Vantage Health Technologies and the Nigerian Institute of Human Virology have teamed up to fight HIV

It is estimated that there are 38 million HIV-positive people in the world. Early detection of the disease is very important not only for the comfort of patients, but also to prevent the spread of this virus, as well as to ensure that patients receive their treatment on an ongoing basis. Vantage Health Technologies and the Nigerian Institute of Human Virology (IHVN) have teamed up to create an artificial intelligence solution: the Vantage Patient Retention Solution, which can predict whether AIDS patients will leave treatment to encourage them to do so.

Vantage Health Technologies, a BroadReach platform created by Dr. John Sargent and Dr. Ernest Darko, is on a mission to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing health problems to address health inequalities.

Two doctors say:

“Our dream is to give everyone in the world the opportunity to access quality medical care. Many health care systems are designed to treat people after they become ill, but we believe that the best approach to health care is to prevent serious illness by changing the system. We gave up our medical careers and became doctors of systems: the BroadReach Group was born. »

AI to combat HIV

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

The data was collected on paper, very difficult to use. So they created Vantage Health Technologies and, thanks to AI, were able to connect data from 1,200 hospitals. Today, 2.4 million cases are managed on this cloud platform based on Microsoft Azure.

Vantage solutions for patient retention

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 25 million people living with HIV, or 67% of the world’s population. However, 8.1 million people do not suffer from viral depression, although HIV treatment will reduce the impact of the virus on their health and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

The Vantage decision, funded by a grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allowed IHVN to predict and positively influence the behavior of high-risk HIV patients. According to Annika Lindorsson Krugel, Head of Solutions, Vantage Health Technologies, “Cooperation between healthcare partners combined with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology is proving to be a highly effective way to improve the outpatient care of HIV / AIDS patients.”

She states:

In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of disease and treatment has made the use of technology and partnerships to improve the care process even more important. »

The collaboration between Vantage Health Technologies and IHVN provided pilot implementation in three Nigerian precincts, 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 the next appointment at the clinic and therefore will not be able to receive medication that will mean stopping treatment.

Lists of these patients are provided to the clinical staff, who then intervene to ensure that patients do not miss the next appointment: SMS messages, calls and home visits are arranged to ensure personal attention to each patient before admission to the clinic.

Obstacles to continue treatment

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

According to this study, patients were able to overcome these barriers with the help of caregivers, peer support and understanding of their situation. According to the institute, cultural sensitivity, constant contact with patients with reliable relationships and support for large-scale development initiatives by local teams contributed to the success of the program.

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

Annika Lindorsson Krugel says:

The solution is an advanced illustration of what can be achieved when artificial intelligence is used for real human activities. »