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How this tech startup drew the attention of Gavi, Gates and Google

A health worker looks inside a vaccine refrigerator, monitored using the Nexleaf Analytics ColdTrace wireless remote temperature technology. Photo by: Nexleaf Analytics

Google.org has announced a new partnership to support Nexleaf Analytics, a Los Angeles-based startup that builds wireless sensors turning everyday objects like refrigerators and cookstoves into connected devices.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching a $2 million contribution from Google.org in a collaboration resulting from INFUSE, an accelerator launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to identify innovations that can modernize the way vaccines are delivered.

Nexleaf builds wireless sensor devices and data analytics tools such as ColdTrace, a wireless remote temperature monitoring technology that protects vaccines, and StoveTrace, a cloud based remote monitoring system that monitors the use of improved cookstoves. With funding from this new partnership, Nexleaf will now develop an analytics framework, gathering data from the countries its technology reaches, in order to share data with other governments looking to make evidence-based decisions regarding vaccine delivery.

“We focus on: How do you get vaccines safely to kids, stored at the right temperatures, fixing problems with refrigerators along the way?” Nithya Ramanathan, president and co-founder of Nexleaf, told Devex. “Everybody brings their piece of the puzzle and what we bring is data.”

Before scaling its work on refrigerators and cookstoves, Nexleaf started collecting data on refrigerators one clinic at a time, and data on cookstoves one household at a time. But just like nurses need to know when a fridge is too hot or too cold for vaccines, governments can also benefit from this information, which can inform decisions on…

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