Many millions of people lack proper healthcare. The new BLISS4D concepts from TNO can help them by empowering medical staff in remote areas. Our connected full-care packages are designed to improve diagnostics, clinical decisions, referrals and communication. By enabling more effective interventions, lives can be saved.
A large proportion of the 3 billion people at the base of the pyramid lack proper healthcare. Hampered by a shortage of trained care professionals in rural areas, they are often denied access to even the most basic diagnostics. Combined with poor information and cultural obstacles, this means many diseases are detected too late and many patients remain untreated, resulting in extremely high morbidity and mortality rates.
The BLISS4D concepts from TNO empower community-level medical staff in remote areas with on-site diagnostics for proper health and disease management and dedicated referrals. We provide a full-care package, combining a diagnostic platform with decision support and referral pathway management. Including peer-oriented communication will improve the awareness of the pregnant women and strengthen ANC in the community.
According to the WHO, hypertension and haemorrhage cause 33-50% of all maternal deaths. These could be avoided with good quality, culturally sensitive antenatal care (ANC). In remote rural communities, effective ANC delivery is hampered by shortages of equipment and staff. Not to mention sociocultural factors, a lack of understanding and sheer distance from clinics or hospitals.
Our life-saving innovation, Check2gether, brings ANC into the heart of the community. We combine a non-invasive testing kit and smartphone app that any health worker can use to identify high-risk pregnancies. The app instantly displays easy-to-read test results and gives advice for treatment or referral.
This transparent diagnosis, together with peer-group ANC sessions, motivates pregnant women to make healthier choices and to demand better services. And not only does the tool save lives at birth, but the database linked to the app keeps track of results and measures impact nationwide. That forms another powerful argument for governments to implement this ground-breaking innovation, at a cost of less than US$8 per pregnancy.
TNO has developed the first prototypes of the Check2gether kit in close co-operation with Simavi. A pilot project began in Ghana at the end of 2015.
BLISS4Midwifes is another integrated concept dedicated to improving the health of mother and child, by supporting the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and anaemia in pregnancy. In collaboration with Simavi, Cordaid and Relitech, in 2016 TNO will be evaluating its prototypes of this platform in two districts of northern Ghana. Here we plan to serve 400-1000 women, offering them healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries in a region where the mortality rate in pregnancy is up to 80 times higher than in developed countries.
This initiative is supported by the Dutch Life Sciences & Health for Development Fund (LSH14GH16).