Health Tech

Artificial intelligence and big data driven platform to deliver expert health decisions to sub-Saharan Africa.

Vision

Expert health advice in Africa’s pocket

hours: the time it can take community members to walk to their local clinic

%

of patient visits to our partner clinics that are unnecessary

minutes available for patient consultation at clinics

THe Problem

Every day, the people of Malawi’s rural communities have to make health decisions with profound ramifications on themselves and their families. When seeing a clinician means walking for three hours but not seeing one could mean death, having no medical expertise is disempowering and stressful, and as often as not the wrong decision is made.

Similarly, decision makers passionately working to improve their people’s health are making the best decisions they can, but are left frustrated and saddened by needing to do it in the dark, without the information those in the developed world have such easy access to.

Providing individuals control

By making health resources much more readily available for those in rural communities, we aim to empower them to make informed healthcare decisions, increasing the quality of care available when needed, and stopping unnecessary action when it’s not.
i

Evidence based national policy

The Ministry of Health is forced to make hugely meaningful decisions, influencing the health of their country, with incomplete and unreliable data. By increasing the quality of data available to them, we can help them increase the effectiveness of the decisions being made.

Better clinical decisions

The clinicians on Malawi are on the front line of providing healthcare to under-served communities, and are passionate about doing so. They know their communities better than anyone, but without access to high level data, there’s only so much they can do. By giving them this access, we increase their efficacy as they work for the betterment of their communities’ health.

KEY PARTNERS

Blantyre District Health Office

Zingwangwa Clinic, Blantyre

Gateway Clinic, Blantyre

HOW IT WORKS

There are two primary issues the Health project aims to address. The first is the lack of decision making power that individuals in communities have, and subsequently inevitable poor health decisions. This is because clinics are as far as three hours of walking away, and this is the closest place individuals can access the expertise they need. However, the Malawian healthcare system heavily uses Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs). These individuals work tirelessly within communities, conducting rudimentary triage, sanitation checks and basic vaccinations. With the 12 weeks of medical training they receive, they are unable to make high impact decisions, and so, despite their prevalence and presence within communities, they are underutilised. To better utilise this passionate group of people, the Health Consulting project is working with top medical professionals and academics developing an app, accessible through a basic mobile phone, whereby HSAs can enter patients’ symptoms and receive highly accurate triage information, informed by artificial intelligence and data analysis. This information can then be passed to the patient’s clinician at the closest medical facility, meaning the clinician doesn’t have to waste part of their valuable 3-5 minute consultation asking questions that the HSA has already asked.

The second is the inadequacy of data available at every level of health decision making. Currently, HSAs pass paper forms up to clinicians, who pass further paper to lower level government offices (District Health Offices). Only here is it entered into a proper database (called the DHIS2). This database and its precious (but unreliable and incomplete) data can only be used by government offices. The data, as it is currently processed, is frequently lost and massively inaccurate. To address this, the data from the app outlined above will be passed into the database, to be used in decision making around district and national health decisions. Further, the app will access the data in the database to make triage decisions as accurate as possible. This will enable vastly more powerful, accurate decisions at every level.

The business model

The service will be provided to governments on a scaled subscription service. People’s use of the system will save government bodies money in the short and long term, and so every payment for the system will create a lot of value, socially and economically. The project is at a stage where test rollouts are being planned with Blantyre’s District Health Office (DHO), which will validate this value, and prove the need for the service. Once this value has been proven at this smaller scale, it can be scaled to any number of districts.

After this expansion, a massive amount of data will be created, which will be used to provide tools for decision making at a national level. Revenue from this will be used to generalise the service for use in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, to which it can then be scaled.

This business model is elegant and effective – its cost scale linearly with usage and therefore with revenue, creating sustainability. It is also massively scalable, as it’s an entirely digital platform with value in Malawi as well as its surrounding countries.

KEy Value Proposition

Empowering communities with better health decisions

Encouraging them to seek medical help when necessary but avoiding wasting time and money when it’s not necessary.

Increasing the efficacy of clinicians

By equipping them with data about their patients, decreasing overcrowding, and thus allowing them to spend more time on what matters – understanding their patients and offering them the care they most need.

Empowering Governments to create better health strategy

With data, increasing their effectiveness in addressing the challenges faced by the Malawian population.

WANT TO INTERN ON THIS PROJECT?

LOCATION

Malawi

DATES
PRICE

Academic Credit

All academic credit is subject to approval by each university. Please contact the relevant faculty to apply for academic credit.

Please click on your universities logo to see available options.

What are you waiting for?

Our Ventures

Join a team of social entrepreneurs committed to creating social change, sustainable social enterprises and achieving determined sustainability development goals across the globe. Learn leadership skills, gain personal development skills, and be part of the social change.

FarmEd

Technology enabled solution for smallholder farmers in developing countries that improves farming practices and yields.

Health Tech

Artificial intelligence and big data driven platform to deliver expert health decisions to sub-Saharan Africa.

Microfinance

Access to socially beneficial assets through access to capital

Solar Solutions

Electrifying Malawi through affordable solar home systems

Hidden Hunger

Smart Computing Framework to mitigate Nutritional Deficiencies

Sustainable stoves

Addressing air pollution for health using clean cookstoves

FEMALE HYGIENE AND SANITATION

Producing female hygiene solutions whilst providing education and sustainable livelihood opportunities for women.

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

Assessing current infrastructure and designing a smart solar solution to energy provision in the State of Odisha.

BIOmass Fuels

Biodigester to utilise agricultural waste in food production.

Social Consulting

Bridging the gap between small to medium businesses in developing countries and loan providers.

Agriculture Assessment

Creating easily accessible agricultural advice to provide the greatest increase in output to the most people with the least amount of resources.