Counterfeit drugs sold are disastrous to human existence and a threat to global public health.
Hence in 2007, Ghanaian tech entrepreneur Bright Simons, passionate about eradicating this aberration, created a means to swiftly validate the authenticity of a medication, through his organisation, mPedigree.
mPedigree is a global leader in the use of mobile and web technologies in securing products against counterfeiting and diversion.
mPedigree renders service to the world’s leading pharmaceutical and consumable companies with the shared goal of protecting consumers, enriching their lives and transforming their communities through a cleaner, better, supply chain.
This fight against counterfeiting through mPedigree has received awards from near and far due to the positive results generated from the authentication process Simons pioneered. Lives have been saved.
Simons, aside being the President, mPedigree Network, is also Founder, Koldchain (Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa) and he was recently announced among those selected as 2019 Braddock Scholars.
The Braddock Scholars Program is built on the belief that entrepreneurs are great at starting businesses, but the skills needed to effectively scale these innovations are very different. The program serves to bridge the “scaling gap” by channelling the expertise of mentors, all of whom are Aspen Institute Trustees, towards the specific challenge or opportunity the Scholars face.
According to Bright, “As you know, the Aspen Institute, through the Braddock Scholarship, brings together innovators working on emerging concepts with potential for massive scale and established global leaders who can help innovators navigate the risks of such breakthrough innovation. I am very pleased about the Fellowship for precisely this reason.
Over the last decade, parts of our mPedigree solution have greatly matured, but our biggest impact is yet to come. That impact would be driven by cutting-edge work in machine learning and organo-sensors we are doing right now, and we need all the support we can get to navigate the complexity of global deployment.”
Adding to the feather on his cap, The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) has included Bright among the three dynamic and visionary African and global leaders in the field of data management, evidence generation, and technology to their Board of Directors as they approach the mid-point of their 2017-2021 strategic plan.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome these exceptionally talented and visionary leaders in their own right, to our Board. They bring rich experiences from different sectors across the globe and we look forward to their support and guidance in shaping the Centre’s future as Africa’s premier research institution for population health and wellbeing,” said Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director.
Bright has always viewed the work that the Africa Population Health Research Centre does as pushing the very frontier of how rigorous research can be directly applied to the work of practical innovation in the healthcare domain. In his words, “Mere imagination and enthusiasm are not enough when breaking new ground, quality, solid, research and data are just as important. That’s why, as practicing innovator, I am so delighted at the opportunity to serve on the Board of the APHRC.
He further adds that “My role here is to become the voice of practitioners, and a bridge between the amazing, world-class, scientists at the Centre and the grassroots change agents working all over the continent in pursuit of clear goals in health improvement. We need to bring power and prestige closer to passion and action. I think that’s why I was invited, and I am delighted to serve.”
Bright is a George Mallinckrodt Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an Adrian Cheng Fellow at SICI-Harvard. Bright serves for more than a decade as the president of mPedigree: a social enterprise ranked number 34 among world-changing companies by Fortune Magazine in 2016 and among the world’s most creative companies by Fast Company magazine.
mPedigree works on three continents in partnership with governments, several Fortune 500 companies, and grassroots organisations to spread innovative, including patent-pending, technologies that secure communities from the harmful effects of counterfeiting.
Bright’s current research and innovation focus at the Harvard Innovation Lab explores the power of new technologies that combine data analytics and thermo-sensitive polymers for temperature control and accountability management in sensitive health cold chains for vaccines and biotech products.