Dimagi acquires SureAdhere to expand portfolio of high-impact digital health solutions
Acquisition of the virtual care platform will accelerate progress towards Dimagi’s vision of a world where everyone has access to the essential services they need to thrive
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 2, 2022 – Dimagi, a leader in frontline digital solutions, today announced that it is acquiring SureAdhere, a mobile technology company pioneering video directly observed therapy (VDOT or VOT). This acquisition will strengthen Dimagi’s digital solutions for Frontline Workers and pave the way for new virtual care models and a more robust digital ecosystem for clinical trials.
Dimagi is known for its open source CommCare platform, which equips Frontline Workers in 130 countries with digital solutions that not only help them deliver better services, but also make their jobs better. SureAdhere was born from a similar aim.
Founded in 2014, SureAdhere’s technology augments traditional DOT with an offline-capable asynchronous video platform for affected people and providers to support TB treatment adherence.
“As a mission-driven company, our goal is to improve frontline service delivery with technology that meets public health needs globally and in the United States,” shared Jonathan Jackson, Dimagi’s CEO. “What started as a conversation with SureAdhere about partnering quickly turned into a conversation about an acquisition, which will strengthen Dimagi’s portfolio of solutions for health service delivery and create a path to scaling the impact of both organizations. We have been so impressed with SureAdhere’s technology and team, and we are thrilled to welcome them to Dimagi.”
“We began this journey in an effort to make both people living with tuberculosis (TB) and healthcare workers’ lives better. With DOT, which has been the standard of care for TB, public health workers were meeting with people daily to monitor medication adherence, exposing them to risk of infection and placing a huge cost burden on the system.” shared Dr. Kelly Collins, SureAdhere’s CEO. “This approach is expensive, inefficient, and often fails to empower people in their own care. Our founding team felt there was a better way to successfully manage adherence while also enabling differentiated care. Our technology helps to triage the work of a health worker so they can quickly identify and connect with those at highest risk for poor outcomes.”
Alignment between Dimagi and SureAdhere goes beyond mission
Dimagi’s mission of building and scaling sustainable, high-impact digital solutions to amplify Frontline Workers and programs resonates with SureAdhere’s. Additional areas of alignment between the two social enterprises include:
- A primary focus on impact supported by sustainable SaaS business models
- User-centered ethos for software design. SureAdhere developed VOT through 10+ years of research, testing and input from clients and providers. Dimagi’s CommCare is similarly built in collaboration with users.
- A mandate to develop inclusive, robust and affordable technology to serve communities that need it most, with a focus on serving underserved communities around the world.
- A commitment to move the field forward, preferring to out-collaborate than out-compete. SureAdhere has been known to support countries in building their own VOT platforms when needed, similar to how Dimagi’s platform CommCare is open source.
- A robust evidence base that supports both Dimagi’s and SureAdhere’s technology.
SureAdhere’s VOT platform is currently accessible in over 350 jurisdictions across the United States and 24 additional countries spanning Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and Southeast Asia. A new study in JAMA Network Open shows that electronic DOT is non-inferior to in-person DOT for TB treatment adherence, which will likely strengthen the CDC’s current guidance on eDOT for TB in the US and support further uptake of VOT as a chosen standard of care for TB treatment support globally.
TB treatment support is just the beginning: Expanding use cases
“While we began SureAdhere to scale technology for video observation and reduce the burden of DOT, our technology has evolved towards a model of whole person support and engagement over treatment monitoring. People care about their own health – as do providers. We believe digital tools can support the shared goal of health and wellness without the focus on monitoring and adherence,” said Collins.
Starting in early 2020, Dimagi rapidly expanded its presence in the United States, working with State and local governments on public health programs for COVID-19 response, Behavioral Healthcare and other emerging use cases. More and more programs in the US are incorporating virtual care as a component of a larger care model, creating opportunities for Dimagi and SureAdhere in this market.
“We also are excited about a ton of use cases that SureAdhere opens for us in the global health arena,” Jackson said. “In particular, supporting the uptake of new virtual care models and creating a more robust clinical trials ecosystem. Billions of dollars are spent each year on clinical trials to develop medications. If we can offer platforms that enable these trials to be run in low- and middle-income countries, we can drive more investment, reduce costs, improve accessibility of the medications developed, and accelerate the time to access in LMICs. This acquisition enables this paradigm shift. Dimagi’s CommCare platform, coupled with SureAdhere’s virtual care platform, will provide the digital infrastructure needed to enable more efficient, less expensive clinical trials which can be run in traditionally overlooked settings.”
“There are many gaps in access to virtual care tools among vulnerable and underserved communities. SureAdhere has just scratched the surface on the many potential applications of our digital engagement technology: clinical research and drug development, mental and behavioral health support, substance use disorder, and HIV prevention to name a few,” shared Collins. “However, we are a small team with limited bandwidth. Dimagi has built an incredibly talented global team. This partnership opens up the possibility to grow SureAdhere’s impact on TB, launch new use cases, and focus on our shared mission of using technology to improve care delivery systems globally.”
The entire SureAdhere team will be joining Dimagi, creating a new subdivision focused on the VOT portfolio. Dr. Kelly Collins will oversee the team as Global Director of Digital Adherence, under CEO Jonathan Jackson’s leadership. Current SureAdhere customers can expect no changes to their existing VOT services and the team looks forward to releasing several platform improvements in 2022.
Dimagi is a certified Benefit Corporation and leading social enterprise, working since 2002 towards our vision of a world where everyone has access to the services they need to thrive. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and with teams in India, South Africa, Senegal, and around the world, Dimagi partners with governments, NGOs, and foundations to amplify their frontline impact through scalable digital solutions and expert services. Our open-source flagship product, CommCare, is the world’s most widely-used data collection and service delivery platform, used by more than one million Frontline Workers in 130 countries. An evidence base of more than 80 peer-reviewed publications has shown that equipping Frontline Workers with CommCare improves performance, quality of care delivered, and client health outcomes. Learn more at dimagi.com.
SureAdhere is a US-based provider of a secure and affordable digital health platform that enables remote medication adherence and treatment support through video technology. Co-founded by Dr. Richard Garfein and led by CEO Kelly Collins, SureAdhere’s primary focus is enabling public health institutions and safety-net providers to utilize digital tools for patient engagement and treatment adherence support. Originating from National Institutes of Health funded research, SureAdhere has been closely engaging with a broad spectrum of in-country and global stakeholders and partners, including the World Health Organization, Stop TB Partnership’s Accelerator for Impact (a4i) platform and TB REACH, Unitaid, and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, to modernize and improve the standard of care for treatment away from DOT. SureAdhere’s platform is evidence-based and informed by years of stakeholder input. Learn more at sureadhere.com.
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