About the initiative
3.5 billion people on our planet lack access to Universal Health Coverage (World Bank, World Health Organization, 2018). There is a lack of health professionals in South East Asia, and they are concentrated in urban areas. The Philippines and Cambodia have around 80% out-of-pocket payments for healthcare, as do many other LMICs. Essential products and services are often too expensive for much of the population. In addition to financial barriers, the time to travel to traditional primary health facilities is often more costly than the medicine or health service itself – adding to the burden of lower-income communities.
The approach addresses primary healthcare access across a broad range of conditions and illnesses among remote populations, with specific focus on: communicable disease; non-communicable disease; maternal and child health. reach52 also works to address cross-cutting issues of out-of-pocket payments through innovative health financing and insurance, and access to medicines. This is accomplished through use of community-integrated peer worker networks; innovative supply-chain management strategies; and an offline-first mHealth platform. As a result, they facilitate ‘last-mile’ availability of affordable medicines; micro-insurance, OTC products; and screening/diagnostic services; along with the extension of existing-but-centralised government services.
Their model enables a precision, data driven localised approach, which sees targeted interventions developed for each community. These approaches are based on the analytics of datasets comprised of detailed individual-level health profiles of each resident. reach52 provides a last-mile extension of centralised healthcare infrastructure: maximising the efficiency of government primary care clinics and offering affordable private sector products to combat the traditional barriers of physical and financial healthcare access.
Field report of the initiative
The reach52 approach is leveraged by its leading edge, offline-capable digital health tools. Its suite of technology is as follows:
- reach52 Access: Used by Community Health Workers for health data collection, community outreach engagement (information and event management) and connections to government primary care clinics (appointments and telehealth). This application is highly configurable for various campaigns or interventions. It can record a range of healthcare indicators, such as height, weight and blood pressure, along current symptoms and populations disease prevalence. There are also features focusing on health worker education, aimed at strengthening local systems.
- reach52 Marketplace: a marketplace/eCommerce platform providing access to public and private health commodities and services in one place, including low-cost medicines and micro-insurance products.
- reach52 Logistics: managing last-mile delivery of medicines from a regulated pharmacy to rural and remote communities through community-managed micro-supply chains.
- reach52 Insights: which covers reporting, dashboards and data management across our platforms, giving actionable data for communities, government, non-profits and private sector to better address resident needs.
reach52 implements an integrative, inclusive and innovative approach through:
- Innovative public-private partnerships that are essential to achieving healthcare for all. They work with pharmaceutical and medtech organizations to translate their social goals and access-to-medicine strategies into tangible programs and impact in LMICs. Powered by digital and big data, they implement sustainable access solutions for medicines and diagnostics that work in lower-income, remote settings.
- The access to financial services. With 100M people forced into extreme poverty each year from catastrophic out-of-pocket payments, reach52 works with financial services organisations to design products and services to meet the needs of low-income communities, including affordable micro-insurance.
- The empowerment of women to support and improve the health and wellness of their communities. Projects are implemented by community-embedded peer workers, called Community Access Managers (CAMs), 90%+ of whom are female. Their main goal aim to disassemble gender-based hierarchical structures, providing women, men and youth with the tools to attain equal outcomes. Project indicators are designed to align with WHO’s Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health (2016-2030).
Furthermore, reach52 works with three stakeholder groups:
- Consumers / patients/ communities connecting rural areas that lack access to a doctor or affordable support to a range of products and services, helping deliver them back in their local community;
- Governments and Healthcare Providers to help them decentralize primary care services into rural and remote communities through lower-cost digital channels;
- Private sector (pharma / MedTech / financial services, etc.) to help them understand demand, market access and pricing strategy. Then their products are distributed, enabling micro-supply chains for essential medicines.
reach52 was founded as a social impact enterprise to address the sustainability challenges which are endemic to typical NGOs’ funding lifecycles. Being 100% reliant on donor funding prevents recipient organisations from engaging in meaningful long-term planning; imposes top-down priorities that are often misaligned with local needs; and creates time-limited gains, which frequently regress once funding priorities shift. To address this challenge, reach52’s last-mile marketplace model provides a sustainable revenue stream, both for local staff, and for core program activities. This approach has helped reach52 sustain their existing work with no reliance on grants for the past four years.
reach52 is making healthcare go further, so every community can thrive.