Artificial intelligence presents unique opportunities for leap-frog solutions in healthcare, which is especially useful in the African context where we face unique and significant challenges. With this in mind, Villgro Africa and partners recently put out a funding call looking for businesses that are utilising artificial intelligence and making a positive impact in healthcare in Africa. We were very excited to receive AI for health applications from across the continent, showing continued growth and innovation in the AI space in Africa.
The awardees chosen for our AI for health portfolio were announced in early June and tackle health challenges across the healthcare spectrum, from radiology, diagnostics, and pathology to sex education and maternal and infant health.
Rology's main product, Rology Connect, offers a zero-setup cost, end-to-end, high-quality, and integrated tele-radiology solution to the diagnostic imaging facilities in the MEA region, especially in underserved healthcare communities and distant geographical areas. Neural Labs Africa uses Deep Learning and Computer Vision technology to enhance medical images for radiologists and hospitals in real time to identify diseases such as Pneumonia, TB, and lung cancer. By this, the solution empowers doctors to aid accurate diagnoses. Diagnosoft provides an accurate (93%), fast, African-focused, AI-powered diagnostic tool that assists radiologists in accurate diagnosis, reducing the turnaround time, automating and streamlining workflow. It’s tested using African data to reduce bias against the African population
Intixel is a web-based CAD software system for breast cancer detection in screening mammography. The solution seamlessly integrates with the PACS system in hospitals, supply initial diagnosis markups and draft reports to the image data from the imaging modality. Vectorgram Health enables early diagnosis of breast cancer using an AI model, Deep Neural Networks trained on augmented Mammography datasets to execute scalable Computer Vision inference accessible anywhere in the world on an online platform. Saratani AI is a flexible and user-friendly cervical cancer diagnostic device made using deep-learning techniques, trained with quite a large cervical PAP smear cytological image with plans of making it offline. The model can be replicated to diagnose other forms of cancer
The Pathology Network connects doctors, hospitals and the patients they serve to a global network of pathologists. Leveraging technology to enable doctors to order patient’s tests, tests samples are picked, processing arranged, and the samples distributed to a network of pathologists for reporting. Palindrome Data has created predictive, analytic AI models that facilitate triage of HIV patients who need more support and those who need less intensive support. The algorithms do this by identifying characteristics of patients that are likely to cause adverse health outcomes
Sophie Bot is an artificial intelligence persona to answer users' questions on sexual health. Think of her as "Siri for sexual health". We take great care to feed her with curated verified information from our partner/investor UNFPA Kenya. Wekebere uses machine learning to allows for improved healthcare delivery by enhancing early detection of foetal well-being, thus increasing mother and infant safety, preventing maternal and neonatal morbidities, and lowering healthcare costs.
Here's what a few of our companies' founders say makes them most excited about the use of artificial intelligence in African healthcare.