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UVM Faculty-Founded THINKMD & Save the Children Expand Partnership

April 27, 2023 by Jennifer Nachbur

An expanded partnership between University of Vermont physician-founded THINKMD and global children’s health leader Save the Children aims to have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of children in vulnerable communities across the globe.

Professor of Pediatrics Barry Finette, M.D., Ph.D. (far right) poses with the Save the Children Kenya health team and Ministry of Health officials in Nairobi, Kenya. (Courtesy photo)

An expanded partnership between University of Vermont physician-founded THINKMD and global children’s health leader Save the Children aims to have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of children in vulnerable communities across the globe.

One of the world’s leading organizations focused on improving the lives of children, Save the Children has been a partner of Burlington, Vermont-based THINKMD for more than five years. Founded in 2014, THINKMD is a clinical intelligence platform built by University of Vermont Professor of Pediatrics Barry Finette, M.D., Ph.D., and Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus Barry Heath, M.D., to help address a shortage of healthcare workers in low- and middle-income countries.

The partnership will focus on delivering more timely, effective, high-quality healthcare services to children, regardless of where they live. THINKMD’s platform helps healthcare workers better assess and triage children, with up to a 95 percent clinical correlation to that of a physician. Save the Children will bring its extensive experience in child health and development in over 120 countries to ensure that the solutions are tailored to the specific needs of each community.

“THINKMD was founded to develop a next generation digital tool that could lead to a decrease in the over 6 million annual deaths in children under 5 years of age, many from diseases and conditions that could be have been prevented if they were identified accurately, early on, with the implementation of an accurate care plan,” said Finette In an April 5, 2023 blog post.

The newly announced enterprise-wide technology licensing agreement expands the existing partnership between the organizations and enables adoption and scaling of THINKMD’s platform.

“This new partnership is a key step to address the barriers that exist for the sustainable adoption and scaling of digital health technology by ministries of health, large international agencies, and non-government organizations, and to move both our missions forward in improving the health and well-being of children and their families globally,” said Finette.

A first for Save the Children, the digital health software global enterprise agreement builds on the two organizations’ current partnerships in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Kenya. With proven impact in these countries since 2017, including over 366,000 high quality clinical assessments performed by over 400 frontline health workers, the agreement reduces barriers and streamlines the adoption and scaling of THINKMD’s clinical intelligence and data analytics platform across Save the Children programs worldwide.

According to Janti Soeripto, M.Sc., Save the Children USA president and CEO, Save the Children and THINKMD have a long history of successful and impactful collaboration. “By utilizing THINKMD’s solutions to improve clinical quality and acquire better data, we see a clear path combining the strengths of these partners to make a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities,” she said.

The partners are now actively working to actualize the agreement by launching new projects and country programs that feature THINKMD’s platform.

“I have been privileged to have been part of these partnerships from the beginning, working with Save the Children teams to integrate our next generation clinical assessment point-of-care digital health and data analytics technology into their programs,” said Finette in his April 5 blog post. “Together, we have demonstrated the impact this technology can have by transferring physician-based thinking and skill sets to minimally-skilled frontline health workers on a simple-to-use digital platform that expands their healthcare capacity, allowing them to increase access to improved integrated clinical evaluation of patients,” he added.

(This article was adapted from an announcement co-produced by THINKMD and Save the Children.)

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