Africa Unveils AI-Driven Platform To Boost Healthcare

Lusaka. Africa has unveiled an initiative powered by Artificial Intelligence(AI) to help people manage their health using a digital health wallet.

Users of the wallet  will be able to access their medical records, schedule appointments, and get personalized health advice, all through their phone or a smart card.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(Africa CDC) is pinning its hopes on the platform run under a  $100 million-worth project dubbed Trusted Health Initiative.

During the just-ended 3rd International Conference on Public Health in Africa(CPHIA) that took place in Lusaka, Zambia, the platform was embraced by African countries:Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. 

As the continent seeks to reposition itself in global health,it will need to think beyond the confines of traditional healthcare models, urged the Africa CDC Director General Dr. Jean Kaseya in his opening remarks at the conference. 

“It beckons us to harness technology’s power, embrace equity and social justice principles, and foster robust collaborations that span borders and disciplines,”  

Dr. Kaseya-Director General-Africa CDC
Dr. Jean Kaseya, Africa CDC chief: Credit: Africa CDC

The unveiling of the platform comes at the time when Africa CDC, the continent’s autonomous public health emergency agency, seeks to leverage technology in reducing public health incidents and improving response times to disease threats.

According to experts, the platform works by storing a person’s health data such as medical records, prescriptions, test results, fitness data in a secure digital wallet. This information can then be accessed by healthcare providers and used to provide personalized care.

“The digital platform builds on work done during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow medical data, such as Vaccine and PCR test scores, to be shared across countries to allow safe reopening of borders,”said Dr. Edem Adzogenu, Innovation Advisor, Africa CDC and Co-Chair, AfroChampions.

“AI was heavily used in these solutions to detect and prevent fraud,” said Adzogenu, explaining that the new platform provides “personalized yet harmonized” public health experience for every African as they navigate a currently fragmented system.

He told MedicoPRESS that the PanaBIOS codes which millions of Africans used to travel across the continent during the pandemic will enhance people’s access to public health resources in “more proximate and intimate manner.”

Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma. Acting Deputy Director General of the Africa CDC, said the “Trusted Health Initiative” is both a digital platform and a “network” of institutions collaborating to deliver quality health for all Africans  through innovation.

Speaking during a forum at CPHIA in Lusaka, Dr. Ouma revealed that the initiative would extend its reach to 22 African Union Member States, “representing a transformative stride in reshaping the continent’s public health landscape.”

Esther Steven
Esther Steven
Esther Steven is a journalist for MedicoPRESS, contributing on policy technology and public health beyond Tanzania.


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