[Sproxil](http://healthmarketinnovations.org/program/sproxil), the text message-based service that verifies whether a drug is counterfeit, has now been used over 1 million times! Congratulations to Sproxil on this major milestone. Read more [here](http://www.sproxil.com/blog/?p=686&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twit...).
[Operation ASHA](http://healthmarketinnovations.org/program/operation-asha), which runs successful TB treatment centers throughout India and Cambodia, recently revamped their online strategy and launched a new website. Check it out [here](http://www.opasha.org/)!
[Riders for Health](http://riders.org/) recently launched a partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Health to provide motorbikes and regular bike maintenance to Environmental Health Technicians (EHTs) to use in their jobs as health workers in Zambia’s Southern Province. Prior to this program, ‘75% of EHTs said that lack of transport stops them conducting outreach work at least 50% of the time’. More [here](http://blogs.motorcyclistonline.com/transport-key-strong-health-systems-...).
**Crowd-Sourcing for Solutions—A US focus, too**
Like many around the world, our colleagues working on domestic US healthcare are focused on the need to innovate to reduce costs and improve quality. The Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act set up the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, as, according to the Center, _“there is a growing consensus that we must move from a volume-based and fragmented health care system tone more based on achieving value for patients and providers through better care, better health and lower cost.”_
Change is coming. According to Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, adoption of Electronic Medical Records in the states has more than doubled in the past two years. Speaking at yesterday’s Care Innovation Summit, Mostashari pointed to the need to meaningfully use the information flowing in to change outcomes. For instance, he suggested that providers should be more proactive about tracking patient wellbeing and assessing health at an aggregate level. “We should not deliver healthcare the way we sell shoes,” he joked.
Also at the event, we learned about new competitions:
* [Data Design Diabetes](http://www.datadesigndiabetes.com/blog/2011-recap/) Sanofi US Innovation Challenge will drive innovation in the quality, delivery, and cost of diabetes care
* [Pfizer Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012](http://www.pfizer.com/news/press_releases/pfizer_press_releases.jsp#guid...) calls for new ways to diagnose and track the disease
* [Kaiser Permanente’s HIV Challenge](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeoftBZAuXk&list=PLFF12EC6E1E6A1EE7&featu...) opens Kaiser’s toolkit of clinical best practices and provider and patient education materials to healthcare providers
* The [Discharge Follow-Up Appointment care transitions challenge](http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/onc-seeks-apps-help-improve-care-tr...), the second as part of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Investing in Innovation (i2) Initiative, will stimulate the use of simple, information technology-enabled processes and tools to make transitions easier and safer for patients, caregivers and providers, particularly when a patient is discharged from a hospital.
* [Janssen Connected Care Challenge](http://www.janssenhealthcareinnovation.com/connected-care-challenge) also focuses on the transition from hospitalization to home care, to improve patients’ direct engagement with their care and recovery and physicians’ connectivity to patients during recovery.
The awards are sizable and will generate competitive entries. But smart applicants will canvas for promising solutions operating elsewhere, such as those profiled on the [Center for Health Market Innovations](http://healthmarketinnovations.org/programs). Innovators across the world are tackling similar issues and we—to [quote Ashoka’s contest](http://www.changemakers.com/innovations4health?utm_source=contacts-npart...) described below—feel that health solutions should travel across borders.
The government of India plans to launch a $1 billion (USD) innovation fund in June-July 2012, which will be used ‘to invest in innovations that can generate services and products to uplift the poor’ in sectors such as water, healthcare and agriculture. The fund is called the ‘India Inclusive Innovation Fund’ and intends to raise 5 billion rupees in its first phase, after its initial infusion of seed capital from the government. Read more in [this Times of India article](http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/India-to-laun...).
[TechChange: the Institute for Technology and Social Change](http://techchange.org/) in DC is offering a one-month online certification course this spring (April 2-27) called [TC 105: Mobiles for International Development: New Platforms for Public Health, Finance and Education](http://techchange.org/mobiles-for-international-development-new-platform...). The course is offered online and will be taught by TechChange staff and a number of other professionals in the ICT field.
Interested in making sure that all people have access to quality healthcare? Check out [this video](http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AXyoB6thKlQ) about universal health coverage (UHC), presented this week at the [Prince Mahidol Award Conference](http://www.pmaconference.mahidol.ac.th/index.php?option=com_content&view...) in Bangkok.
[Ashoka Changemakers](http://www.changemakers.com/) and the [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio](http://www.rwjf.org/pioneer/) have announced the early-entry prize winners of the [Innovations for Health: Solutions that Cross Borders](http://www.changemakers.com/innovations4health?utm_source=contacts-npart...) competition - [Patient Leaders](http://www.changemakers.com/innovations4health/entries/patient-leaders-0...) and [Beyond Borders](http://www.changemakers.com/innovations4health/entries/leveraging-corpor...). Congratulations to these winners! There is still time to enter the competition – Submit your solution before February 13, 2012 and be eligible for three cash prizes of $10,000 USD.