Sana Learning Platform
One-line solution summary:
Improving skill learning using AI-powered adaptive learning to reduce time to mastery and increase knowledge retention
Pitch your solution.
Global skills shortages and inefficiencies are inevitable in a rapidly changing world. With little time for upskilling and reskilling, workers across sectors are poorly equipped to keep up with the changing job market and technological advances. Learning is inefficient, meaning learners lack engagement, and mastery, if reached, is rarely maintained.
Ranked best-in-world for identifying knowledge gaps, Sana’s AI provides optimal content at the optimal time to maintain engagement and boost knowledge retention. Integrating seamlessly with learning platforms, Sana ensures each learner: reaches proficiency at their own pace, masters the same content in half the time and remembers it three times longer.
Sana empowers any internet-connected business to ensure their learners have the skills they need to keep up, transition, or go further in a rapidly changing world. From boosting resuscitation proficiency in remote hospitals to reskilling nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sana optimises the world’s most valuable resource- human capital.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
According to BCG, the skills mismatch affects 1.3 billion people worldwide, and imposes a 6% annual tax on the global economy in the form of lost productivity. By 2022, 27% of available roles are forecast to be in jobs which don’t yet exist and skills are becoming obsolete at an increasing rate, in many cases in less than five years.
It is more pressing than ever to ensure employers and employees can keep pace through reskilling and upskilling. Businesses’ time and resource constraints mean traditional learning approaches are neglected and, when adopted, inefficient. A lack of engagement results in slow mastery, while prolonged courses result in poor knowledge retention.
A human-centric approach is crucial to overcoming these challenges. Workers must be enabled to acquire fundamental skill sets and engage in lifelong learning, ensuring long-term skills liquidity in response to changing employer and market requirements. It has long been recognised that there is a need to shift from “mass standardization” to “mass uniqueness” to overcome the skills mismatch and ensure human capital realisation. Recognising individuals as distinct personalities rather than economic resources ensures their full potential is nurtured, encouraging “workers” to become “contributors”: unique additions to both economy and society.
What is your solution?
Sana Labs’ Adaptive Learning Platform provides a user-centric experience for learners and powerful authoring and analytics capabilities for employers. Sana’s models comprehensively capture both learning needs, from knowledge and remediation to repetition and progression, and content factors, including content dependencies, difficulty, assessment and instructional value. In doing so, Sana creates fully personalised and adaptive learning experiences.
Learners undergo a three-stage journey to mastery: adaptive assessments which pinpoint their current knowledge and confidence in up to 75% fewer questions than benchmarks; individually personalized learning paths which continuously assess proficiency, resulting in 15-45% greater learning outcomes; and targeted retention exercises, improving long-term retention by 3-4x.
Administrators are empowered in real-time with: actionable insights and rich learning analytics, allowing them to engage personally with learners; grouping of users into roles and courses into paths, automating course assignment and improving follow-up; and a powerful authoring tool which enables data-driven recommendations for content improvement.
Sana’s platform is powered by state-of-the-art AI which combines learner and content modelling with individual learning paths and ‘nudging’ towards courses aligned with learning objectives. Alongside integrated learning analytics and actionable insights, Sana’s deep content modelling provides data-driven content improvement recommendations, optimizing assessment efficacy as well as content, delivery and remediation.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Sana serves workers in sectors ranging from healthcare and pharma to financial and professional services. Whether ensuring proficiency and skill compliance, reskilling or upskilling, Sana ensures learning is personalized to each individual learner. Represented by the diversity of our clients and partners, we have developed a deep understanding of the needs of the global workforce. We engage continuously with employers and employees alike, both integrating our end-to-end solution into their existing platforms, and helping them author courses directly. Nurturing long term relationships, we iterate on and refine our solutions to meet learners’ needs, whether integrating course ‘nudges’ to promote self-led learning, aligning dashboard metrics with client KPIs or integrating automated course pathways for minimal supervision.
