LAGOS, NIGERIA - When you hear ‘healthcare in Africa,’ what springs to mind? If you can’t see past run-down structures and old equipment with lions and elephants having a field day, you may be in for a surprise. Gone are the days when Africa’s health ecosystem saw few technological innovations. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled healthcare interventions in the form of drones,1 robots,2 you name it, are at the heart of solving Africa’s healthcare challenges.
KORE, a global leader in Internet of Things-enabled solutions, has partnered with Australian drone-powered logistics company Swoop Aero to deliver essential medical supplies, e.g., emergency blood supplies, pathology samples, hospital records, anti-retroviral medications, COVID-19 test kits, test results, and vaccines to hard-to-reach places in Africa.
“In some of the most austere geographical locations globally, such as équateur province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, journeys to reach patients may take up to eight hours, one-way, traversing land and water to reach the patient,” said, KORE President and Chief Executive (CEO) Romil Bahl. “The integration of the bi-directional drone logistics network has reduced this critical journey times down to 30 minutes, with the capacity to transport cold-chain and emergency products such as oxytocin and blood.”
The need for quick solutions to fight the pandemic has created opportunities for AI in diagnostics, access to healthcare, and optimization of hospital operations. Africa’s health tech landscape is thriving, and is one of the globe’s fastest-growing, but that is a story for another day. According to a 2020 report, AI will play a huge role in navigating Africa’s health system post-COVID-19.3
COVID-19 Game Changer
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