Press Release



November 2017

Macro-Eyes Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant For Groundbreaking Research in Global Health and Development


Seattle – macro-eyes announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Drew Arenth, MBA, macro-eyes VP of Strategy will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, “The Predictive Supply Chain for Vaccines.”

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges.  The macro-eyes project is one of 51 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 19 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, macro-eyes and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of four critical global heath and development topic areas.  The foundation will be accepting applications for the next GCE round in February 2018.

macro-eyes, a machine learning company simplifying personalized patient care will partner with PATH, an international health organization driving transformative innovation to save lives, and their Better Immunization Data (BID) initiative team in Seattle, WA and Arusha, Tanzania. macro-eyes will deploy and test statistical machine learning technology to move the vaccine supply chain from reactive to proactive. A predictive supply chain will make the delivery of vaccines more efficient, ensuring that the same resources serve more people in need.

Health supply chains are increasing in complexity and scale. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) anticipates a six-fold increase from 2010 to 2020 in the number of vaccine doses given to complete immunization. Global coverage for basic childhood vaccines has reached a record 86 percent, but there has been a parallel increase in vaccine wastage, decreasing resource efficiency. Vaccine stock-outs compound the problem by wasting opportunities for immunization. Higher rates of immunization should no longer lead to wastage.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Launched in 2008, over 1365 projects in more than 65 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants.  The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization.  The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required.  Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

About macro-eyes

macro-eyes has worked with leading academic medical centers and community health centers to refine and deploy core technology for statistical machine learning. The technology leverages multidimensional similarity to predict patient outcomes, clinical events and utilization. macro-eyes Chief Scientist and co-founder Suvrit Sra, PhD is a renowned expert in large-scale machine learning and optimization. CEO Benjamin Fels has extensive experience in building and deploying systems that learn in healthcare, finance and energy. macro-eyes VP of Strategy Drew Arenth, MBA is an expert at modernizing supply chains.

Human-in-the-loop machine learning

Frontline health workers are domain experts on the context and delivery of care. macro-eyes will engage health workers directly; health worker insight, conveyed via SMS, will programmatically augment the analysis of supply chain and immunization data – to create more accurate demand forecasting and more precise vaccine requests. This will be one of the first applications of human-in-the-loop machine learning for global health and will empower health workers, while introducing the link between data and predictive insight to the frontlines of health.