Population and Public Health

Launching the 2021 HIMSS Global Maternal Health Tech Challenge

A mother and her baby lie on a bed with their faces touching. The mother has her hand on her baby's head.

The HIMSS Global Health Equity Network (GHEN) and Accelerate Health are partnering to launch a global tech challenge focused upon improving maternal health outcomes.

The Global Maternal Health Tech Challenge, launching in January 2021 will consist of a series of virtual competitions hosted regionally across the globe, culminating in a live in-person final competition at the HIMSS Global Conference on Aug. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas.

GHEN and Accelerate Health, working with the HIMSS international team, will convene a group of diverse stakeholders to participate in a virtual roundtable exploring maternal health challenges with a goal of understanding region-specific issues contributing to poor maternal health outcomes.

The results of the roundtable will refine the scope of the tech challenge, which will be hosted on a virtual platform and posed to a broad community of developers, designers, entrepreneurs and others interested in developing innovative solutions to healthcare problems.

Maternal mortality is unacceptably high. In 2017, about 295,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth, according to UNICEF. The vast majority of these deaths (94 percent) occurred in low-resource settings. Most could have been prevented. In America, maternal mortality rates are the worst in the developed world, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in America are preventable.

The World Health Organization has stated that “ending preventable maternal death must remain at the top of the global agenda.” It is critical to expand efforts reducing maternal health disparities to promote health and well-being.

HIMSS is uniquely positioned to bring together innovators, patient advocates, government, payers, providers and the community to crowdsource solutions to this significant crisis, and to serve as the vehicle to address underserved communities and improve health and healthcare for all populations.

Global Maternal Health Tech Challenge

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