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Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Individual challenges address some of the same problems, but from differing perspectives.


Showing page 1 out of 3 with 10 results per page.

Challenges: Artificial Intelligence
Locations: Africa
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A Large Language Model (LLM) Tool to Support Frontline Health Workers in Low-Resource Settings

Nirmal Ravi, EHA Clinics Ltd. (Kano, Nigeria)
Jul 25, 2023

Nirmal Ravi of EHA Clinics Ltd. in Nigeria will develop and test scalable and cost-effective ways to use large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT-4 to provide “second opinions” for community health workers (CHEWs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These second opinions would mirror what a reviewing physician might advise the provider in question after seeing or hearing their initial report. If LLMs can enhance the capabilities of CHEWs in this way, it could improve patient outcomes, free high-skill providers for other tasks, and mitigate the serious shortage of qualified health personnel in many LMICs. The specific outcomes of this project will be: a proof of concept that LLMs can be integrated within LMIC healthcare systems to improve quality of care; a proof of concept of a system architecture for LLMs that can be scaled up and deployed progressively in LMIC healthcare systems; and an initial understanding of the capacity of current LLMs to interact with CHEWs in LMIC settings.

Integrated AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and a Swahili Chatbot: Agri-Tech Solution for Early Disease Detection on Maize

Theofrida Maginga, Sokoine University of Agriculture (Morogoro, Tanzania)
Jul 19, 2023

Theofrida Maginga of the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania will develop a ChatGPT-powered Swahili chatbot for smallholder farmers with limited literacy and scarce resources in Tanzania to detect crop diseases quickly and easily. Maize is one of the most important crops in Tanzania and generates up to 50% of rural cash income. Several diseases that afflict maize are hard to detect visually, leading to substantial losses in crop productivity and income. They will integrate AI with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that use non-invasive sensors to monitor the non-visual early indicators of diseases, including volatile organic compounds, ultrasound movements, and soil nutrient uptake. They will also develop and integrate a Swahili chatbot to interact with farmers in their local language in a culturally-sensitive manner and perform model validation and field testing.

"Your Choice": Using AI to Reduce Stigma and Improve Precision in HIV Risk Assessments

Sophie Pascoe, Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Limited (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Jul 18, 2023

Sophie Pascoe of Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Limited in South Africa, with support from the organizations, AUDERE in the U.S. and the Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (CHAPS) in South Africa, will develop a Large Language Model (LLM)-based application, Your Choice, that interacts with individuals in a human-like way to respectfully obtain their sexual history and improve the accuracy of HIV risk assessments to control the epidemic in South Africa. Gathering accurate sexual history is essential for assessing HIV risk and prescribing preventative drugs but is challenging due to concerns about stigma and discrimination. Your Choice, which stands for Your Own Unique Risk Calculation for HIV-related Outcomes and Infections using a Chat Engine, leverages an LLM to ensure privacy and confidentiality, improve the accuracy of risk assessments, and increase awareness of preventative treatments. This solution would provide 24/7 access to an unbiased and non-judgmental counselor for marginalized and vulnerable populations specifically, greatly reducing the barriers and concerns around seeking advice. They will co-design the app with at-risk populations and evaluate a prototype using 550 public sector healthcare providers and clients.

Ask-AVA: Developing an Automated Verified Analyst for Public Health

Tamlyn Eslie Roman, Quantium Health South Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Jul 17, 2023

Tamlyn Roman of Quantium Health in South Africa will use generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) to develop an automated analyst that integrates disparate health datasets and automates data analytics to support evidence-based decision-making in public health. Although there is a relative abundance of health-related data in South Africa, it is difficult to use effectively because the datasets are not standardized and analytics capacity to support policy- and decision-making is limited. They will source datasets for the analyst and assess the LLM's ability to automate checks and link multiple datasets. Improving interoperability between datasets will enable unique correlations to be identified between separate social indicators, which are currently recorded in distinct databases. They will also develop a user-friendly platform for output generation and visualization.

Unleashing the Benefits of Large Language Models (LLMs) to Low-Resource Languages

Ndayishimiye Alain, Center for AI Policy and Innovation Ltd (Kigali, Rwanda)
Jul 14, 2023

Alain Ndayishimiye of the Center for AI Policy and Innovation Ltd. in Rwanda will integrate a translation model with GPT-4 to produce a health service support tool in the national language, bypassing the need to build language-specific LLMs from scratch. LLMs have broad and powerful applications for improving public services such as education and healthcare by bridging information gaps across different cohorts. However, to create an impact in Rwanda, LLMs must be able to converse in Kinyarwanda, and current approaches to train LLMs in relatively minor languages are too expensive for low-resource nations. They will develop a support tool for community health workers focused on malnutrition leveraging GPT-4 as a knowledge base and an Mbaza English-Kinyarwanda translation model. The integrated support tool will be evaluated by assessing the quality of its translations.

