Vantage Health Technologies and the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria collaborate to fight HIV

There are an estimated 38 million people infected with HIV worldwide. Detecting the disease early is very important not only for the comfort of patients but also to prevent the spread of this virus, and making sure that patients take their medication on an ongoing basis. Vantage Health Technologies and the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN) have teamed up to create an AI-based solution: the Better Patient Retention Solution, which is able to predict whether or not AIDS patients will stop treatment, and in this case encourage them to follow through.

Vantage Health Technologies, a platform for the BroadReach group created by Dr. John Sargent and Dr. Ernst d’Arcoh, is on a mission to design solutions to the world’s most complex health challenges to address health disparities.

The two doctors say:

“Our dream is to enable everyone in the world to have access to quality health care. Many health care systems are set up to treat people after they have fallen ill, but we believe the best approach to health care is to prevent serious disease through system change. We gave up our medical jobs and became doctors. For systems: BroadReach Group was born. »

Artificial intelligence to fight HIV

When BroadReach was created about 20 years ago, HIV was a major problem in South Africa: 38.5% of adults tested positive. The company was founded there, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is responsible for economic development and humanitarian aid around the world.

The data was collected on paper, and it is very difficult to exploit it. So they created Vantage Health Technologies and thanks to artificial intelligence they were able to communicate data from 1,200 hospitals. Today, 2.4 million cases are managed on this Microsoft Azure-based cloud platform.

The best solution to keep the patient

Sub-Saharan Africa has 25 million people living with HIV, or 67% of patients worldwide. However, 8.1 million people do not have viral depression, even though anti-HIV treatment would reduce the impact of the virus on their health and reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

The Vantage solution, funded by a grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enabled IHVN to predict and positively influence the behavior of HIV patients at risk for HIV infection. According to Annika Lindorsson Krugel, Head of Solutions at Vantage Health Technologies, “Cooperation between public health partners, combined with the use of the latest artificial intelligence technologies, is proving to be a highly effective way to improve the retention of HIV/AIDS outpatients.”

Says:

In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of disease and treatment issues have increased the importance of using technology and partnerships to improve the care process. »

The Vantage Health Technologies-IHVN collaboration included a pilot implementation in three Nigerian sites where implementation teams were able to keep 91% of high-risk patients on HIV treatment.

The ML-based model uses patient history data to predict whether they will miss their next clinic appointment and therefore be unable to pick up their medication, which means stopping treatment.

Les listes de ces patients sont remises au personnel clinique qui intervient alors pour éviter que les patients ne manquent leur prochain rendez-vous : messages SMS, appels et visites à domicile sont organisés pour fournir une attention personnelle à chaque avant-leur rendez the clinic.

Obstacles to continuing treatment

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice independently evaluated the patient retention model: it reviewed eight months of data from the three Nigerian sites and concluded that stigma, side effects, logistical issues, economic barriers, and forgetfulness were the main barriers to treatment adherence.

According to this study, patients were able to overcome these barriers with the help of caregivers, the support of their peers, and an understanding of their condition. According to the institute, cultural sensitivity, constant communication with patients with trustworthy relationships, and support for large-scale development initiatives by local teams have all contributed to the program’s success.

The Vantage Patient Retention solution has been successfully implemented in HIV treatment and care programs in Nigeria and South Africa.

Annika Linderson Kraugel says:

The solution represents a sophisticated illustration of what can be achieved when AI is used to actually power human activity. »

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