Transforming the World Health Organization into a data storyteller

The Challenge

The World Health Organisation is the authority responsible for the public health of countries within the United Nations system. With an annual budget of $4bn, it is primarily concerned with the collection of detailed health-related data, in order to inform health policy around the world.

WHO Europe struggled with the accurate and timely dissemination of critical health data and analytics to key personnel across the continent. Their reliance on paper reporting meant that distribution of up-to-date information was often costly, inefficient and ineffective, causing their coordination, communication and ability to react to health crises to suffer.

As a result, they engaged xDesign to create a dedicated iOS and Android mobile application that could enable anytime access, analysis and reporting of health data to healthcare professionals, policy makers and politicians across Europe and around the world.

xDesign has become our strategic partner in our mission to bring our data closer to our stakeholders. They are creative, proactive, can handle a very diverse set of content and product objectives, and are just the right team for the job.

Tina Dannemann PurnatUnit Lead, World Health Organization

The Solution

The challenge was how to make huge volumes of disparate health data readily available on any mobile device, in a way that was instantaneous and took into consideration potentially difficult circumstances; while also ensuring data was up-to-date and in a format that could be easily digested by the end user.

This involved working in close collaboration with Data Scientists and other stakeholders from across the organisation to identify a data structure and methodology for the digitisation, convergence and standardisation of data, while also planning how best to distribute, manage and update data.

While designing and creating innovative analytics and reporting mechanisms, we were able to incorporate crucial requirements for security, availability and uptime, while also ensuring the solution could be accessed in multiple languages.

We delivered a bespoke Content Management System that was able to standardise the format of and access to WHO’s data warehouses, providing a platform for data availability and management that integrated effortlessly with mobile software.

Going Above and Beyond

We built the app with collaboration in mind. This meant that we could work with WHO to deliver the initial project and then across different operating units to enhance the app with new information and features as the needs of the WHO changed.

The Results

The app fundamentally changed the way that data was transferred within WHO Europe. More than 85% of key personnel use the app and the results have been increased availability, accuracy and accessibility of data across the organisation.

In real terms, this has influenced operational efficiency and driven improved long term planning and the ability to respond to health crises quickly and accurately.

These improvements have resulted in significant cost savings and minimising the environmental impact of an entirely paper based documentation system.

WHO benefited from significant cost saving and the minimisation of environmental impact through the abandonment of paper documentation.

As a result of this work, Design was selected for a long-term agreement to supply the WHO for more than five years.

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