Every day more than 6500 babies die in their first month of life. Two thirds of these deaths could be prevented by improving the quality of care, and ensuring healthcare professionals know how, and when, to deliver simple, proven interventions.
The quality of care in many low resource facilities is inconsistent. There is often a shortage of newborn trained healthcare workers and limited means of collecting data. The Neotree system was developed as a solution to these problems.
Neotree addresses these problems through its specially designed system, which uses cutting edge digital technology and is underpinned by extensive medical research. The Neotree system has been embedded into daily clinical care in neonatal wards in low resource settings. Doctors and nurses use Neotree’s application (app) on tablets to:
Prompt clinical actions. The app notifies them to check what needs to be checked and to test what needs to be tested. It also links with laboratories to enable a swift feedback of lab results.
Guide diagnostic decisions and clinical management. It helps them to identify if a baby is at risk of a particular condition, and what should be done about it.
Provide education and training at the bedside and in the classroom.
Collect data and produce reporting and dashboards. Clinicians, hospitals and public health bodies can then use this reliable data to drive decision-making and identify opportunities to improve newborn care.
Evidence is at the centre of everything Neotree does. There is over seven years research behind the Neotree system. Throughout, we have consistently monitored the impact of the Neotree technology and its effect on newborn survival rates. Neotree works in partnership with a team of researchers across University College London (UK), the University of Zimbabwe, the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI) and the Malawian College of Medicine.
To date, the Neotree system has been used in the care of over 21,000 babies, by more than 400 healthcare professionals, in four hospitals across Malawi and Zimbabwe. Doctors who use the Neotree app have called it “lifesaving”.
The technology has already led to the reduced prescription of antibiotics, reduced rates of hypothermia, and increased the overall standard of care. It has proven resilient through industrial strikes and a global pandemic. Our vision is for the technology to be used at the bedside in all low resource settings, so that every newborn is counted and cared for. This will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3, and save the lives of more than half a million babies each year.
Neotree has the life-saving power of a drug. We face a lot of challenges here at Harare Central: drug shortages, laboratory supply shortages, staff shortages. Neotree helps us use limited resources as effectively as possible. And it’s a long-term resource, an investment in better care today and in the future.
- One of the problems we have in Zimbabwe is a lack of evolution. Look around, there are no computers here, we are stuck in the 1980s. But this is a step in the right direction, it brings us into the 21st Century. Neotree suggests a management plan based on the data we input. That’s invaluable for junior Doctors as a learning tool and it improves the treatment we give.
The digital link with the laboratory saves lives because it means we get the right antibiotic to the babies in time. Often our work is compromised here - by water shortages, a lack of drugs - but Neotree helps us give babies the best chance possible with limited resources.