AstraZeneca and Medsol AI Solutions announced a groundbreaking collaboration in the launch of Project Flamingo and the BHF Tintswalo initiative, a revolutionary cancer care app designed to provide swift diagnosis and personalised care for individuals residing in rural areas. This innovative partnership combines AstraZeneca’s expertise in healthcare with Medsol AI Solutions’ cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology to address the pressing need for accessible and efficient cancer care in underserved communities.

With cancer as a leading cause of mortality worldwide, the initiative seeks to promote timely diagnosis and treatment to improve patient outcomes. This will greatly aid individuals living in rural and remote areas, who often face significant barriers to accessing specialised healthcare services, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment initiation.

The incidence of breast cancer in South Africa has steadily increased over the last 20 years, accounting for 2146% of all new cancers. According to the National Cancer Registry, an average of 6,849 new cases per year were reported, including 19.89% in white women, 20.87% in black women, 26.63% in coloured women, and 35.44% in Indian women. This increase necessitated the declaration of the disease as a priority by the South African National Department of Health, leading to the creation of the National Breast Cancer Policy Guidelines.

Commenting on the collaboration, Deepak Arora, Country President African Cluster at AstraZeneca, stated, “We are thrilled to join forces with Medsol AI Solutions in this groundbreaking endeavour. By combining AstraZeneca’s commitment to advancing healthcare with Medsol AI Solutions’ innovative technology, we aim to pioneer accessible and effective cancer care solutions in rural South Africa. Through this initiative, we aspire to not only improve health outcomes but also to empower individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to proactively manage their health. This collaboration underscores our dedication to driving meaningful change and fostering a healthier future for communities across South Africa.”

The Breast AI app offers real-time breast ultrasound scanning with predictive analysis of possible malignancies at an accuracy rate of 97.6%. It features wireless, built-in WiFi ultrasound probe technology. The app leverages AI algorithms to enable remote screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. By using a smartphone or tablet, users can input their symptoms and medical history, which the AI then analyses to provide a preliminary diagnosis. This rapid assessment empowers individuals to take proactive steps towards seeking appropriate medical attention without extensive travel or long wait times.

Dr. Mashilane Khomotso, Medical Director, African Cluster (SA, SSA, FSA) at AstraZeneca, said, “We are excited to partner with Medsol AI Solutions to launch this transformative innovation. By harnessing the power of AI technology, we aim to democratise access to high-quality healthcare services and improve health outcomes for individuals living in rural areas. We believe it will curb hesitancy towards screening and increase survival rates.”

MedSol AI CEO Dr. Kathryn Malherbe added, “At Medsol AI Solutions, we are committed to leveraging AI for social good, and our collaboration with AstraZeneca exemplifies this commitment. Building trust with patients is key to us We will not relent in building engagements within these marginalised communities to educate them on the need for regular check-ups and not just seeing a doctor only when there is a problem.”

The collaboration between AstraZeneca and Medsol AI Solutions is poised to make a substantial impact on breast cancer care in underserved communities. Through the innovative use of AI technology, the initiative offers the potential for early diagnosis and treatment, ultimately improving health outcomes and quality of life for countless individuals. This effort represents a significant step forward in addressing health disparities and enhancing the quality of care for individuals across South Africa.

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