The use of technology to offer healthcare is proving to be a necessity especially in developing countries like Uganda where there is usually a shortage of health workers. To meet this need, innovators are coming up with the right tools each day.
One such tool is AITOPYA, a computer based software powered by artificial intelligence, that helps health workers and patients find solutions to illness and probable diagnosis. AITOPYA is a product of Swedish firm Byon8.
Last week, Victoria University, Byon8 and One World Health (OWH) medical center in Masindi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement and evaluate the efficiency of the Artificial Intelligent (AI) Diagnostic Support platform (AITOPYA) in a Ugandan context.
The MoU facilitates the implementation of a one year pilot project at three OWH clinics in Masindi. The dean faculty of health sciences at Victoria University, Professor Stephen Lawoko, said during this time the applicability, feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency of AITOPYA will be tested.
Victoria University research team will lead the work of evaluating the use of an AI digital tool for increasing efficiency and improving quality of care while Byon8 will install the needed AITOPYA hard and software at the clinics and train staff at the clinics. The purpose of training is to teach health workers how to use the platform in the most efficient way.
One World Health medical center in Masindi offers a full scope of healthcare services to the community, delivered by trained nationals. Prof. Lawoko said over 2000 members of community are helped by the center.
“Victoria University will spearhead the research component of this project. Researchers from the faculty of health sciences and some from outside Uganda will join us in carrying out this research with the aim of collecting data, analyze this data and publish it in our peer review journals.” Prof Lawoko said at the signing of the MoU which happened at Victoria University.
Josef Murad, the CEO of Byon8, said they were driven by motivation and purpose when designing AITOPYA. He said AITOPYA is a software for professionals and for patients. “They can use the software to input patient data from anywhere they are, for example at home,”
“The software will use this information to calculate the most probable diagnosis. It can also enable remote consultations via video chats. It also gives health professionals a chance to follow up on patients remotely. They don’t have to actually go to where the patient is.
“It also works as a health resource that gives patients recommendations 24/7, for example what they should eat and this prevents diseases. It automates documentation and administration.’ Murad said shortly before signing the MoU in Kampala.