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Publieke samenvattingen SBIR oproep Betere toegang gezondheidszorg en onderwijs Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika

Gepubliceerd op:
4 juni 2021

Er zijn 22 ondernemers geselecteerd om de haalbaarheid te onderzoeken van hun innovaties die kunnen bijdragen aan een betere toegang tot gezondheidszorg en onderwijs in Algerije, Egypte, Irak, Jordanië, Libanon, Marokko, Palestijnse Gebieden, Soedan, Tunesië en Jemen.

De ondernemers krijgen 5 maanden en een budget van maximaal € 40.000 per ondernemer om de haalbaarheid van de innovatie in het land van hun keuze te onderzoeken en een plan te schrijven voor een vervolgtraject. 

Deze SBIR is gericht op zorg en onderwijs. Het onderdeel gezondheidszorg gaat over ondersteuning op afstand, om apparatuur in landelijke klinieken draaiende te houden, betere ondersteuning en training van zorgpersoneel ter plaatse en slimme manieren om patiënten op afstand nabehandeling en lichaamsbeweging te geven. Het gaat ook om het geven van leefstijladviezen en seksuele voorlichting aan patiënten en andere moeilijk bereikbare doelgroepen.

Het onderdeel onderwijs gaat over het (digitaal) beschikbaar stellen van bestaand lesmateriaal en informatie aan moeilijk bereikbare doelgroepen en daarmee in de praktijk laten oefenen.

De 22 winnende ondernemers

Omdat dit internationale projecten zijn, zijn de projectsamenvattingen in het Engels.

1. SkillEd - Entrepreneurship Made INclusive through Digitisation Project - Sudan

This project develops a new open-source platform with remote and offline learning as its core priority in Sudan. Its primary focus is on the specific and unique needs of remote youth & young entrepreneurs (aged 15-34). The platform will not only offer course content in an offline setting, but also concentrate the user functionality on communication and collaboration at four levels: inter-organisational, student-student, trainer-student & trainer-trainer. Functionalities will be optimised for slow internet, and if needed, internet-less areas via battery driven micro servers. This project is led by SkillEd as technological lead and MDF training & consultancy as social innovator.

2. MEDx eHealthCenter - Material Care through Augmented Reality - Algeria

MEDxCare is a health company delivering Digital & Integrated Health Offerings across the spectrum of healthcare. COVID19 has amplified the need for digitization & accelerated digital adoption at scale. This offers healthcare a unique opportunity to confront its most complex challenges through digital solutions. MEDx aims to leapfrog ‘medical equipment maintenance’ to meet the UN’s sustainable development goal 3 (universal healthcare coverage) by 2030. This research project will investigate how real-time visualization applied to the maintenance of ultrasound equipment can improve access to maternal care services in Algeria by 2023. 

3. Digi Surfer B.V. - Digital Inclusion for Education – Morocco

Digi Surfer is conducting a pilot with refurbished laptops to give digital illiterates in remote areas the basic digital skills. In this way, remote education can be stimulated in the remote area, which is especially important since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. We also establish a link with teachers we train from the Berber-Moroccan community in the Netherlands. By working together with local partners, we ensure that we structurally increase the possibilities in remote areas. In the MENA region, large-scale efforts are being made to create a digital society and it is therefore very important that everyone can participate in this.

4. InukaCare BV - Occupied Palestinian Territories 

Inuka, KIT Royal Tropical Institute and Juzoor for Health and Social Development aim to lower the barriers to mental health support by making it more affordable, accessible and effective to young adults, women, refugees and other marginalized communities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These groups are more than ever in need of mental health care and psycho-social support. The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the already challenging socio-economic context exacerbating inequality and increasing stress, anxiety and depression. Through this project Inuka aims to evaluate whether its digital mental health solution can support and improve the wellbeing of vulnerable groups from the Palestinian society.

5. Thaki - Build your own buddy (Bob); digital package for childrens’ resilience - Lebanon

Trauma has detrimental effects on the neurobiological, emotional and social development of children. Currently, children in Lebanon have no or limited access to science-based interventions that enhance their resilience, caused by poor health literacy, a lack of resources and of trained professionals.  We propose a science based, digital and self-guided package for elementary school teachers and children that aims to decrease the impact of trauma and increase resilience in children through strategies on how to deal with overwhelming emotions. Thaki and TNO, together with local organisations, will partner up their complementary knowledge and experience to achieve this.

