March 29, 2016

By STEPHANIE BAUM, Originally posted on MedCityNews


Africa is the scene of some interesting digital health and social entrepreneurship collaborations. In the latest advancement on that front, GE Healthymagination and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship have set up a six month accelerator to support maternal and children’s health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The goal is to find ways to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio and move closer towards ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years old, according to a company statement.

Part of GE’s contribution will involve introducing participants to its products and services. Program participants will get specialized support and training on these technologies and resources for the maternal and child health sector.

In a phone interview with Pat Haines, the senior director of marketing at the Miller Center, she said the Healthymagination Mother and Child program will work with 15-20 entrepreneurs in three segments.

It will kick off with a three day workshop in Nairobi in July where entrepreneurs will be matched with Silicon Valley mentors. They will work together online in a six-month virtual mentorship and training program based on the University’s social entrepreneur program. During that time, participants will learn how to strengthen their business models, business plans, organizational development, and learn how to scale sustainably. The program finishes in Nairobi in a series of demo presentations to an audience of investors.

There’s an interest in health tech that can improve healthcare delivery, health literacy and access to care through telemedicine, mobile health, data analysis or image interpretation.

The program is also seeking applicants with products that cover medical equipment distribution, training, use or maintenance. Also of interest are services that can support pregnancy and pediatric care. Eligible companies have to have a sustainable financial model that can be scaled.

It marks the first such collaboration between GE and the Miller Center. Asked why now, Haines said it fits into the bigger picture of what each group wants to accomplish. “We are trying to relieve poverty on our planet. GE is trying to improve health outcomes as well as build and grow new markets.”

To apply, follow this link.