August 23, 2023

Scaling Global Healthcare through WhatsApp: 2023 Cohort Unveiled for Chat for Impact Health Accelerator

Ten health-focused organisations have been handpicked to participate in the 2023 Chat for Impact Health Accelerator led by in collaboration with WhatsApp and The Agency Fund. The Chat for Impact Accelerator aims to scale the efforts of health organisations working to provide communities with access to health information and services via WhatsApp.

The Chat for Impact Accelerator will offer $25,000 in funding, along with guidance and mentorship from Open AI, The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), SameSame, Noora Health, Reach Digital Health, and White Rice to support these organisations to amplify their existing healthcare services by leveraging behavioural science, rigorous evaluation, and responsibly designed AI in their digital messaging.

Chosen from over 375 applicants, the 2023 cohort represents a diverse group of organisations spanning EMEA, LATAM, and APAC regions, working in various areas of health, including mental health, general healthcare access, maternal health, women's health, immunisation, health education, and more.

The final 2023 Chat for Impact Health Accelerator cohort includes:

Access Afya (Kenya) -  Access Afya delivers a high quality localised primary healthcare operating system designed specifically to serve the needs of low-income markets. The organisation has developed a physical and digital healthcare network utilising asset-light micro-clinics, telemedicine, and patient health data to engage patients throughout their healthcare journey, from diagnosis to treatment.

Aga Khan University (Pakistan): The Aga Khan University (AKU) is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, which focuses on health, education, culture, rural development, institution-building and the promotion of economic development, primarily in the developing world. It is dedicated to improving living conditions and opportunities for the poor, regardless of their faith, origin or gender.

Cranberry.Fit (India):  Period pain and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms worsen the quality of life for 80% of the 355 million menstruators in India. Cranberry helps women manage period pain & PMS by providing personalised coaching, menstrual health Q&A, and WhatsApp micro-communities for behaviour change.

HelpMum Africa  (Nigeria): HelpMum leverages mobile and digital technologies to improve  maternal and infant healthcare across Africia. Presently, HelpMum offers innovative digital solutions such as the HelpMum Vaccination Tracker, the HelpMum AI Innovation-ADVISER, and the newly introduced HelpMum Vaccination Tracker Chatbot. These digital tools are employed to enhance immunisation outcomes and raise awareness about immunisation in Africa.

Impulso Gov (Brazil): Impulso Previne is a platform that empowers healthcare professionals with technology to operate in a next-generation primary care model. The organisation uses Whatsapp to support local caregivers and recently piloted direct messaging in one municipality, reminding citizens to schedule appointments/exams. The organisation intends to scale this to inspire preventive measures across Brazil.

IWilll (iWill (India):  IWill & ePsyClinic is a leading digital behavioural-health startup that has served 600k+ people through online chat/call sessions, evidenced based clinician-led programs, and AI-chat-based programs. The organisation has reached over 10 million+ people through awareness and mental wellness content. The organisation will soon launch a CBT-based AI chatbot in multiple languages, starting with Hindi, backed by Microsoft’s AI4A.

Koko (USA): Koko addresses the youth mental health crisis by meeting young people where they are — online — and providing free digital interventions. Koko has reached over 2,000,000 people and has worked with platforms including Pinterest, TikTok, Tumblr, GIPHY, and Twitch.

Rocket Health (Uganda): Rocket Health is the leading private digital health company in Uganda that delivers telemedicine and last-mile health services through chat, voice and video calls between patients and doctors. WhatsApp is used as a conversational platform for symptom history taking, triage, offers self care tips on common ailments, booking specialists, lab and pharmacy order processing.

Vida Plena (Ecuador):  Vida Plena provides evidence-based depression treatment to marginalised communities in Ecuador. Trained facilitators employ a group-based, cost-effective therapy model that yields clinically significant improvements in participants' mental health. To deepen the care given to participants, the organisation is developing a WhatsApp chatbot to enhance screening, access to self-help tools, and follow-up care.

Wysa (India): Mental health crises need just-in-time support, that is also clinically effective. Phone or SMS crisis helplines are limited by response time and human supply. An AI-led chatbot can save lives, by providing mental health support 24x7, in an accessible and affordable way, and fill the gap by integrating with available human and expert resources. Wysa has held over half a billion AI chat conversations with more than five million people about their mental health across 95 countries.

"These organisations are already making a meaningful impact within their communities. We're thrilled to help them expand their efforts and positively influence millions of lives through the platform and the Chat for Impact accelerator program. We look forward to working closely with them to amplify their health services." says Pippa Yeats, Co-Founder of
Aras Jizan, Member at The Agency Fund, expressed their support for the initiative: "We are excited to partner with to support the 2023 cohort of the Chat for Impact Accelerator. As they strengthen their impact and grow in scale, we're looking forward to seeing these teams work to ensure that all people can navigate toward a healthier future."

The number of applications received—over 375—from health organisations across the globe underscores the growing recognition of secure chat as an important element in scalable health programmes. The culmination of the Chat for Impact Accelerator will involve all ten participating organisations presenting their live chat services at an event planned for the end of the year.

Media inquiries:
Samantha Manclark
A Better World Network (Pty) Ltd
+27 82 556 5199

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