Global Health Case Challenge 2017 - The Winning Solution – University of Copenhagen

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01 December 2017

Global Health Case Challenge 2017 - The Winning Solution

On 23-24 November 2017 students from all over the world participated in the Global Health Case Challenge on migrating women's sexual and reproductive health. The winning team are from MSc Global Health at University of Copenhagen and they proposed a Blockchain where migrating women can store their health records.

The air in Jens J. Holst Auditorium in the Mærsk Tower was thick with anticipation, when this year’s Global Health Case Challenge was launched on Thursday morning. After speeches by Dean Ulla Wever and Director of the School of Global Health Flemming Konradsen, among others, the students ripped open the envelopes and put their thinking caps on.

The just released UNFPA case is being read thoroughly by the teams on Thursday morning. Photo: Mikal Schlosser

135 students had signed up for the challenge, and 18 teams consisting of 89 students from 30 different study programmes at 17 European universities had been selected.
The next 24 hours the teams worked hard to present the strongest innovative, cross-disciplinary solution to UNFPA’s case challenge to the audience and jury.

The 2017 Global Health Case Challenge concerned the sexual and reproductive health of migrating women. The Case Challenge was organised by EIT Health, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the University of Copenhagen (School of Global Health, Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health and the SUND Innovation Hub) as part of the EIT Health Innovation Day.

University of Copenhagen students won for visionary realism
On Friday the decision was made. After several intense pitching rounds and voting among the judges, team no. 10 was called to the stage. A usable and ambitious idea and their ability to sell it on the stage won them the first place.

In their presentation the winning team had prepared a concrete example of a problem facing migrating women: They took their starting point in the story pregnant Maya, who has been displaced by the war in Syria and in that process lost all her health records. Now she is living in Greece and is ill, but unable to get proper help without any kind of record.

The team consists of students; Maria Harasym, Naomi Yemane Tekeste, Nils Skajaa, Sierra Alef-Defoe and Ingrid Elisabeth Andersson – all from MSc Global Health at the University of Copenhagen. Their solution is to use the Blockchain platform for migrating people’s health data – i.e. an unhackable database, where data is stored not on a server, but in the cloud in encrypted form. Migrating women would thus own their data and be able to access them on any computer.

The happy winning team from MSc Global Health at SUND, who on 4 December are travelling to London to present their solution at the EIT Health Summit. Photo: Mikal Schlosser.

’Several members of the jury had practical experience, and it was important for us that the winning solution would be usable in the present-day refugee situation. We chose the Blockchain health data solution, because it is visionary and something the individual refugees can take with them all over the world, but also because it is highly implementable’, says jury member and Vice-Dean for Innovation and External Relations Trine Winterø.

‘Our success was probably to a large extent a result of our ability to work together as a team. We are very happy and excited about getting to further develop the solution’, says member of the winning team Ingrid Elisabeth Andersson about their victory.

On 4 December the winning team will travel to London to present their solution at the EIT Health Summit, and the three best teams have been invited to come and talk to UNFPA representatives about their solution.

The topic of next year’s Global Health Case Challenge in Copenhagen will be Healthy Urban Living, and registration begins in September 2018.