News and views

reach52 and Philips launch new ultrasound service in the Philippines

reach52 has partnered with Philips to launch a new ultrasound service for expectant mothers in rural Philippines. Only 10 to 20% of women in rural regions are able to undergo the recommended ultrasound before 24 weeks of their pregnancy due to affordability and accessibility. reach52 has equipped community midwives with the Philips Lumify, a portable ultrasound machine which delivers high quality ultrasound images in remote settings. This quality ultrasound will be provided in Pototan, Western Visayas through reach52’s marketplace service, supported by community-based marketplace area managers and the Pototan Municipal Health Officer.

In the Philippines, maternal mortality rate is 121 deaths per 100,00 live births, still a far cry from the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal targets, with more than 11 mothers still dying every day. Quality antenatal care is essential for ensuring a health pregnancy for mothers and their babies. Essential to this is access to affordable ultrasound services to check the baby’s development and identify any complications. Unfortunately, typically only private clinics provide ultrasounds in rural regions in the Philippines, which are too expensive and too far away for over 80% of parents in rural communities.

Earlier in 2020, the reach52 and Philips teams collaborated virtually to design a new solution to address this inequity. The focus was on establishing a sustainable social business model for rural Philippines, not just a stop gap. reach52’s Insight team conducted analysis of the maternal health system and expectant mothers’ needs across their pregnancy, including confirming willingness to pay for an affordable ultrasound service. The new Lumify ultrasound service was designed to meet their needs – high quality imaging, affordable at half the price of a private clinic, and accessible as the ultrasound is conducted by midwives visiting their village. To drive awareness of the service and the importance of ultrasound scans during pregnancies, an integrated campaign was launched into the communities through outdoor advertising, Facebook community groups, door-to-door engagement by reach52 marketplace area managers and advocacy from local healthcare leaders. The first 3 months of the program will be evaluated based on the number of expectant mothers who use the service, satisfaction levels, and the increase in referrals for identified risks/issues to OBYGYNs.

reach52 delivers healthcare for the 52% of the world who can’t access traditional services. Maternal and Child Health is a priority area in rural communities across South East Asia, with a wide range of vitamins, baby care and personal care products already provided through reach52 marketplace. Previously in 2020, reach52 also worked with Save the Children to provide telehealth support to pregnant mothers in Metro Manila unable to access care during the pandemic.

Philips is striving to making the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, with the goal of improving the lives of 2.5 billion people a year by 2030. They are committed to improving maternal health globally through implementing new models of care, innovative partnerships and harnessing their market-leading products such as the Philips Lumify.

Rich Bryson, reach52’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, comments “Everyone should have access to quality ultrasounds to check for risks and provide the reassurance their babies are developing well – as I know myself as a parent. This new service removes the barriers for expectant mothers in our rural communities, so they can undergo the ultrasound they need to protect their babies and ensure timely treatment of pregnancy risks when needed”.

Seneriza Castro, Philips Business Marketing Manager OBGYN Ultrasound, APAC and Ultrasound Business Manager, Philippines, adds “Philips Lumify has addressed both the challenge of affordability and access to diagnostic scans for expectant mothers. This has enabled the provision of higher quality of care, translating to lives saved.”

reach52 is partnering with many leading organisations to expand access and implement new models in previously unreachable rural markets across South and South East Asia. If you’re interested in partnering, please just get in contact.


Contact details:

Rich Bryson, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, reach52 –

Seneriza Castro, Philips Business Marketing Manager OBGYN Ultrasound, APAC and Ultrasound Business Manager, Philippines –