Gates Foundation and MIT Solve: Novel Measurement for Performance Improvement of Healthcare

In collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MIT Solve seeks solutions that will offer new ways of measuring primary health care performance improvement in low- and middle-income countries.

According to MIT Solve, primary health care is a cornerstone of health care systems across the globe, and most of a person’s health needs—physical, mental, and social—are addressed by primary health care. Primary health care attends not only to individuals and families but also to the overall well-being of communities and their populations.

Despite its foundational role in communities everywhere, primary health care remains out of reach for millions of people, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Barriers such as high cost, lack of access, insufficient availability, and inconsistent quality of care keep  people from living healthy and productive lives.

While performance improvement systems vary worldwide, key indicators for measuring primary health care performance improvement are on hand. Despite having strong measurement standards, limitations in how performance measurement occurs are common. These include a lack of comprehensive vision and purpose for data collection; poor quality or impractical data; a measurement that primarily informs funders rather than practical performance improvements; inconsistent connectivity and adoption of real-time digital tools; information, or data systems that do not communicate with others; burden of data collection being borne by frontline health workers; and systems lack feedback mechanisms for data collectors themselves.

This challenge seeks novel and improved methods that: employ unconventional or proxy data sources to inform primary health care performance improvement; provide improved measurement methods that are low cost, fit-for-purpose, shareable across information systems, and streamlined for data collectors; leverage existing systems, networks, and workflows to streamline the collection and interpretation of data to support meaningful use of primary health care data; provide actionable, accountable, and accessible insights for healthcare providers, administrators, and/or funders that can be used to optimize the performance of primary health care; and balance the opportunity for frontline health workers to participate in performance improvement efforts with their primary responsibility as care providers. Solutions should be appropriately designed for use in low- and middle-income countries.

A total of $500,000 is available for up to eight selected solutions. Of the $500,000 in funding, $100,000 is available for up to four early-stage solutions and $400,000 is available for up to four growth-stage solutions. The selected winners will receive support programming through the WFP Innovation Accelerator to continue testing and building their solutions.

Please contact Daniel Hadley if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.