Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Grace Health

What is the name of your solution?

Grace Health

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Grace Health is the leading women’s health platform in emerging markets with over 1.3 million users in Sub Saharan Africa, providing radical accessibility to affordable healthcare.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

There are 1.2B women in low and middle-income countries with access to a mobile phone, however, despite this, 48% of Africa’s population lack access to adequate care. Grace Health is committed to addressing the problem of inadequate access to women's health information and services in emerging markets. This problem is caused by several factors, including the high cost of healthcare, limited distribution of healthcare professionals, and societal stigma surrounding women's health. A sentiment to the lack of available healthcare can be seen in the fact that according to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, the average Nigerian will pay 10% of their yearly income on one single hospital visit. Moreover, healthcare is heavily inaccessible: there is an average of 3.42 doctors per 10,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 39.0 doctors per 10,000 people in Europe. These issues contribute to a faulty healthcare ecosystem that disproportionately affects women. 

Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights has a detrimental impact on individuals and communities. It leads to higher maternal death rates and prevents individuals from living healthy and productive lives. It also negatively impacts economic development, as healthy populations are more productive and save more. Furthermore, when women are denied access to healthcare and the ability to make informed decisions, their education and economic opportunities are limited, further perpetuating gender inequality in their communities. By addressing the problem of inadequate access to women's health in emerging markets, Grace Health aims to improve the overall health and well-being of individuals and communities.

What is your solution?

Our solution begins by building with intention, taking into account both the low-resource environment of our target market and the low health literacy of our users. The app caters for several of her needs such as period and health tracking, personalised health assessments, automated SRHR chat, education within family planning and STIs and linking her to telehealth or physical tests and care. Grace health uses engaging features and content to raise awareness and empower women to take control of their bodies, creating behavioural changes for good. We are a platform for her to manage her reproductive health, and through incentivised actions, we nudge her towards health empowerment. In return for completing an action within the app, our users will receive currency they can apply to health services or products from our partners. Positive health actions may include conducting a breast cancer self examination, consuming educational health content or logging her health data. The app itself aggregates big data that allows societies to access aggregated and anonymized data for macro decision-making and patient engagement.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution serves women of fertile age, 15-49, within emerging markets. Our user either wants to get pregnant, avoid pregnancy or learn more about her body. She is curious and wants to understand her body, health, and life in more detail, yet is pulled back by the stigmatised conversations in society. She does not know enough about hormones, menstruation, fertility, or other female health conditions such as cervical cancer or endometriosis, to make informed decisions about the way to live her life. Therefore, she turns to Grace. Grace Health opens up conversations about female topics and guides her toward achieving her goals. Grace breaks down biases and educates users on her body, life, and health, in ways that no others can. Grace Health will give women the power to carve out their life path by equipping them with health access and education. We will allow them to participate in active family planning, monitor symptoms to prevent the worsening of underlying conditions, and build a health agency. In turn, they can pursue education, gain employment, and actively contribute to their community's economy and future development. 

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Over the past five years, our team has successfully built Grace Health to be the #1 health app trusted across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our team is nimble and backed by years of experience in emerging markets, driving positive change through social impact, and working on digital service and product development. Founder and CEO Estelle Westling launched Kinnevik-backed Tonaton Ghana, Ghana's leading marketplace, which in less than two years established itself as more well-known than Youtube with a team of 70 employees. Prior to Grace Health, co-founder Therese Mannheimer was the Head of R&D at the market-leading health app Lifesum and spent six years as a partner and strategist at the global design firm Doberman. We have also made it a point to have team members located directly in the regions we serve, primarily Nigeria and Kenya. Currently, we have two members of our team in Nigeria working in Product Design and Product Management. Our team in Kenya is dedicated to Social Media Coordination, Sales and Marketing Management, and Backend Engineering. By employing a global team, we remain involved in the markets we serve, and as such, can provide an even better solution. We keep the marketing team in Kenya so that they can create content, design, campaigns and offerings that correspond to the trends they can see in their communities. As such, they can get at the heart of our users as they can sympathise with and relate to the same problems and opportunities. 

In terms of our solution, understanding our customer drives the betterment of our product. By analysing the engagement with our app we can deduce the services most utilised by our customers. For example, recent data has shown that 93% use the symptom tracker, 80% use the chat, 66% use the period tracker and 60% rely on educational content. By taking this data we can improve our services and also use the engagement data to personalise the content to specific customers. We further understand needs through frequent user interviews and collecting feedback directly from the app itself.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Improve accessibility and quality of health services for underserved groups in fragile contexts around the world (such as refugees and other displaced people, women and children, older adults, LGBTQ+ individuals, etc.)

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?


In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • Sweden

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model that is rolled out in one or more communities

How many people does your solution currently serve?

We currently serve 1.3 million women across Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. 

Why are you applying to Solve?

