mHealth Alliance and Rockefeller Foundation Honor Leading Mobile Health Innovators of the Year

Top 11 In 2011 Innovators Challenge Winners Announced In Time For The 2011 Mhealth Summit

Washington, D.C.

December 4, 2011


Megan Rabbitt

The mHealth Alliance, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, today announced the winners of the Top 11 in 2011 Innovators Challenge, a first-of-its-kind challenge which recognizes pioneering mobile health (mHealth) professionals who have used mobile technology in innovative ways to improve health systems and outcomes in even the most remote areas of the world.  The winners were announced at a reception held in advance of the mHealth Summit being held this week in the Washington, DC area.

The Top 11 in 2011 Innovators were selected through a process that included public nominations and voting on the mHealth Alliance’s, as well as juried selection committee voting. Nominations came from more than 30 countries around the world, highlighting mobile technology’s ability to deliver health information and services on a global scale.

“The growing field of mHealth is driven by innovation,” said Patty Mechael, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance. “From fighting counterfeit medications to enabling doctors to communicate for free, the contributions of these top innovators are advancing the field, expanding delivery of important health services, and saving lives.”

“As the mHealth community gathers for the annual mHealth Summit, we are excited to recognize these innovators, many of whom are working in low resource environments on behalf of poor and vulnerable populations,” said Karl Brown, Associate Director of applied technology at the Rockefeller Foundation. “We hope that the contributions of the Top 11 in 2011 will inspire many others to continue advancing the capabilities of mobile technologies to deliver positive health outcomes.”

The winners of the Top 11 in 2011 Innovators Challenge are:

  • Alain Labrique for mCare – an integrated mobile system that facilitates pregnancy surveillance and registration to optimize care delivery to pregnant women and newborns, and facilitates emergency response.
  • Ann Roos-Weil for Pesinet – a system combining local resources and mobile technology to increase care and reduce child mortality in Mali.
  • Ashok Jhunjhunwala for Voice Net – a personalized voice-based information retrieval and transaction system with local language voice recognition to effectively aid healthcare delivery in India.
  • Aydogan Ozcan for cost-effective and field-portable microscope and diagnostics tools for telemedicine application in resource-poor areas and developing countries in Africa, South America, and South Asia.
  • Bright Simmons for mPedigree – a platform to combine mobile technology and cloud computing to fight counterfeit medicines by providing free access to an instant drug quality verification system via text messaging in Africa and South Asia.
  • Derek Treatman for CommCare-Sense – a localized multimedia system to improve quality of care in four districts in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan.
  • Eric Woods for MDNet – a networking program for physicians in Ghana and Liberia, allowing physicians to call and text each other at no cost, leading to the first-ever doctor directories and a bulk SMS system through which government administrators can send alerts and collect data.
  • Isaac Holeman for an application that enables menu-driven applications to run directly from a SIM card on even the least expensive phones in Malawi and Cameroon.
  • Joaquin Blaya for MiDoctor – a system to address problems associated with non-communicable diseases in low-resource settings by connecting patients and their providers via automated phone calls and SIM messages, alerting clinical staff of high-risk situations for patients, and contributing to electronic medical records.
  • K.S. Shankar for a mother and child tracking system, based on SMS technology, that provides updates from auxiliary nurse midwives in India.
  • Martin Were for AMPATH – a clinical decision-support system that incorporates patient data within electronic health records to provide patient-specific and timely reminders about deficiencies in care to clinicians in Kenya.

Winners were brought to the 2011 mHealth Summit to share their work with leading experts in the mHealth field. The mHealth Summit is hosted this week by the Foundation for National Institutes of Health, HIMSS, the mHealth Alliance, and the National Institutes of Health. At the summit, these innovators will be part of the premier international forum for dialogue, world-class thought leadership, visionary keynotes, and action-provoking panel discussions on mHealth.


About the mHealth Alliance 
The mHealth Alliance champions the use of mobile technologies to improve health throughout the world. Working with diverse partners to integrate mHealth into multiple sectors, the Alliance serves as a convener for the mHealth community to overcome common challenges by sharing tools, knowledge, experience, and lessons learned. The mHealth Alliance advocates for more and better quality research and evaluation to advance the evidence base;  seeks to build capacity among health and industry decision-makers, managers, and practitioners; promotes sustainable business models; and supports systems integration by advocating for standardization and interoperability of mHealth platforms.  The mHealth Alliance also hosts (HUB), a global online community for resource sharing and collaborative solution generation. Hosted by the United Nations Foundation, and founded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Vodafone Foundation, and UN Foundation, the Alliance now also includes PEPFAR, HP, the GSM Association, and NORAD among its founding partners. For more information, visit

About the Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of people throughout the world has remained unchanged since its founding in 1913. Today, that mission is applied to an era of rapid globalization. Our vision is that this century will be one in which globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and its challenges are more easily weathered. To realize this vision, the Foundation seeks to achieve two fundamental goals in our work. First, we seek to build resilience that enhances individual, community and institutional capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses. Second, we seek to promote growth with equity in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities that improve their lives. In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation constructs its work into time-bound initiatives that have defined objectives and strategies for impact. These initiatives address challenges that lie either within or at the intersections of five issue areas: basic survival safeguards, global health, environment and climate change, urbanization, and social and economic security. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Dayle Kern
mHealth Alliance