies. It also provides a chat service where “pregnant women and parents can discuss their issues with peers,” said Koe Koe Tech’s Michael Lwin in an email.

https://blogs.voanews.com/techtonics/2017/03/24/mobile-tech-spans-health-gap-for-developing-worlds-pregnant-women/

Saathi: Healthcare startup makes biodegradable pads from banana fibre

Saathi – – an Ahmedabad-based startup founded by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates — Amrita Saigal, Grace Kane and Kristin Kagetsu, has developed a biodegradable sanitary pad made from banana fibre for the Indian market. “Last year, we filed for a patent. The product has been developed in India and we started manufacturing in our own unit at Ahmedabad from October.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/saathi-healthcare-startup-makes-biodegradable-pads-from-banana-fibre/articleshow/56363299.cms

Addressing the Taboo: Menstruation in India

A shocking 2011 report put the estimated use of female hygiene products in India at about 12 percent of all 355 million menstruating women. This figure is the result of twin barriers to access and affordability that force the other 88 percent to rely on unsanitary alternatives such as cloth, ashes and husk sand.
https://www.borgenmagazine.com/menstruation-in-india/

http://globalnews.ca/news/3126717/anti-zika-apparel-clothing-has-built-in-mosquito-repellant-for-women-expectant-moms/

“When the Zika epidemic hit, we were tracking the virus and we became aware of a gap in defending women against Zika. It’s just the basic question of how do you protect yourself during the day without having to slather your body with insecticide,” Wirth told Global News.
http://globalnews.ca/news/3126717/anti-zika-apparel-clothing-has-built-in-mosquito-repellant-for-women-expectant-moms/

Sproxil Nigeria: Ingenuity in the Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs

On June 22, 30 pharmacies and patent medical stores were shut down in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, a small area in Nigeria’s most populous state, Lagos. The update came from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, which sealed the stores for reportedly selling counterfeit drugs. Just weeks before, the Nigerian senate had passionately discussed a new bill that would sentence “culprits of sale and production of fake drugs” to life imprisonment.
https://www.borgenmagazine.com/sproxil-nigeria-fighting-counterfeit-drugs/

9 social good innovations that made an impact in August

Designers at Maternova, an innovation hub geared toward the needs of pregnant women, have developed a line of clothing containing insect repellent with intentions of protecting expectant moms from Zika virus. The repellant used in the clothing, the designers told TakePart, protect the wearer from more than 40 types of insects and will last up to 50 washes.
https://mashable.com/2016/09/02/social-good-innovations-august-2016/#6oN5Xg.NgSqU