We are applying to MIT Solve because it’s important that we collaborate with organisations that believe in our goal of democratising health access and information. Joining the Solver teams would allow us to cultivate a group of impact focused builders and mentors within the space. Building a company requires a strong foundation and being surrounded by a strong talent density is important to our team. Through leadership coaching and evaluation support, our goal is to further improve the in-app services for our customers. We are currently building a community currency system in order to allow our customers to receive further medical attention. Users will be rewarded for engaging with the app through tokens they can redeem toward health services and products. In order to build out this feature, we are seeking a partner that believes in an equal and accessible healthcare system for a market of women who are so often overlooked. 

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business Model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development)
  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Estelle Westling, CEO

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Existing solutions in our markets are Flo, Clue, Babylon Health and Nabta Health. These solutions fail as they have developed services for the Western customer which sets them up to provide niche value to those who can afford the data and bandwidth to use their services. They have not taken into consideration the low data resource settings of emerging markets, nor have they accounted for the lack of purchasing power. Moreover, current solutions are rational, not relational. For intimate concerns on reproductive health, women want a relational approach in terms of content tonality and service delivery. Google is also a substitute since it distributes health information and advice, however, the search engine has several limits. Firstly, users do not know what information to trust or who is qualified to give out information. Secondly, like the other solutions available, Google does not take a relational role which hinders conversations about the topics that our users want to address.

The Grace app is built specifically for emerging markets and the next billion users, unlike any other solution available. The lean design of the app is in itself an innovation as it opens up the market to more women who are prone to low bandwidth environments - the reality of most people in Sub-Saharan Africa. As such, the addressable market for our innovation is much larger than that of other solutions as we can target those others cannot. However, the true innovation lies in our health reward system. This is a groundbreaking innovation that truly has the power to transform health outcomes across the continent. By addressing an actual macro-need such as unaffordability of healthcare, we pave the way for free healthcare unlike any other available solution. No competitor is close to achieving the level of trusted community currency as that built by Grace Health, and as a result, we are the only solution where She can access cheaper care. 

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Our impact goals for the next year are to: 

  • SDG 5.6.1. Our user base by the end of next year: 3 million women should see improved decision-making and ability to make informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive healthcare.

This is the essence of our business and our mission. Our platform strives to increase learning in order to create increased autonomy for decision making. 

  • Shift attitudes towards contraception and immunisation. 

In order to reach this impact goal, we must succeed in two aspects. Firstly, we must continue to strengthen our relationship with our local HCP providers, but we also need to expand the network. In order to distribute significant numbers of vaccines and contraceptives, users must have a healthcare clinic in proximity to their homes. As such, we need to integrate even more partner clinics into our network. Simultaneously, we need to run awareness programs and work with motivation and capability towards behaviour change and intention to shift behaviour and for our users to opt for last mile care for immunisation or family planning counselling.    

Our impact goals for the next five years:

  • 2 million users using modern contraceptives

We will achieve this goal by pushing educational content to our non LARC (users not currently on any long-term reversible contraceptives) users. In collaboration with pharmaceutical partners, we will bust myths and fight stigma, create awareness of the benefits of contraceptives, and thereafter provide access to a gynecologists who can prescribe a suitable contraceptive. 

  • Be present in Anglophone Africa, Francophone Africa and the MENA region

To reach full-scaled impact, we want to scale the Grace Health app across all low-and-middle income countries. Within 5 years, we will continue to scale in the Anglophone markets, but also have introduced the app in Francophone Africa and MENA. To achieve this goal, we need to translate the app and adapt the offering to all market needs (such as language, norms, laws, regulations, and more).

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 5. Gender Equality

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

We measure our goals in a number of different ways, but the common denominator in all is the number of women living better, healthier and more empowered lives. Our goals are very much aligned with SDGs 3 and 5: 

  • Number of women having their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods through Grace Health 
  • New contraceptive adopters
  • Number of pregnancies, intended as well as unintended 
  • Reach and engagement within the app, to measure the amount of women who make their own informed decision regarding their sexual and reproductive health

What is your theory of change?

Problem Statement

  • Women in emerging markets lack access to trusted and affordable healthcare services needed to make informed decisions about their bodies. The healthcare system is strained by the high cost of healthcare, limited distribution of healthcare professionals and the societal stigma around women’s health.  


  • Product development would include strengthening our data collection methods, developing education content for our users to better understand the in-app health reward system and integrating the Grace Wallet so users can accumulate and manage their currency.

  • Data handling would encompass building a secure database, organising collected data to measure impact and data compliance efforts. 

  • Impact assessment would involve measuring the impact against our sustainable development goals (SDGs) looking at the lives impacted by the in-app health reward system. We would also assess the number of subsidised healthcare visits made by our users and % of users who are utilising the in-app health reward system. 

  • HCP integration would involve connecting healthcare personnel databases with our own in order to get data from Grace users who are attending their clinics through our app. Additionally, we would teach partnered clinics about our system and accessing Grace users. 


  • Integrating the Grace Wallet for community currencies in order to access health services  with our partner clinics and organisations. 

  • HCP integration to connect healthcare personnel databases with our own and teach partnered clinics about how to access our network of patients.

