Google & Gavi partner to scale up innovations for vaccine delivery

by Gavi from World Economic Forum 0

Google.org and Gavi announced a new partnership today to help tech start-up Nexleaf Analytics strengthen vaccine cold chain equipment for developing countries.

Google.org’s contribution of US$ 2 million, which will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s funding to the Gavi Matching Fund, will be used to help countries to make evidence-based decisions on the purchase and maintenance of vaccine refrigerators.

Over the next years the volume of vaccines in Gavi-supported countries is expected to rise significantly. Vaccines are highly sensitive to high and low temperatures, and high-performing and well-maintained cold chain technologies are essential for ensuring vaccine potency.

“The Vaccine Alliance plays a pivotal role in encouraging innovation in immunisation and health system strengthening”, said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “Many health facilities in Gavi-supported countries lack the equipment they need to keep vaccines safe and efficient. With support from private sector partners like Google, innovators like Nexleaf Analytics can help us modernise the cold chain”.

“Nexleaf’s use of innovative, low-cost sensor technology to support data-driven decision making is the kind of cutting edge work we need to address big global challenges like vaccine delivery,” said Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org. “This new partnership will drive more impact at scale, helping to ensure safe vaccines for everyone.”

To help developing country governments make informed decisions about their cold chain equipment needs, Nexleaf will create an analytics framework that will aggregate data from every point of the health system to improve vaccine cold chain performance. This will yield useful real-time data on cold chain performance and inform best practices across all countries.

Easy access to key analytics will enable health system personnel to take action to procure and maintain the equipment necessary to safeguard and amplify their resources and investments in immunisation.

“Objective, real-time data paired with targeted analytics provides visibility into root causes of cold chain failures in the field, which allows for prioritization of resources, efficient repairs, and informed procurement” said Nithya Ramanathan, President and Co-Founder of Nexleaf.

The new collaboration is a result of Gavi’s INFUSE platform (Innovation for uptake, scale and equity in immunisation) which connects private sector partners and funders with high-tech innovators. Launched at the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, INFUSE helps to find solutions to challenges that have led to almost 19 million children per year not receiving a full course of the most basic vaccines.