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.
Notes to editors
About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.