Tupaia - Health resource mapping in Asia-Pacific

Tupaia is a data aggregation and visualisation platform used to map health systems in low and middle-income countries in our region for strengthening health supply chains, access to healthcare for patients, disaster response, disease tracking and improving clinical services. 

Tupaia has mapped every health facility across six countries in the Pacific region with a free data collection app (Tupaia MediTrak) and then uses APIs to sync live data from three different health database sources including those used for stock management (mSupply) and disease information (DHIS2). The data is overlaid in customised, pre-configured dashboards for a range of user groups. The data visualisation is mapping-led and intuitive, with complex data sets presented in charts, whilst basic metrics (e.g. whether a fridge is working) can be overlaid on maps at the regional, national, district, sub-district and facility level.

A large portion of the dataset is made freely available to the public, including information on the location of facilities, services provided, opening hours and available staff. Sensitive information is password protected for donors and admin-level users but access is provided at no charge for all.

Tupaia was funded through the innovationXchange as an Australian Development Accelerator project. Tupaia is currently live in 6 countries – Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Cook Islands and Tokelau. Tupaia is intended to be rolled out in PNG as a related software called mSupply Mobile is implemented there. mSupply Mobile is a tablet-based, Android app used to manage medicines and consumables at clinics and health centres. It was released open-source with funding through Tupaia.
Tupaia is designed to strengthen health systems by increasing the availability of usable data to health workers and senior staff. The data that people see is customised to their role – a health supply chain manager might use Tupaia to spot bottlenecks causing poor medicines availability in specific geographies, a cold chain manager might map every broken fridge in the country, whilst a family planning donor might use maps of contraception and service provision to plan their country programming. Where possible, we have also provided training and other technical support in health supply chains during the initiation phase.

Central to the Tupaia project has been a close collaboration with the makers of mSupply (Sustainable Solutions) to sync the data housed on mSupply servers with Tupaia and release mSupply Mobile open-source. This mobile app provides electronic management of medical supplies in primary healthcare facilities. The result is continuous, near real-time monitoring of medicine availability and usage, through multiple levels of the supply chain, on a regional scale.

The next steps for Tupaia are to expand the system out to cover the entire Pacific; consider expansion into south-east Asia; to build out functionality in disaster response, disease outbreak monitoring, antimicrobial stewardship and medicines quality; further data integrations with other data sources, such as climate data, medicines quality reporting and a new patient-level electronic medical record system called Tamanu.

We believe Tupaia is the first program of its kind in the world.

Presentation type: Full length
Session: Data Matters


Michael Nunan

Michael is a health systems specialist who has worked in overseas development for more than 10 years across Asia, Africa and extensively in the Pacific, having spent five years in Solomon Islands, as well as completing work in Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Tokelau and Fiji. Originally a pharmacist, Michael has an MPH from Sydney University and a PhD from Melbourne University, where he had previously worked as a research fellow at the Centre for International Child Health. Michael is currently the project lead for Tupaia, a health data platform used across six Pacific Island Countries for strengthening health supply chains, disaster response, disease tracking and improving health systems. Michael has extensive experience in health supply chains, essential medicines policy and eHealth, with a particular interest in the intersection of logistics and commodity data with broader health and epidemiological indicators. He is a Director of Beyond Essential Systems and has consulted for the World Food Program, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO and DFAT.