6.    Health[e]Foundation - Empowering Moroccan women with the LUCY reproductive and maternal health app – Morocco

Morocco has made substantial improvement in reproductive, maternal and newborn health over the past years, however challenges remain, especially for rural and lower educated women. Higher maternal and newborn mortality, limited access to health services and information, and sexual violence are common issues for this group. Health[e]Foundation’s LUCY app provides Moroccan women with complete and accurate health information in their local language, including personalized reminders for clinic visits and vaccination of their babies. This not only promotes better health outcomes during and after pregnancy, it will also result in healthy babies, improved communication with health providers and simultaneously empowers women to make informed decisions. A feasibility study will explore the market potential and business case of the LUCY app for the Moroccan market.

7.    MeduProf-S BV - Conversational learning application for remote health workers – Egypt

MeduProf-S, in collaboration with its partners Helpr and Accent, wants to develop a conversational learning application for remote health workers in Egypt. This innovative way of learning should make it possible for this remote group to continue their development and make lifelong learning a habit. The lessons in the application will be adapted to the local situation and written in colloquial Arabic. With this we want to make it easier to translate theory into practical skills.

8.    weMaron B.V. - Digital Buddy – Yemen

In Yemen, 4 million children have no access to education. The Digital Buddy project brings perspective to these girls and boys from 9 to 14 years old. We connect teachers and children with a smart, simple application. This system monitors progress, allows online and offline interaction with the teacher (Digital Buddy) and increases the number of students per teacher drastically while seamlessly providing a better standardized education. It works even in harsh conditions with no or little internet using sms or voice. Also, we include local partners to create training materials and train local teachers.

9.    WARSHA - Interactive Arabic Online Education Platform - Jordan

Warsha ( شة ور ) is an Arabic word which translates to “Workshop” in English. Warsha is a startup that strives for youth development and empowerment through entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. Warsha provides alternative high-quality education opportunities in the skills of the future such as programming languages and data science, coupled with a business curriculum to develop an entrepreneurial youth. The platform leverages non-traditional education and career pathways by offering project-based programs in addition to tools, opportunities, and a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators.

10.    Spectator Healthcare Technology - Autism Telehealth Solution – Morocco

There are at least 300.000 autistic children in Morocco. 30 parent’s associations try to organise treatments. But in fact, there is few follow-ups done by autism professionals. Parents feel abandoned and are desperate. This situation creates a lot of suffering and a lot of demand for help. We will explore the possibility to build a dedicated digital coaching platform between autistic trainers, children & parents with regular communication with care givers, access to personalised and evidence-based medical information, (remote) control of patient’s progress by psychologists, access via chat, video-teleconsultation, questionnaires, connected to intelligent action plans and procedures.

11. Stichting War Child - Development of virtual agent - Lebanon

A viable generic virtual agent for Can't Wait to Learn games, with the potential to be applied to other (educational) games This project investigates the technical and economic feasibility to develop a virtual agent; an online playmate in educational games guiding children throughout the learning journey. Based on the learning objectives and achievements, the virtual agent reflects on the learning progress and boosts motivation. Initially, we focus on the evidence-based games of Can't Wait to Learn on mathematics and reading, already used by 20.000 children in Lebanon. This virtual agent facilitates off-school learning for primary school children and ambition is to create employment and income for a local company. This study will be carried out by War Child, TNO and &ranj.

12. AppsForce B.V. - Al Siha - Tunesia

We propose a free, intelligent and comprehensive health app to improve the quality and accessibility of health information in non-urbanized Tunisia, the Al Siha app. Tunisia is an upcoming economy that is ready to innovate the quality of rural public health. Currently, Non-Communicable Disease counts for 84% of premature mortality and heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease are the leading causes of general mortality (WHO, 2018; IHMO, 2020). With 126 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, it is obvious that digital solutions are the future of access to general health knowledge and resources, particularly for (early stage) patients in rural areas.

13. Khanem International B.V. - Establishing Dutch Online Academy for Craftmanship and Entrepreneurship – Iraq

With this project we will develop and deliver quality- and practical programmes in the field of Fashion Design and Business Development trainings that are fully oriented towards (self)employment. This project will ensure inclusive access to improve TVET skills development and contribute to improved employability and socio-economic status for vulnerable women and youth in Iraq. In order to expand outreach, the digital presence will be through on-line and blended learning courses. With this feasibility study, we would like to develop a prototype consisting of 1 module. During this phase we will further research and test 1 module with 100 female users from Iraq.

