Blog Awards $350,000 to Organizations That Help Save Lives by Reaching People Faster

by Olivia Khalili September 30, 2020 | 7 min read

Delay is the leading cause of death in the world today. Delay doesn’t just impact acute care and emergency response; it also worsens more routine aspects of healthcare like ongoing care, disease surveillance, vaccine management, and staff resourcing. And its effect is disproportionate, threatening low-income, minority and hard-to-reach communities at higher rates. This looks like an urban American without access to reliable insulin, and numerous global communities that lack ambulatory care or basic health treatment that can thwart a fever to help prevent infant deaths.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The reality is that many of these deaths are preventable if people in need can be reached faster.

By orchestrating action in critical moments to save lives, PagerDuty can tackle a pivotal piece in curing delay. The Fund invests in Time-Critical Health with a mission to help save lives by reaching people faster, with a focus on tech-forward solutions to improve outcomes for the most underserved populations.

We launched a Request for Proposals in July to connect with the most innovative partners in health who work at the intersection of urgency, equity, and technology that could leverage PagerDuty’s platform in their work to save lives. 88 organizations from 16 countries applied for funding and in-kind technology. We designed a portfolio approach to invest in organizations solving disparate parts of the health ecosystem. With the help of an employee-based Essential Tech Leads team and a newly appointed Fund Advisory Board, we selected one established organization with deep experience and proven results and two emerging organizations that have spearheaded new technologies with the flexibility to scale across geographies and address emergent issues.

Grantees will receive a total of $350,000 in unrestricted funding, as well as in-kind technology and pro bono technical support to implement PagerDuty as part of their life-saving work.

Time-Critical Health Grantees

International Medical Corps delivers emergency healthcare and related services to those affected by conflict, natural disaster, or disease, and provides training to communities that enables them to become their own best first responders to future crises. In 2019, International Medical Corps provided critical aid to 8.3 million people in the U.S. and globally. The number of individuals and families needing acute support globally is expected to rise sharply due to displacement caused by ongoing civil violence, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The acute phase of response to disaster or disease outbreak is measured in just hours—a brief window of opportunity when the most lives can be saved and life-threatening disease contained. Deployment speed is critical across International Medical Corps’ 7,000-person organization.

International Medical Corps will leverage PagerDuty’s capacity to further increase efficiencies in their response efforts such as facilitating communication in emergency response deployments through on-call management and automated escalations and helping improve coordination and response times for first responders—when minutes matter. Another area of opportunity is using PagerDuty to prevent disruptions in supply and improve reliability of health services—through sensors and IoT integration, PagerDuty can automatically alert staff on low inventory, pharmaceutical outages, or temperature violations.

“PagerDuty’s support through its Time-Critical Health initiative will help International Medical Corps deliver emergency healthcare to people in crisis around the world, and is needed now more than ever as frontline health workers confront the COVID-19 outbreak and provide ongoing healthcare in their communities. With this investment, our first responders will be better able to provide safe, urgently needed health services to women, men, and children whose health is affected by conflict, disease, or natural disaster—no matter where they are, no matter what the conditions.”

—Rebecca Milner, Chief Advancement Officer, International Medical Corps

Nexleaf Analytics makes data and technology solutions to improve health outcomes for the 3 billion poorest people around the globe. Through sensors and analytics platforms, they provide high-quality, timely data and alerts to enable health workers to respond quickly in 26 countries.

ColdTrace, a vaccine monitoring solution, alerts health workers via SMS when vaccines experience dangerous temperature excursions and helps state health systems to identify and repair critical failure points in the supply chain to prevent wastage, helping to ensure that babies receive potent vaccines. With ColdTrace, more life-saving equipment works, state health systems have effective methods for improving vaccine supply chains, and 12 million babies born each year receive reliably monitored and protected vaccines.

With PagerDuty, Nexleaf will be able to improve alerting and response times for its ColdTrace system and will pilot a new response system in Kenya to alert power outages that disrupt emergency and routine healthcare.

“COVID-19 has shown us that fast action is important, and just as critical is reliable information. Working with the Center for Public Health and Development in Kenya, we’re looking at COVID hotspots with the highest number of cases. By harnessing the power of PagerDuty’s technology, we aim to bring visibility to the real-world issues that these health facilities face.”

Marym Mohammady, Program Manager, Nexleaf

Trek Medics International provides 911-type emergency response for at-risk and under-resourced populations where access to life-saving emergency care and transport is unreliable or unavailable. Approximately 80% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to reliable emergency care in the face of a life- or limb-threatening emergency.

Trek Medics’ Beacon platform alerts, coordinates, and tracks responders using simple text messaging that’s accessible on any mobile device, with or without Internet. Beacon makes it possible for self-organized volunteer groups to effectively coordinate and deploy to provide urgent assistance to individuals in a health emergency.

Trek Medics will leverage PagerDuty to monitor system components as it scales quickly to meet growing demand, including streamlined monitoring and alerting with its Twilio Flex integration and automated Slack workflows. Stakeholder notifications will immediately alert Beacon users to system disruptions, such as telecom outages in Malawi, which Beacon users often detect before the telecom system does.

“By building mobile emergency response systems in challenging environments, we’ve learned how essential it is for us to have our eyes on all moving parts, all the time. For our users to be able to respond to critical emergencies quickly, we have to be able to anticipate and respond to their needs quickly. PagerDuty’s commitment to helping organizations manage complex technology solutions is exactly the support we need to ensure we can continue fulfilling our mission of bringing 911 where there is none.”

Jason Friesen, Founder & Executive Director, Trek Medics Fund Advisory Board

To optimize and help steward PagerDuty’s investments in Time-Critical Health and Just and Equitable Communities through the Fund, we have appointed a new Advisory Board. Ebony Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce & CEO Salesforce Foundation; and Sameer Dholakia, Former CEO, Twilio SendGrid, have joined the board alongside Jennifer Tejada, CEO, PagerDuty; and Tim Armandpour, SVP, Engineering at PagerDuty.

“I’m excited to work with the board and leadership team to help scale into an enduring platform for change. We have an incredible opportunity for action, and it will take all of us working together to shape an inclusive next normal, where everyone can thrive.”

Ebony Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce & CEO Salesforce Foundation

Join us in our work to help save more lives, throughout all communities, by reaching people faster. Refer healthcare organizations involved in life-saving work to PagerDuty’s Impact Pricing for nonprofits and social enterprises.