There’s too many people and not enough medical professionals. For many years, this has been the underlying problem with healthcare in Africa but that could soon change with artificial intelligence company Crowd Media (ASX: CM8) set to introduce medical AI as a solution.
Entry into the African healthcare market has commenced via a Binding Heads of Agreement (HOA) with South African-based medical company PangeaMed which specialises in enhanced recovery, health advocacy, patient awareness, data, innovation and training. At present, PangeaMed delivers their programs to more than 50 African countries where they offer virtual consultation services and are developing a Critical Care Framework to assist over-burdened healthcare facilities dealing with the onslaught of COVID-19.
Under terms of the HOA, Crowd Media will collaborate with PangeaMed to integrate Crowd’s Q&A technology into the healthcare sector in Africa. By integrating Crowd’s AI, the partnership seeks to facilitate communication across all language groups between patients and healthcare providers in an efficient and error-free way. In many instances, Crowd’s AI technology will be able to interpret questions and provide healthcare advice where access to a medical professional would otherwise not be possible.
“For some time now, we have been looking for a partner to deploy Crowd’s Q&A tech in a market with really great growth potential,” said Crowd Media Chairman, Steven Schapera.
“It’s a highly competitive space, but Crowd’s Q&A technology is well differentiated from its competitors by its ability to handle difficult questions via quick and efficient human intervention. It is also well proven to perform across many different languages.
“Nowhere is this more critical than in the healthcare space, and with PangeaMed being the dominant player in their market we have a strong partner.”
The collaboration will be broken down into two stages. Phase 1 will integrate Crowd’s text-based AI which will interpret language and questions with the aim of improving communication between parties. This will be quickly facilitated by Crowd’s platform which has already answered more than 180 million user-submitted questions, largely non-medical based.
Phase 2 will then add fully digital human capabilities where patients can converse with an interactive healthcare provider with the responses powered by the Phase 1 engine, but with voice and visual elements.
The financial terms are still being negotiated in good faith but are likely to be in the form of SaaS licencing, similar to a deal Crowd inked with Forever Holdings earlier in the year.
So confident is Schapera in the concept, he and Crowd co-founder Domenic Carosa have expressed an interest in taking an equity stake in PangeaMed.
Digital humans remains the core focus for Crowd Media where they recently showcased the latest version of Digital Dom, a digital clone of Carosa created using 100% digital media. Although the beta version currently only answers a dozen questions, that is expected to increase into the thousands when Crowd plugs in their Q&A chatbot which is undergoing text-to-audio engineering.
While Crowd has already flagged interest from retail and education partners for their Talking Head AI, this is the first time the Company has discussed it’s potential entry into healthcare where it could use AI to solve some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems.