Meet our Nordic Fellow Rustam Nabiev

Rustam launched Shifo in 2016. Since then, Shifo has developed Smart Paper Technology (SPT) to ensure that every woman and child receive effective health services, no matter where they live. 

His Changemaker journey

After experiencing a civil war, Rustam began his studies in computer science, which he felt would position him for a future of innovation and problem solving. Rustam moved to Sweden to study and specialized in how to build mobile infrastructure, after a University exchange and working as an IT consultant in Germany. He was the youngest in his class and had 10 years of working experience.

In his thesis project, Rustam developed an IT system to monitor the at-home equipment of 20,000 people with breathing difficulties. It was at this point when Rustam decided to devote his life to health care and innovative eHealth solutions. Thus, Rustam began work with Karolinska Institutet and worked in a global context managing eHealth projects that strengthened health service delivery in Sweden, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Influenced by his childhood, upbringing, and work in Europe, he found his driving force. In 2009, a delegation invited Rustam to Uganda to understand how eHealth can improve healthcare in an African context. During his time in Uganda – Rustam came to understand the root causes of the problems with delivering preventive health care services for children and possible ways to fill these gaps. After his time in Uganda, Rustam started working on developing Shifo on weekends, evenings and vacations. Currently, Rustam is creating tools needed by nurses, families, policy- and decision makers in low-income countries to ensure that every child receives essential preventive health care. 

His Idea

Rustam found that the adoption of existing digital health record solutions has been unsuccessful because top-down solutions fail to meet the actual needs of local practitioners. Seeing this failure, Rustam founded Shifo to enable frontline workers to easily track individual children’s health development and empower families and communities to participate in the process. 

Shifo’s approach is to unite and create trustworthy relationships between key actors to solve the gaps that stop us from reaching every child, including families, health workers, local and national decision-makers, global NGOs and foundations. To reach this aim, Rustam’s strategy is built on three parts: firstly, Shifo is designing the tools, systems and structures needed to make preventive healthcare accessible to all. Secondly, Rustam wants to create a behavioral change towards wider use of eHealth tools and digital systems by demonstrating concrete benefits to these key stakeholders. Lastly, Shifo takes the role as a data broker in the wider health community to promote data transparency.

Rustam founded Shifo with a mission to use the power of data and technology to drive improvements in health care delivery, accountability and transparency. 

Another key element of Rustam’s strategy is to drive behavioral change on two levels. First and foremost, he seeks to trigger a higher demand for eHealth solutions among health workers and professionals in low-income countries at large, while laying the foundation for integrating the system to other digital record keeping systems.

Rustam’s MyChild solutions are designed with and for frontline workers, enabling them to easily track individual children and entire communities’ immunization records and preventive health needs over time.

Curious for more?

Emma Lindgren

Nordic Director