We envision a world of truly lifelong learners capable of mastering new disciplines, transitioning careers and augmenting their daily lives through intuitive and stimulating learning. Whether learning a new language, mastering new skills for a promotion, or leveraging existing skills to break into new sectors, we ensure our learners stay engaged for longer, reach mastery sooner, and retain it for longer. Our affordable, accessible and scalable solution seeks to empower the “workers” of today to become “shapers” of tomorrow, regardless of income, culture or background.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Equip workers with technological and digital literacy as well as the durable skills needed to stay apace with the changing job market
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.
Sana’s personalized learning platform directly addresses skill and knowledge shortages associated with time and resource-constrained businesses and workers in dynamic markets. Sana enables businesses to upskill and reskill their workforce as they adopt new technologies and methodologies, or diversify product offerings. Harnessing existing experience, personalized learning paths also enable workers to obtain durable skills rapidly and reskill independently to meet evolving market demand. Indirectly, Sana’s ease of integration makes it well-suited to small businesses in untapped communities. By accelerating human capital development, Sana simultaneously increases global communities’ resilience to shocks and provides them with the tools to innovate and prosper.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Stockholm, Sverige
What is your solution’s stage of development?Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?
Anna Nordell-Westling, Co-Founder and CMO
If you have additional video content that explains your solution, provide a YouTube or Vimeo link here:
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
Our solution is innovate as it brings an unbiased outcome-based approach to education. Similar solutions to ours primarily measure success on seat-time (e.g. how much time someone has spent on a particular module), or they measure a learner's self-confidence in knowledge acquired (e.g. surveying learners after completing a module on how much they've learned). However, our solution is unique in that it objectively measures how much a learner knows, creates an unbiased and adapted learning curriculum based on their unique knowledge gaps, and models their knowledge decay based on how difficult the content is and their historical knowledge retention.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
Our core technology is built on Bayesian IRT models coupled with a rules-based engine to create an artificially-intelligent learning experience.
Sana's core components include adaptive assessments, which accurately pinpoint knowledge gaps for individual learners; adaptive learning paths, which deliver personalized learning curriculums in real-time; and knowledge retention models, which estimate the half-life of the acquired knowledge for a specific learner.
In addition to the adaptive learning experience, we also support browse and search, with the search powered by a deep learning algorithm that surfaces results based on imprecise search terms, badly indexed data, and retrieves courses with minimal metadata.
These core components are built on a world-class infrastructure capable of supporting millions of learners simultaneously, offering personalization and personalized learning analytics in real-time.
Provide evidence that this technology works.
- Bayesian IRT models are used in high-stakes exams such as the GMAT and GRE in the USA.
- Deep learning search algorithms are used extensively in web browsers world-wide.
- Modelling the half-life of an individual's knowledge is a technique that builds on the work of optimizing spaced repetition intervals researched by many learning science and cognitive science academics worldwide.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
While upskilling nurses for optimal COVID-19 treatment, we found that nurses were able to effectively demonstrate mastery of content in 50% less time than if studying via a traditional linear approach.
The theory of change goes that traditional learning is not always adapted to the needs of the learner, unless the adaptivity is driven by a very involved teacher who spends a lot of time understanding the learner's knowledge gaps and then tailoring the content to meet these knowledge gaps. By harnessing AI and machine learning, we provide a scalable solution that can address individual learner needs worldwide and in real-time.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
We currently serve 60k learners, and expect to reach 120k by the next year, and 2 million in 5 years.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
In the next year, we intend to broaden our learner base to consolidate the proven efficacy of our solution across a greater breadth of sectors and geographies, focussing in particular on meeting the growing and evolving needs of global healthcare.
Our long-term impact goals are to expand the educational content on our adaptive learning platform from proficiency, upskilling and reskilling, to include other socially-relevant topics such as building awareness of LGBTQ+, Civil Rights, and cultural norms. In doing so, we intend to reach not only healthcare and business professionals, but learners across all industries and from all backgrounds who can also benefit from learning topics which can help them become better global citizens.
We plan to partner with organizations who specialize in building awareness of these socially relevant topics, and look to leverage our adaptive learning platform to bring their educational content to scale.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
Our biggest hurdle will be ensuring the financial runway to sufficiently take our adaptive learning platform to market. We will require additional investment in our platform, team, and content development.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
We plan to overcome these barriers by finding partners who can help fund the journey, either from fees that come from licensing our platform, revenue share models from selling courses through our adaptive learning platform, or investing in our company for equity shares.
