AstraZeneca Launches Africa Health Innovation Hub to Improve Access and Equity with Science and Technology

AstraZeneca has launched the Africa Health Innovation Hub, a new initiative aimed at using the latest science and technology to improve access to healthcare for patients on the continent. The hub will be part of AstraZeneca's global A. Catalyst Network, a connected array of over 20 hubs worldwide that aims to tackle current healthcare challenges through collaborative innovation.

The Africa Health Innovation Hub will work with a range of stakeholders, including governments, healthcare societies, academia, healthcare providers, and patient advocacy groups to better improve patient outcomes. AstraZeneca's goal is to strengthen and future-proof health systems across the whole patient journey, ensuring everyone has equitable and affordable access to the life-changing healthcare solutions they need, regardless of where they live.

The hub will invest in building local talent, promote policy change for cancer screening, close gaps in healthcare access, and improve the quality of life for patients in the African region, particularly in rural and underserved communities. These objectives are aligned with the four pillars of AstraZeneca's A. Catalyst Network: Education and Awareness, Early Diagnosis and Referral, Connectivity and Technology, and Data Generation.

The launch of the Africa Health Innovation Hub is a significant step in AstraZeneca's goal to unlock digital transformation and innovation in health across the continent, paving the way for patient-centric digital health solutions that leave no one behind. By working with partners across the continent, AstraZeneca is nurturing local talent and making quality healthcare more accessible for all.

In South Africa, AstraZeneca is partnering with MEDSOL AI SOLUTIONS to help promote the use of AI in the detection of disease through a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi ultrasound probe that can detect breast cancer in seconds. The Melusi Breast AI rapid detection app will be rolled out in rural clinics to help in early detection of the disease, supported by a dedicated referral system so that women with positive detection of breast cancer can be offered a quicker turnaround time for therapeutic intervention.

In Kenya, the company is expanding an already successful collaboration with Tricog Health Limited. The African hub aims to enhance early diagnosis and treatment of Heart Failure using Tricog's InstaECG AI tools for rapid diagnosis, reducing mortality rates and improving quality of life.

Another partnership initiated last year and will officially form part of the Africa Health Innovation Hub is the Fuel Africa programme, launched by Futurize. This is the largest healthcare entrepreneurship programme on the continent, bringing together the brightest minds across universities in Sub-Saharan Africa to address some of Africa's most pressing challenges in healthcare.

Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash

Article by Jed Mwangi