Gavi and Zenysis Technologies to bring data and artificial intelligence to immunisation programmes

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The partnership supported by Asia’s largest internet services company Tencent will help developing countries reach more children with life-saving vaccines.

Geneva, 12 March 2019 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Zenysis Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup, have established a new strategic partnership that will help low-income countries harness the power of big data and artificial intelligence to improve childhood vaccination programs around the world.

Zenysis Technologies was identified by Gavi, through the INFUSE (Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation) yearly call for innovation. INFUSE aims to identify proven solutions which, when brought to scale, have the greatest potential to modernise global health and immunisation delivery.

What the team at Zenysis has built and accomplished to date is in a class of its own. 

David Wallerstein, Tencent’s Chief Exploration Officer

A two-year partnership will provide countries with the Zenysis’ software platform, analytical training and IT skills development. Countries will use the platform’s capabilities to integrate data from their fragmented information systems and help decision-makers see where children are not receiving vaccines. Advanced analytics will then help countries decide how to target their limited resources for maximum impact.

“Weak immunisation data leads to poor planning, often meaning that children, whether they live in urban slums or remote rural outposts, miss out on lifesaving vaccines. Digital transformation of immunisation data and analytics is key to making sure that all children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “Our partnership with Zenysis has the potential to increase efficiency and reduce costs for developing countries but, most importantly, it could save lives.”

Since its inception three years ago, Zenysis has expanded into ten countries that now use its software to improve health programs serving over one billion people. The company’s software has been used to optimise nationwide vaccination campaigns allowing for reinvestment in other lifesaving health programs.

“Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has helped over 70 countries vaccinate more than 700 million children in low income countries,” said Zenysis CEO, Jonathan Stambolis. “However, weak and fragmented information systems at the country level mean that millions of the world’s most vulnerable children have been left behind. We have assembled one of the strongest software engineering teams in Silicon Valley to build the software countries need to address this urgent global health challenge and our partnership with Gavi and Tencent will ensure that technology benefits the countries that need it most.”

We have assembled one of the strongest software engineering teams in Silicon Valley to build the software countries need to address this urgent global health challenge... 

Jonathan Stambolis, Zenysis CEO

The company expects to reach at least fifteen more countries in 2019. This will include Pakistan, where Zenysis will be working with government authorities and Gavi to improve vaccination coverage and equity as well as to accelerate the country’s progress towards a polio-free future. The project has the backing of one of Zenysis’ investors, internet services giant Tencent Holdings, Asia’s largest company. Tencent investment of US$ 4.5 million will be matched by the Gavi Matching Fund.

“We are very excited about the potential for artificial intelligence to transform child health on a global scale”, said David Wallerstein, Tencent’s Chief Exploration Officer.  “I look at hundreds of the fastest-growing startups every year. What the team at Zenysis has built and accomplished to date is in a class of its own. The company’s software will help governments become more effective and targeted at every step of the vaccination challenge, and move with the urgency and speed required to realise Gavi’s vision of a world free of vaccine-preventable illnesses”.

The official Memorandum of Understanding establishing this landmark partnership between Gavi and Zenysis Technologies was signed by Gavi’s CEO Dr Seth Berkley and the Zenysis CEO Jonathan Stambolis in Abu Dhabi during the Gavi Mid-Term Review high-level conference.

 

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is supported by donor governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Principality of Monaco, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, Alwaleed Philanthropies, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., The Audacious Alliance, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, China Merchants Group, Comic Relief, Deutsche Post DHL, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, Girl Effect, The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the Gulf Youth Alliance, JP Morgan, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Mastercard, Majid Al Futtaim, Orange, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, UPS and Vodafone).

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