Announcing our 2014 SEAD Cohort!

This article was originally posted on the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) website.

We all know that the U.S. spends far too much on healthcare.  17% of GDP?  Individual hospital bills for thousands of dollars?  But is any health system really perfect?  Is it actually possible to build a low-cost, high quality health system that serves everyone’s needs?

In terms of the system level – the jury’s still out on that one.  But if we look a little closer, really taking the magnifying glass to some broken models around the world, we see exciting forms of healthcare delivery bubbling up from social entrepreneurs.  Models that don’t require subsidy, serve patients in the way they deserve, and use technology as a true efficiency. Shipping container clinics providing healthcare to truck drivers across rural Africa, profitable health loans offered to patients in India with no traditional collateral, efficient/low cost health worker and supply chain training to improve health outcomes drastically.

Sound exciting?  We think so!

That’s why we’ve picked these organizations and a few more to join the 2014 cohort of entrepreneurs in the Social Enterprise Accelerator at Duke (SEAD)!  SEAD is a USAID- funded accelerator program run in partnership by CASE, IPIHD, DGHI and Investors’ Circle – to expand the reach of high impact healthcare social entrepreneurs serving low-income populations in emerging markets.

Part of SEAD involves addressing individual organization challenges – tackling access to funding, corporate partnerships, etc.  But the really exciting piece of this is how it impacts the field.  SEAD entrepreneurs are able to help each other, cross-share what works in India with Kenya and meet with government policymakers to work collaboratively on country-wide health issues.  At SEAD, we believe it’s all about investing in what works, helping great ideas scale and ultimately bringing innovative, effective models of healthcare delivery to thousands around the world.

Today we’re thrilled to announce this year’s cohort of SEAD entrepreneurs.  Talk about high impact- they’re truly the ones to watch.

2014 SEAD Cohort Innovators

LifeNet- Efficient Capacity Building for Local Health Clinics
Strengthens local healthcare capacity, by partnering with community health centers to build their medical and administrative capacity and connect them with necessary pharma/medical equipment.  Partner clinics have seen a 72% increase in quality of patient care.

Northstar- Shipping Container Clinics for Transport Workers
Operates a network of converted shipping container clinics placed along Africa’s transport corridors currently serving over 215,000 people in 13 countries.  Partners with over 70 public, private and social organizations including Chevron, Heineken, UPS and others.

Arogya Finance- Health Loans for the Traditionally Unbankable Provides health loans within 24 hours to patients, approving patients based on a proprietary behavioral test rather than formal system requirements like a bank account or collateral.

Forus Health- Intelligent Medical Technology 
Focused on “Democratizing Wellness,” Forus Health develops affordable technology solutions that can easily be used by a minimally trained technician, thereby making health service accessible and scalable.  Creator of 3nethra- an intelligent pre-screening ophthalmology device.

SughaVazhvu- Evidence Based Blue Print for Primary Care
Offers low-cost primary healthcare services through an easy to follow blue print clinic system.  This includes a focus on evidence-based primary care, use of a proprietary health management information system, community engagement tactics and highly developed protocols to treat the most common 80+ illnesses.

Swasth India – Low Cost, Patient Centered, Primary Care Franchise
Driven by the motto “Health for all,” Swasth India operates a chain of primary care centers in slum areas with a model that provides a 50% reduction in out of pocket expenses to the patient.  Provides everything in a 150 square foot facility that offers access to a family doctor, rapid diagnostics on site, discounts on drugs, referrals with discounts, in patient day care services and electronic health records.

No one knows what the future holds, but we definitely know that health needs aren’t going away.  Let’s work together to help these exciting organizations spread their models across the world.