Mobile Health

25 January 2018, Davos. Exclusive details on a new partnership between Last Mile Health and Living Goods to scale up their work in Africa by 50,000 community health workers.

The panel during the session, "Press Conference: A New Partnership to Deliver Last-Mile-Healthcare." From left to right: Georg Schmitt, head of corporate affairs at the World Economic Forum; Katherine Milligan, head of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health; Chuck Slaughter, founder of Living Goods; and  Hubertus Kuelps, group head of communications and branding at UBS. Photo by: Sandra Blaser / World Economic Forum / CC BY-NC-SA

A coalition of partners from philanthropy and business are committing $50 million to support these two social entrepreneurs to deploy 50,000 community health workers to provide digitally enabled, door-to-door care to 35 million people. And as Panjabi and Slaughter continue to fundraise in Davos and beyond, and prepare to scale their work to three other African countries, they hope to demonstrate how technology can reinvent community health care at scale.


This disruption is very similar to the disruptions we’re seeing in so many sectors,” Slaughter said, explaining that virtually every other sector has been reinvented by mobile technology, and it is time for health to go through a similar reinvention. “Where mobile is coming in, it’s shifting power from institutions to individuals.”


According to a report from the World Bank and World Health Organization released last month, at least half of the world’s population cannot access essential health services, and there is a shortage of health care workers. Also, Mental disorders impose an enormous disease burden on societies throughout the world. Depression alone affects 350 million persons and is the single largest contributor to years lived with disability globally.

IBM Research says that by 2022 a mobile device will be able to listen to speech patterns using Text Analysis Algorithms and in an instant predict and monitor Depression and Psychosis.

1 billion people suffer from anxiety. It's time to invest in mental health.

By Jeremy Farrar, Paul Stoffels


WEF has been a venue for engaging the public’s attention and global action on important public health challenges. Today, we see an urgent need to tackle the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But there is another health issue that is rarely discussed, hidden in the shadows, and stigmatized — but one that ruins lives and damages families, communities, and society: It’s the growing global challenge of mental health.

World Bank-WHO Initiative

To highlight the scale of these issues, and the gains from addressing them, the World Bank Group and WHO co-hosted the “Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Priority” event as part of the WBG-IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington, D.C. in April, 2016. This event aimed to put the mental health agenda at the center of global health and development priorities by spurring efforts to: increase awareness about mental health as a development challenge and the associated economic and social costs of inaction; debate the economic and social benefits of investing in mental health; and identify ways for stakeholders to act across sectors.