It has been a huge year since the launch of Tamanu, our open source EMR designed for low-resource settings, in 2021. Coinciding with the pandemic, what was planned as a patient-level medical record to enable consistent, long term management of patients in the most remote settings in the world was suddenly a vital tool for managing the distribution of life-saving vaccines in the Pacific.
Both in clinics and the field, Tamanu was used to capture information for patients receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The data was then aggregated into Tupaia, our data mapping and visualisation platform, allowing decision-makers to track the vaccine roll-out in real-time and allocate remaining resources equitably.
In Samoa, Tamanu has been critical in the national fight against COVID-19. In the first three weeks of the national vaccine rollout, over 10,000 entries were made in Tamanu. On 23-24 September 2021, Tamanu and Tupaia supported the two-day lockdown in which the COVID-19 vaccine was delivered door-to-door. After this campaign, 94.4% of Samoa’s eligible population received their first dose and 52.4% their second dose, an addition of 12% and 10% respectively.
Now, in the second ear of Tamanu’s on the ground operations, we have been honoured to be recognised in awards celebrating innovation in the digital health space across the world.
In April, Tamanu was named one of the winning innovations at the WHO Western Pacific Innovation Challenge. Our commitment to the Western Pacific is at the core of everything we do and the inspiration behind the creation of Tamanu, designed specifically for the challenges of operating in low-resource and remote contexts. We were so grateful to participate in the Innovation Forum on 28-29 April and join conversations about how technologies can be scaled for impact.
Earlier this year, MIT Solve launched their Equitable Health Systems challenge looking for technology-based solutions that help build equitable health systems for all, especially for the most underserved communities. Tamanu was nominated as an innovative solution to help people across the Pacific receive consistent, long-term care that accounts for their medical history, and in honour of its role in vaccine rollouts in the region.
Out of 1,100+ applicants, Tamanu was chosen as a semi-finalist. Although it did not advance to the final round, we are honoured to be amongst such an impressive cohort and grateful for the opportunity to share our project with this audience.
And finally, we were also grateful to attend the Commonwealth Digital Health Awards earlier this month. Tamanu was a joint winner in the CovidTech category for its support of safe and efficient vaccine rollouts across the Pacific. This is particularly exciting for us as Tupaia was also a Commonwealth Digital Health winner in 2018.
We are so grateful for these opportunities, but ultimately the point of Tamanu is not to attend award ceremonies – it is, of course, to help patients receive care and follow-up in a timely manner and improve health outcomes. Tamanu is currently used in six countries including Samoa, Fiji, and Nauru. By improving quality and continuity of care within health systems, we hope we can continue to help Pacific countries become the healthiest and safest in the world.