Audere, a global digital health non-profit developing HealthPulse solutions to advance health equity in underserved communities worldwide, announced a funding for its HealthPulse AI technology, which improves the accuracy of diagnostic test (RDT) use and digitises RDT data for programme reporting. Audere has received a [$9.35 million (€8.43 million)] grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a historical funder of Audere’s project development, in addition to support from PATH, FIND, the Aurum Institute, and other global health partners.
Philip Welkhoff, malaria PST director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says “The Foundation provided Audere’s initial catalytic funding to drive new innovation in global health. Audere has succeeded in not only developing cutting-edge technology, but also in offering the product for the benefit of global health. We are excited to continue our support of HealthPulse AI and believe this will make an impact on malaria disease surveillance and quality case management as we progress toward eradication.”
Access to timely and reliable surveillance data is one of the key pillars to effective management of infectious diseases, such as malaria. Studies have found that the reported test positivity rate for malaria RDTs can be twice as high when compared to what was accurately confirmed by digital RDT readers. The inaccurate or delayed reporting of disease incidence can lead to mismanagement of resources and response efforts by programme coordinators. Digitisation of data at the point of care is increasingly gaining traction as a potential solution, as it reduces human errors in data collection and aggregation.
Examples of solutions in this field are emerging to meet the vision for the future, however HealthPulse AI is differentiated in that it:
- Functions on commodity smartphones common in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), with no dependence on additional hardware, controlled environments or backgrounds
- Adapts to support any RDT for any health condition, intentionally designed to be RDT-brand agnostic
- Leverages a human-centered design approach including co-creation with experts and end-users to ensure all products are usability tested and field proven for ease of use
- Features highly accurate artificial intelligence (AI) models leveraging computer vision and machine learning
- Achieves 90-95% accuracy in adversarial, real-world conditions
- Provides an open access solution for global health programmes to effectively digitise, interpret, and communicate RDT results
HealthPulse AI supports several use cases, including community-based surveillance, private sector health delivery and virtual care models for diagnostic testing and treatment. The solution is available via a mobile app or by developers through an integration toolkit. Its suite of features can be used as a set of standalone tools or as an end-to-end integrated solution, including: guided administration, digital capture, result decision support, connection to care, and patient-level data and insights. HealthPulse AI scales to meet challenges in disease surveillance, management, and eradication.
Dino Rech, chief executive officer, Audere, says “HealthPulse solutions have proven in the field that timely, accurate data provides key insights for the strategy and success of disease eradication programmes. This new grant positions us to cost-effectively scale the technology – essentially turning any camera into a quality RDT surveillance tool – thereby maximising impact. I am excited for the hard work ahead and honored by the continued support of the foundation.”
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