THINKMD, the Burlington-based healthcare technology company, has been awarded $2.3 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has raised an additional $4 million in a financing round, putting it on track to expand globally. The company’s technology is already being used in 10 countries.
Co-founders and physicians Barry Finette and Barry Heath launched the company in 2015 with a smartphone-based medical intelligence platform that allows community health workers without medical training to diagnose and treat sick children with remarkable efficacy.
The technology was aimed at improving healthcare for children in Third World countries. Field tests in the Philippines and Peru showed these community health workers reaching the same conclusions as a trained pediatrician more than 80% of the time — a rate of effectiveness that matches what doctors are able to achieve among themselves.
Validation studies since then have demonstrated that THINKMD’s clinical assessments and triage recommendations correlate up to 95% with those of healthcare professionals, according to a news release.
Scaling up globally
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant will support the next phase of THINKMD’s technology, including the development of an interface that will help the company scale up globally. The grant will also accelerate the company’s machine learning and data analytics efforts, and augment its field testing.
“These funds will allow us to adapt our proven model into a variety of contexts and settings, and continue to scale and increase the health impact we are striving towards,” Finette said in a news release.
THINKMD recently appointed Chris Powell, a veteran healthcare executive, as chief executive officers, and finalized a $4 million equity investment round in October. Investors included Save the Children Federation, Save the Children Impact Fund Ltd. and the Sorenson Impact Foundation.
“Now more than ever we need to enable a frontline healthcare workforce with the tools to offer clinical quality to those most often left behind in the health response,” Powell said in a news release. “We feel privileged that global health leaders recognize that THINKMD’s solution can help close some of the gap.”
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.