14. Accent - Remote TVET using Virtual Reality – Jordan

This project will reduce the barriers of access to the practical training of TVET students in Jordan and the MENA region through the development and implementation of low-cost, high quality, stand-alone VR-kits that substitute practical training for students that cannot travel to practical training locations. The VR-kits including virtual learning journeys will be co-created with TVET teachers and students to maximise adoption, adaptability and scalability. TVET in Jordan will be used as a launching platform with Luminus Technical University College as a regional scalability partner to improve access to practical learning for 1M learners in MENA in 5 years.

15. LeQuest B.V. - Digital and Asynchronous Medical device training – Morocco

Project DAMOGHIR will investigate the potential for interactive, outcome guaranteed medical device training using the highly immersive fully interactive software of the innovative company LeQuest in rural Morocco. In this feasibility study, the area of mother and childcare in rural regions is central, where the lack of (adequate training in) medical devices leads to insufficient or inappropriate treatment.

16. Educared B-Incredible Me – Lebanon

“Incredible Me” is the analogue, signature psychosocial (MHPSS) support methodology of Defence for Children Lebanon (DCI Lebanon). This project (innovation) concerns the creation of a blended learning program (online and offline) requiring digitization of the methodology, but also functional adaptation to generate impact from an online platform (for example using gamification) and adaptation of the still needed analogue part of the methodology in order to maximize the level of support for the children (offline follow-up and evaluation). Also, digitalization skills will be developed at DCI Lebanon for the future transfer of analogue material to a digital platform and the train-the-trainer program is adapted based on the new offering.

17. Upinion Netherlands BV - E-Health l earning platform for community midwives – Yemen

As a high number of health facilities in Yemen are non-functional and health providers in rural areas such as Community Midwives (CMWs) are neglected in their Professional Development due to inconsistency and lack of proper certification, we provide an easy to access digital communication and E-health learning platform to increase the quality and ongoing support for CMWs in remote areas. As a result, this will ease the burden on health facilities to provide capacity building training in areas with movement restrictions (due to conflict and COVID-19) and will increase the reach of beneficiaries (i.e. women of reproductive age). 

18. Atos Nederland BV - Augmented Reality training and instructions for medical equipment - Egypt

This project revolves around the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in learning to operate and maintain medical equipment. Training personnel to properly operate and maintain medical equipment is expensive and time consuming. On an AR device such as the HoloLens or on a modern mobile phone, actions can be performed step by step and projected onto the real medical device. AR makes it possible with interactive training courses to make training of personnel easier, faster and deployable everywhere.

19. AiDx Medical BV - Low-cost, digital and automated microscopy for automated disease screening - Morocco

Infectious parasitic diseases represent a major problem in Africa. Microscopic examination is the Diagnostic Gold Standard method forming a key element in disease control and prevention. Microscopy requires time, equipment and skilled medical experts. Due to a lack of personnel, especially in rural and low-resource settings, many health facilities cannot offer these basic diagnostic services

20. Layco Medical Devices B.V. - Electrosurgical Unit for hospitals – Egypt

There is little or no access to good and safe surgical care in remote areas of Egypt. One of the most essential tools, the Electrosurgical Unit (ESU) is usually unavailable due to high cost, complexity or a shortage of trained medical personnel. This leads to a higher mortality among patients. Layco Medical Devices aims to develop a simpler and safe ESU for the Egyptian market, which is also user-friendly, easy to clean, easy to repair and above all cheap. In this project Layco will investigate the technical and economic feasibility of this intended innovation.

21. Layco Medical Devices B.V. - Widely deployable video laryngoscopy training application – Egypt

Layco is investigating the technical and economic feasibility of developing its own training platform and application for the training of people in remote regions in MENA countries, initially Egypt. The platform must also be offered more widely to local content providers later. In this way, local medical personnel must be / continue to be trained better and local conditions will be improved.

22. Xdemia - Mowazib - Egypt

Mowazib supports self-employment in the education sector and improves the quality and accessibility of course content in the MENA region. Mowazib is an online collaboration platform on the blockchain where high-educated people (especially women) can (co-)create and generate revenue from peer reviewed course building blocks (BB). They sell them on the Mowazib online marketplace to higher education providers (HEPs) with a price differentiation based on the region of the buyer: HEPs from developed countries pay a normal- yet for them low- price, whereas for HEPs in the MENA countries the BBs are (almost) for free. As well as the platform as the BBs are engineered to be digitally light-weight.

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