What type of organization is your solution team?For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
If you selected Other, please explain here.
How many people work on your solution team?
Our team consists of:
3 Part-time; and
How many years have you worked on your solution?
4 years (since 2016)
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
We have hired engineers who previously developed music recommendation algorithm and the backend infrastructure to support it, as well as ex-Googlers who developed deep learning search, as well as data scientists from BCG Gamma, Harvard University, and Imperial College.
By combining the diverse approaches of our technical talent from across these domains, we believe we are well-positioned to bring an innovative new approach to learning science.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
We are partnering with Mount Sinai Health Systems in NYC, King Faisal Hospital in Saudi Arabia, and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, to upskill nurses in optimal treatment for COVID-19.
We are also working together with smaller hospitals across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and South America to deliver specialist training in response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to this, we partner with some of the world's largest Pharma, financial and education services companies.
What is your business model?
We provide our customers with a platform product which creates an on-demand adaptive learning experience, provides analytics on learner performance and content richness, and enables administrators to author content in an adaptive-integrated method.
We also provide services which include the integration of existing content into our adaptive learning platform, and the integration of our adaptive learning system into other systems in the customer's ecosystem.
Customers ask for our product and services because they want to transform their learning experience to achieve better learning outcomes.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Organizations (B2B)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
We will fund our work primarily through grants and through selling our product.
As we seek to scale our solution even more rapidly to meet the demands of an increasingly rapidly changing workforce, we may also raise more investment capital over time.
Why are you applying to Solve?
Our greatest barrier is our capital constraint.
While the Solve prize money will inevitably help us invest in scaling and improving our technical capacity through R&D, the Solve network itself promises substantial opportunities both for revenue growth and innovation aligned with our long-term goals.
In particular, becoming a Solve team offers the opportunity for cross-discipline collaboration with Solve alumni, across a breadth of complementary domains including: community-driven innovation, teaching & education, frontlines of health and work/workplaces of the future. By sharing intellectual and human capital with fellow "Solvers" and the global MIT network, we intend to realise the full societal scope of personalized learning as a tool for citizen inclusion and integration, as well as professional growth and economic development. This not only enables us to serve a broader scope of clients, and thereby pursue diversified revenue streams which help long-term financial profitability and sustainability, but validates our mission and efficacy.
Thus, becoming a Solve team is likely not only to directly alleviate our financial capital constraints, but energise and augment our existing R&D efforts to better serve our existing clients and acquire new ones across new domains, and increase both our brand awareness and commercial exposure.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
Our primary partnership goals are, in the short-term, healthcare, life sciences, and professional and financial services clients seeking to ensure proficiency, skill improvements and skill diversification. This is a substantial global market which has long employed outdated "one-size-fits-all" online learning platforms which are inefficient and result in poor engagement and utilisation. This provides a substantial opportunity for our personalized approach to drive significant learning gains.
In the long-term, we seek to partner with public sector companies, governments and non-profits to roll-out personalized learning technologies as tools for civic engagement and economic development, especially supporting vulnerable citizens and those occupying untapped communities or within developing economies.
What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?
The initiatives we’d like to partner with are: UNHCR, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and Teach For All, each of which have personalized learning at scale as one of their key focus areas. A partnership seems natural and would give Sana Labs additional power to be part of a worldwide learning solution alongside established players in development and emerging market innovation.
The organizations we’d like to partner with are Fortune 500 companies that experience a strong need to upskill and reskill their workforce, such as but not limited to General Motors, Walmart and Verizon. With the Sana Platform, they can ensure their employees not only thrive in their existing roles, but are capable of developing rapidly to occupy new essential roles within the organization, rather than having to lay employees off due as their skill sets become outdated. Consequently, we believe the Sana platform is well positioned to ensure long-term skill liquidity: the most vulnerable low-income individuals dependent on these organizations for survival being empowered to grow their skill set and stay employed.
Naturally we also aim to partner with more pharma and healthcare organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, United Health Group and CVS Health. As stated previously we have proven the impact of our solution in this category and envision fruitful partnerships in multiple domains.
Mrs Anna Nordell Westling CMO & Co-Founder, Sana Labs