April 15, 2023


A robot answers questions about health. Its creators just won a $2.25 million prize (Ari Daniel, 4/14/23, NPR)

Can a robot provide helpful answers to your health concerns? Like, ​​"I'm 39 weeks pregnant and I have a slightly pink discharge." Or "what should I pack in my hospital bag?"

That's the goal of Reach Digital Health, an organization that uses mobile technologies -- SMS and WhatsApp messaging -- to provide helpful health-care information and guidance to people across sub-Saharan Africa who can't easily reach a health-care provider. As a testament to their success, the 15-year-old group just received one of this year's five Skoll Awards for Social Innovation of $2.25 million, presented this week in Oxford, England.

The Skoll Foundation, which invests in and honors social change, selects a group of social innovators each year "whose work targets the root causes of societal problems that are ripe for transformational social change." Other awardees this year included groups tackling the climate crisis, strengthening democracy and promoting economic growth for all.

"Reach Digital Health is working toward a world where marginalized people are safe from disproportionate impacts of disease outbreaks [and] disparities in health outcomes among the most marginalized are eliminated," is the Foundation's rationale for giving the group the award.

Posted by at April 15, 2023 6:48 AM


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