Rethinking global digital health and AI-for-health innovation challenges

AI-for-health innovations are a key part of the work Villgro Africa has been focusing on in our efforts to support emerging businesses in the African health sector. Our Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Rob Beyer, and our AI Sector Lead, Deogratias Mzurikwao, participated in an academic research paper titled "Rethinking global digital health and AI-for-health innovation challenges." Read the abstract and download the full report below.


Digital health technologies can help tackle challenges in global public health. Digital and AI-for-Health Challenges, controlled events whose goal is to generate solutions to a given problem in a defined period of time, are one way of catalysing innovation. This article proposes an expanded investment framework for Global Health AI and digital-health Innovation that goes beyond traditional factors such as return on investment. Instead, we propose non monetary and non GDP metrics, such as Disability Adjusted Life Years or achievement of universal health coverage. Furthermore, we suggest a venture building approach around global health, which includes filtering of participants to reduce opportunity cost, close integration of implementation scientists and an incubator for the long-term development of ideas resulting from the challenge. Finally, we emphasize the need to strengthen human capital across a range of areas in local innovation, implementation-science, and in health services.