Daily Markup #669: How SwipeRx would spend $500M to achieve universal healthcare coverage for underserved communities

Credit: SDG Moonshots

A giant leap for mankind

  • In 1961, U.S. president John F. Kennedy challenged the country to send a man to the moon by the end of that decade. The challenge, called a moonshot, refers to a big, audacious goal that seems impossible until it is done. 
  • In 2022, an SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Moonshot Accelerator was held in Mexico City. Over 70 organizations from more than 25 countries came together to explore new ways of achieving the United Nations’ SDGs by 2030. They were asked, “If you had $500 million, how would you spend it?”
  • The program then compiled 14 ‘moonshots’ — big ideas on how to meet the SDGs within the decade — and interviewed the innovators who imagined them. We’re proud to learn that one of them is 500-backed digital healthcare company SwipeRx.
  • Here’s the team’s proposal in a nutshell: “On average, patients in Southeast Asia visit pharmacies ten times more frequently than they visit a health facility. Our big idea is to leverage technology to improve primary care through pharmacies.”
  • Why pharmacies? Across emerging markets in Southeast Asia, pharmacists are often the first point of contact for primary health care. Despite the important role pharmacists play as community health providers, national public health programs and global health partners in developing markets struggle to engage private pharmacies at scale.
  • By empowering pharmacists through comprehensive digital capacity building and continuing professional education programs, SwipeRx hopes to strengthen community health care for millions, and ultimately, close the gap towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • The team is doing this by utilizing their existing digital community and networks together with linkages to telemedicine providers and national insurance and data systems.
  • SwipeRx is tracking progress against the following specific objectives:
    • Increase early detection and diagnosis with a particular focus on women’s health
    • Increase community provision of pre-pregnancy, antenatal and contraceptive and other primary care service provision through pharmacies linked to telemedicine providers
    • Generate cost-efficient results using a new pharmacy business model with the potential to facilitate scaled, sustainable pharmacy contributions to primary care
  • Read the full interview here.

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