Intermediate Outcome

  • Local clinics and partners are able to access and provide for Grace Health patients using our health reward system making it easy for our users to receive care in their community. 

  • Women in emerging markets will develop a health literacy and agency by engaging with the Grace Health app for all their concerns around their reproductive health. 

Final Outcomes 

  • The in-app health reward system will allow the 1.2 billion women in emerging markets with access to a phone to receive free healthcare services and information by fulfilling positive health actions on the Grace Health app.

  • These women will be able to continue education, contribute to their society’s economy and engage in family planning with the help of our services all without the financial burden of the current healthcare system.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Grace Health's revolutionary solution is powered by an advanced software application that harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence and cutting-edge dynamic data inference models to deliver a highly personalised and intuitive fertility companion experience to women in developing countries. Our app is optimised to function seamlessly even in low-bandwidth environments, with a compact Android-based design that takes up a mere 8 MB of storage.

Our powerful AI-based chatbot is the ultimate expert when it comes to providing users with personalised educational content and expert-approved information, enabling them to fully understand their bodies and take charge of their reproductive health. With expertly curated gamified journeys and token rewards that can be used to purchase exciting in-app items, our solution delivers an unparalleled user experience that keeps our users engaged and motivated throughout their journey towards better health. We understand the importance of security and user privacy, which is why we leverage SMS technology to ensure the highest level of security during the registration and login process.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?

We are a team of 12 full-time staff.

How long have you been working on your solution?

Founded in 2018, we originally began as an AI chatbot on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to help women track their cycles and answer questions about reproductive health. The Grace Health app was launched for Android in 2020 in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya and about a year later in South Africa.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

The core of our company culture is collaboration and we are convinced people working together can do remarkable things. At Grace Health, we believe a welcoming, kind and safe work environment will make us successful in our ambitious mission. That’s why we embrace inclusiveness, where all our unique abilities, strengths and differences amplify our cause. Our ethics are there to help us, to protect each other, our partners and our investors from any civil or criminal consequences. That’s why we expect everyone to live by our ethics, not only employees and consultants but also partners, investors and the board of directors. Our users’ trust is something we put great pride in. We work relentlessly to make them feel safe and non-judged when using the Grace App. Equally important, is the safety and health of our employees. We do not tolerate any kind of physical, sexual, psychological or verbal abuse or harassment. 

Being diverse is what will make us succeed - to reach our innovative global goals, we need an innovative and global team. We have worked hard to find the best talent across the globe, and as a result, our 12-person team consists of 8 nationalities with varying backgrounds. We are proud of our diversity as it leads to a more inclusive, vibrant and exciting work environment. At the same time, our diversity is what makes Grace Health so appealing to users - they feel heard, understood and accepted. We play by the rules and win fair.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

We have a B2B2C business model, where we connect users, health clinics and large corporations. The app itself aggregates big data that allows businesses and government partners to access aggregated and anonymized data for macro decision-making and health planning. Our in-app health reward system will utilise the 1.2 billion women in emerging markets who have access to a phone by allowing them to "pay" through engagement with the app while partners pay to access our network of patients. This is a unique approach compared to existing solutions as it utilises community currencies to connect individuals to service providers within a community that shares values, and gamifies interactions to drive positive health outcomes.

We collaborate with pharmaceutical companies and FMCGs to run disease awareness and engagement programs. There is a massive need in the market to find valuable channels to reach women in emerging markets, and Grace Health is creating targeted programs for disease awareness, action, and adherence. This provides value to all stakeholders as we create impact on the health of our users, whilst generating significant revenue. By collaborating with industry leaders, we can reach the maximum amount of impact and change the maximum amount of lives. 

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

In order to be financially sustainable, we will combine multiple sources of funding. Firstly, investors have contributed with funding to support operations and growth. Our investors have been carefully selected to ensure that we are aligned in terms of intended impact and sustainability in returns. This is currently our largest funding source, yet as the product matures and business model is solidified, recurrent revenue will be our largest source of revenue and ensure our prolonged financial stability. By building partnerships with pharma companies and FMCGs, we will generate significant revenue that will be used for scale-up activities. We also generate recurring revenue from referrals to our health care provider network. Lastly, we collaborate with like-minded organisations to provide long-term change in Africa. By building partnerships with grant-giving organisations, we receive funding to assist in implementing scalable solutions across our target markets. Overall, Grace Health will remain financially sustainable through a combination of private sector investments, internal revenue generation, partnerships as well as philanthropic sources.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

So far, we have successfully received a number of grants, partnerships and investments. Received grants include The Waterloo Foundation to increase contraceptive adoption in Ghana, Haleon through their Re/Wire Program, and a $100k grant from Vinnova. Moreover, we have secured $5.8M in investments led by the public venture capital firm VNV Global. Simultaneously, we are in negotiations with the majority of the biggest pharmaceutical companies with contracts in the millions, and are kicking off a project with MSD on cervical cancer awareness in Ghana in the upcoming months. 

Solution Team

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