AI-Powered Decision Support for Antibiotic Prescribing in Ghana

Nana Kofi Quakyi, The Aurum Institute Ghana (Shiashie, Ghana)
Jul 13, 2023

Nana Kofi Quakyi of the Aurum Institute in Ghana will develop an AI-powered decision support tool for antibiotic prescribers to improve appropriate antimicrobial usage and combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Ghana. AMR is a major public health concern, with the highest mortality rates occurring in Africa. To address this, Ghana's National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (2018) identified the need for support tools that provide personalized, adaptable, and context-sensitive recommendations. They will develop an interactive, AI-powered clinical decision support tool that allows prescribers to enter prompts, respond to system queries, and receive personalized, real-time antibiotic prescribing recommendations, such as drug, dosage, and duration of administration. The model will be trained with a comprehensive dataset consisting of clinical guidelines, research data, expert opinions, and surveillance evidence that has been reviewed for its representativeness. The proposal includes field testing, iterative refinement, and engagement with stakeholders to ensure effectiveness and scalability.

Integration of a Large Language Model (LLM) for Women Centered Care

Nneka Mobisson, mDoc Healthcare (Lagos, Nigeria)
Jul 13, 2023

Nneka Mobisson of mDoc Healthcare in Nigeria will integrate ChatGPT-4 into their chatbot, Kem, which provides virtual self-care coaching for low-income women of reproductive age in Nigeria, to improve its accuracy and capacity to respond to queries with evidence-based information. The burden of maternal deaths in Nigeria remains inequitably high with many risks encountered even before conception, highlighting the importance of supporting self-care. They will assess the accuracy and empathy of Kem+ChatGPT's responses to diverse inquiries from women, its improved ability to triage based on reproductive stages and risk factors, and the effectiveness of human health coaches leveraging ChatGPT-4 as a resource for answering more complex questions. This will involve field testing with a cohort of 300 women of reproductive age. They will also hold a series of iterative user-testing workshops across the states with at least 160 members from communities to observe usability and provide feedback for product refinement.

Large Language Models (LLMs) Targeting Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factors Among Kenyan Youth

Martin Mwangi, Intellisoft Consulting Limited (Nairobi, Kenya)
Jul 13, 2023

Martin Mwangi of Intellisoft Consulting Ltd. in Kenya will build an application-supported LLM to improve knowledge, attitudes, and practices surrounding the risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCD) for young people in Kenya. NCDs constitute the leading cause of mortality globally, accounting for three-quarters of deaths worldwide. Many Kenyans lack information on NCDs and their major risk factors, which include unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful alcohol use. They will form an interdisciplinary Community Advisory Board, including government officials, researchers, and young people, to guide the design, analysis, and dissemination of the app. They will recruit Kenyans aged 18–34 from community-based sites, such as universities and malls, to evaluate the application's ability to improve knowledge, attitudes, and practices surrounding NCD risk factors.

mDaktari Health Access Initiative

Daphne Ngunjiri, Access Afya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Jul 13, 2023

Daphne Ngunjiri of Access Afya in Kenya will integrate ChatGPT into a virtual clinic application, mDaktari, to support clinicians and better respond to patient inquiries. Poor quality healthcare results in 5.7 million deaths in low- and middle-income countries, emphasizing the need to increase healthcare quality as well as accessibility. Their mDaktari platform combines a digital and physical healthcare network, telemedicine, and localized patient health data to support patients and clinicians in low-income communities from diagnosis to treatment. They propose to scale their approach using Large Language Models (LLMs) and anonymous patient data from multiple sources. This will increase the scope, speed, and quality of responses to patients' queries in their preferred language, and support clinicians to provide accurate diagnoses and treatments. They will work with end users during the design and pilot phases and verify the accuracy of the AI with human medical professionals.

AI for Education Delivery: Adaptive Learning Content for Rural Students

Chinazo Anebelundu, DSN Ai Innovations Limited (Lagos, Nigeria)
Jul 12, 2023

Chinazo Anebelundu of DSN Ai Innovations Limited in Nigeria will develop a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-focused multimedia learning platform by leveraging GPT and DeepBrain text-to-video AI tailored to rural students to increase their engagement. Nigeria has an estimated 18.5 million students out of school, a population that can potentially be reached through this more engaging and personalized modality. This platform will integrate local contexts and nuances to enhance student comprehension of STEM subjects. It will also tailor the learning to the preferences of each student and employ visual activities such as interactive STEM laboratory simulations. For each subject, they will collect a diverse array of educational resources and construct the curriculum. This curriculum will then be transformed by Large Language Models (LLMs) into a script and then into video lessons that can be personalized to a specific student. The platform will be evaluated for the degree of student engagement and accuracy of content, amongst other measures, using their existing network of students and teachers.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.