Vulnerable Populations
Project thumbnail

We build apps to connect rural communities to health support. We are enhancing out tools for COVID-19; including chatbots, health worker education, supply chain for medicines and insurance access

Edward Booty, Miko Chu, janagaprobert


We are reach52, a South East Asia based social enterprise - delivering health services to rural and remote populations in Philippines, Cambodia and India. We do this through offline-first apps that allow women in communities to provide health support, organise programs with government, connect to doctors, order/distribute medicines, and enable access to affordable insurance. We work directly with governments, and private sector to enable access to affordable products and supply chain.

Based on our deep networks with health providers and governments, we have configured existing solutions and built brand new solutions to support the COVID-19 response in rural South East Asia.

What it does

We have built a core application to:

  • Collect data about health needs and COVID-19 risk factors, linking family and social circles for contact tracing
  • Building risk algorithm to use the data for identifying most at-risk patients for the government to intervene with targeted interventions
  • Built Facebook chatbots in 4 languages to get information, symptom checking, access to care and quizzes to avoid misinformation and fake news (which is prominent across the communities)
  • Build a health worker education app to help frontline community health workers improve their knowledge and skills

How we built it

We had an existing platform that we have rebuilt for COVID-19 data collection, community support and health worker education. We built chatbot flow from scratch and integrated this. We launched with Philippines and Cambodian communities to get feedback and inputs. We used our developers in the Philippines, working closely with doctors in rural Iloilo and Capiz (provinces in the Philippines) for feedback, testing it on the ground.

We tested the Facebook Messenger bot through $5 a day of Facebook Ad spending, getting real users in our key markets and testing the user uptake/behaviour.

Challenges we ran into

We needed to make our core app work offline and for low-spec devices. Governments are slowed down by planning their response and difficult to engage them.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Full offline working, multi-language support, excellent community feedback

What we learned

Communities need low-tech solutions for them to be usable. Getting doctors to use an app at this time of crisis is

What's next for reach52: Connecting Asia to COVID-19 and primary healthcare

We have taken our solution to two global pharma companies. They are looking to fund us to scale it and build in 4 more languages - notably Thailand and Indonesia. We will continue to work with government to launch this in more communities - we have gone to a large pharmaceutical product distributor who has shared our work with the President's office in the Philippines.

For the link username:, password: Healthcare01

Email the builderSee more on Devpost

A project from #BuildforCOVID19

Explore by theme