Dimagi and Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health Receive Grand Challenges Explorations Grant


Grand Challenges Explorations Grant Awarded for a Global Health and Development Research Project, titled Integrated Platform to Identify Malaria Data “Cold-Spots”

Cambridge, Mass.Dimagi, Inc. and The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai announced today that they are Grand Challenges Explorations winners, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together, Dimagi and The Arnhold Institute for Global Health will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled Integrated Platform to Identify Malaria Data “Cold-Spots.”

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Dimagi and the Arnhold Institute for Global Health’s project is one of 28 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 18 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, Dimagi and The Arnhold Institute demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of four critical global heath and development topic areas. The foundation will be accepting applications for the next GCE round in September 2017.

Dimagi and The Arnhold Institute for Global Health will create an integrated platform that can detect regions that have no available data and are deemed high-risk for malaria, commonly referred to as “cold spots.” The world’s most marginalized populations are undercounted, and underserved. Meanwhile, information gaps exacerbate vulnerabilities to health crises. By identifying these cold-spots, ministries and programs can allocate resources to ensure that data cold spots do not transform into malaria hotspots.

Because this approach leverages existing data in a novel way, Dimagi and The Arnhold Institute for Global Health are confident that this solution will be game changing for malaria surveillance. Countries are increasingly deploying digital solutions at the frontline for malaria supply chain management. As these digital solutions are more commonly deployed on smartphones, GPS data is increasingly recorded as part of digital interactions. By combining this frontline data with geospatial analysis from recent satellite imagery, Dimagi and The Arnhold Institute will provide new analytical insights that require no changes to existing frontline digital services — a key ingredient for rapid adoption.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 1285 projects in more than 65 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

About Dimagi

Founded in 2002 out of MIT’s Media Lab, Dimagi is a software social enterprise that develops technologies to improve service delivery in underserved communities.

Dimagi operates on the belief that enabling high-quality mobile solutions at scale can impact millions of people’s lives by transforming frontline programs’ ability to deliver high-value services at the last mile.  Active in 60+ countries, Dimagi’s technology platform, CommCare, and services have supported 500+ projects and hundreds of diverse partners, including governmental ministries, the United Nations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Google, Microsoft, Dannon, Novartis, GE, Intel, GlaxoSmithKline, World Bank, NIH, MIT, Harvard and many others.

About The Arnhold Institute for Global Health

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai seeks to drive lasting global health impact at scale for the poor. Under the leadership of Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, the Arnhold Institute serves as a global arm of the Mount Sinai Health System. Its flagship data platform, ATLAS, seeks to become the world’s largest source for subnational health data to enable precision global health. The ATLAS platform is led by James H. Faghmous, Ph.D., a leader on machine learning and healthcare. The Arnhold Institute for Global Health brings a unique perspective of global health, data science, and product design to tackle the biggest global health equity questions.

More information about the Arnhold Institute for Global Health:


About the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is an international leader in medical and scientific training, biomedical research, and patient care. It is the medical school for the Mount Sinai Health System, an integrated health care system which includes seven hospitals and an expanding ambulatory network serving approximately 4 million patients per year.

The School has more than 1,800 students in MD, PhD, and Master’s programs and post-doctoral fellowships; more than 5,600 faculty members; over 2,000 residents and fellows; and 23 clinical and research institutes and 34 academic departments. It is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per principal investigator. The School was the first medical school in the country to create a progressive admissions approach for students who seek early assurance of admission through the FlexMed program.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Science trains PhD and MD/PhD students, and offers master’s-level programs in areas such as genetic counseling, clinical research, biomedical sciences, and public health, and an online master’s degree in health care delivery leadership. The seamless connections between our medical school, graduate school, and hospital campuses provide an extraordinary environment for translating scientific discoveries into clinical treatments.

For more information, visit http://icahn.mssm.edu or find the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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Press Contacts 


Carrie O’Laughlin
(913) 940-2121

Arnhold Institute for Global Health

Sasha Walek
(212) 824-7984




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