Medic & Living Goods’ Partnership Championing Digital Community Health in Kenya

When it comes to driving sustainable and meaningful change for community health workers, the path is best walked in partnership. Since 2015, Living Goods and  Medic and have worked side-by-side in communities across Kenya – and Uganda – with a shared vision of empowering health workers to provide more equitable, accessible, and higher quality care. Building from our early partnership in Busia county, we are now on the precipice of the launch of Kenya’s MoH-led eCHIS app, modeled after Living Goods’ Smart Health app and hosted on the Medic-stewarded Community Health Toolkit. In celebration of this milestone, we’re sharing memories of our partnership from our teammates in reflection of the journey we have undertaken together in solidarity with the communities we serve.

Timeline of our partnership:

  • 2015: Our collaboration is launched to develop a next-generation Android app for CHWs – Medic for Android – evolving from Living Goods’ Smart Health app and Medic’s open-source tooling that incorporates data driven task lists and real time performance dashboards enabling CHWs to become more effective and improve supervision.
  • 2016: Our partnership goes live in Busia county, starting with just 81 digitally-equipped health workers at launch and scaling to more than 700 by year-end.
  • 2017: Living Goods and Medic partner to launch a Community Health Innovation Network in Kisii County, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Together, we leveraged emerging technologies to integrate community health care more seamlessly with health facilities, and extended high-quality diagnostic technologies beyond the lab setting to reach clients at the community level.
  • 2018: Together, we test the Metrics for Management EquityTool, to find 70% of pregnant women in the lowest wealth quintile in Kenya served by Living Goods CHWs delivered in facilities, compared to only 30% of women with similar wealth nationally.
  • 2018: Medic launches the Community Health Toolkit (CHT), with Living Goods as a founding collaboration partner.
  • 2019: Medic supports Living Goods to build the capacity of their internal technical team in support of their vision to independently build, maintain, and host their own technical assets supported by the CHT.
  • 2019: Living Goods through the UHC pilot program supports MoH and Isiolo county to design and implement the first ever integration of a CH digital tool into the Kenya Health Information System (KHIS) with automated monthly submissions of community unit aggregate data, building a strong foundation for inclusion of digitization of CH as part of national health digitization plans.
  • 2020: The Kenyan government develops a national community health strategy and selects a tool based on Living Goods’ CHT-powered Smart Health app to create their own electronic community health information system (eCHIS). The strategy defined a comprehensive ecosystem that is necessary for driving health impact at the community level including human resources (CHW), data driven supervision, availability of essential commodities and sustainable financing that includes CHW compensation.
  • 2020: Medic and Living Goods partner to develop and deploy COVID-19 workflows including event-based surveillance, contract tracing, self-assessments for patients and CHWs, and referrals to care.
  • 2021: Together, we serve on Kenya’s CHU4UHC coalition, advising MoH on the implementation of their community health strategy and developing a prototype for the national eCHIS.
  • 2022: Transition of Living Goods’ Kisumu County CHW cohort to the MoH-led, CHT-based eCHIS platform, signaling the first stage of national scale and lending an early opportunity for continuous improvement and thought leadership.
  • 2023: Building on the lessons from the eCHIS v.1 in Kisumu, eCHIS 2.0 was co-created through four design and development hackathons integrated with capacity building of MoH and partner teams on CHT.

From our teams:

Partnerships have always been crucial for the development of user-centric digital health interventions which are required to operate at scale and are ready for widespread implementation. Living Goods has been at the forefront of this collaboration across a wide range of spectrum including our long-standing partnership with Medic which has been focused on developing digital health solutions which are robust, adaptable, and capable of meeting the expectations of government-led programs and initiatives. We are committed to partner and support in realizing the transformative vision of the Ministry of Health (Kenya) wherein digital tools and solutions enable the provision of timely and effective healthcare access to multitudes of beneficiaries and communities as well as the convergence of various layers of the public health ecosystem.

Kanishka Katara, Chief Digital Health Officer, Living Goods

Medic is honored to accompany the Ministry of Health of Kenya to enable universal health coverage for all Kenyans through the Kenya eCHIS, which is built on Medic’s open source Community Health Toolkit platform. We believe we are stronger together and nurture a collaborative and learning culture. Our partnership with Living Goods has enabled us to successfully accompany the Ministry of Health and County governments in Kenya, and to partner with a diverse group of civil society organizations. We are immensely grateful for the strong sense of solidarity among Kenya eCHIS partners and look forward to working together to realize UHC in Kenya.

Krishna Jafa, CEO – Medic

Creating a world-class, fit-for-purpose, digital health solution for community health is a challenging yet exciting journey. It demands close collaboration between governments, technology vendors and implementing partners. It also requires an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement, as teams must constantly learn and innovate to respond to evolving needs. Through its long-term partnership with Medic, Living Goods is proud to have played a pivotal role in shaping what an ideal Community Health Information System could look like. The launch of eCHIS in Kenya demonstrates how governments across Africa and beyond can adopt technology as a key driver of impact at the community health level, and a critical cog towards Universal Health Coverage.

Gitahi Ng’ang’a, Director of Software Engineering, Living Goods

Our partnership with Living Goods has been one of co-creation and learning underpinned with the urgency to connect hard-to-reach areas to essential primary health care delivered by community health workers digitally. Living Goods’ implementation experience has plowed back invaluable insights into the evolution of the CHT Core Framework and together we have generated evidence that digital tools and equipped, supervised, and compensated CHWs are essential for universal health coverage.

Simon Mbae, East Africa Program Head, Medic

Through our collective partnerships, we have managed to collaborate in designing and development of CHT product features and improvements which have helped to improve CHT users’ experiences and ensured that CHT meets the evolving needs of the community healthcare systems. We are really grateful for this incredible partnership; the feedback and contributions from the Living Goods team through the CHT Forum has been critical in enhancing CHT as a digital public good and has helped us to achieve greater impact.

Antony Khaemba, Relationship Manager, Medic

We’re honored to continue our partnership, built on shared vision and commitment, as we work to enable universal health coverage in Kenya and beyond.

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