You can access the recording here.
“There is a lot we can do individually, but we can do a lot more collectively.”
–Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Africa CDC’s Chief Digital Health Adviser
“The ambitious agenda [of Africa CDC’s Digital Transformation Strategy] over such a huge continent cannot be achieved unless every available resource is harnessed. And that can only be done through cross-collaboration partnerships,” said Africa CDC’s Chief Digital Health Adviser, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, at the Bay Area Global Health Alliance annual meeting on June 6.
Attending were more than 125 members and guests, both online and in person at UCSF. Alliance board secretary Martin Dale, PSI, spoke with Nsengimana in a fireside chat that explored the rollout of Africa’s new digital partnership and how digital innovations and partnerships can advance health equity on the continent.
Africa CDC’s strategy looks to digital innovation to help strengthen the public health workforce and infrastructure, expand the capacity for manufacturing, diagnostics and therapeutics, and increase domestic resources for health security and investment in healthcare, strengthen governance and policy, and promote partnerships. Nsengimana explained that the digital plan is patient-centric (embracing open standards and digital public goods), promotes equity and inclusion, and is guided by a strong lens on gender. It is also rooted in the concept of a single pan-African trade market. (Learn more, Watch Nsengimana’s keynote, 44 min)
Other Possibilities for AI in Global Health
In a panel discussion on the implications of AI in global health with members from Stanford Byers Center for BioDesign, Accenture ADP, Mastercard, Baraka Impact Finance, and Pendulum, the participants discussed the technology’s enormous potential. “AI is already tackling complex health challenges, and in some cases, AI is helping LMICs leapfrog higher-income regions in addressing wicked problems and improving health outcomes,” said Alliance board member and Stanford University‘s BioDesign’s Krista Donaldson, who moderated the panel.
The panelists also cautioned that the enormous potential of artificial intelligence is predicated on healthcare investment in AI research and development and discussed the imperative for health-related ethical and regulatory frameworks for this new and powerful technology.
The group explored several challenges that could hamper AI’s adoption in healthcare, including concerns about connectivity and interoperability impeding equal access and the need for large amounts of high-quality data and skilled AI developers and clinicians who thoroughly understand the technology’s potential. “As you get excited about these shiny, sexy AI tools, don’t forget about those that are at the base of the pyramid who do not have connectivity,” cautioned panelist Natasha Sunderji, managing director, Accenture ADP. “Regardless of what exciting solution you create, you will leave them behind.”
For the panel, Donaldson was joined by Natasha Sunderji, Alliance board member and Global Health and Nutrition Lead, Accenture ADP; Paul Musser, SVP Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard; Carolina Batista, Head of Global Health Affairs, Baraka Impact Finance; and Brittany Hume Charm, Head of Growth, Global Health, Pendulum (formerly Macro-Eyes). (Watch Other Possibilities for AI in Global Health, 56 min)
The meeting also included an inspiring series of lightning talks on new initiatives and about key issues important to members, as well as opportunities for member engagement and collective impact. The lightning talks featured the following focus areas and members.
What Is Google’s Approach to Designing New Health Tools? Hema Budaraju, senior director of product, Health & Search Social Impact, Google, and Alliance board co-vice chair. Webinar planned for November. (Watch What Is Google’s Approach to Designing New Health Tools?, 6 min)
Multi-sector Activation to Advance Health Equity, Darren Back, vice president, Pfizer Inc, executive director, The Pfizer Foundation, and Alliance board member. Private web dialogue planned for August or early September. (Watch Multi-sector Activation to Advance Health Equity, 5 min)
Accelerating Impact-Driven Private Capital Investments in Global Health, James Bair, partner, managing director, Baraka Impact Finance. Webinar planned for July. (Watch Accelerating Impact-Driven Private Capital Investments in Global Health, 11 min)
AMR Innovative Approaches and Financing, Neha Agarwal, global program co-lead, diagnostics, PATH, and Alliance board co-vice chair. Workshop timing TBD. (Watch AMR Innovative Approaches and Financing, 8 min)
Exploring the Intersection of Implementation Science and Health Equity, Thu Do, director, medical affairs, Gilead Sciences, and Aditi Rao, Alliance global health fellow. Convening planned for October. (Watch Exploring the Intersection of Implementation Science and Health Equity, 9 min)
The State of the Alliance
Sara Anderson, executive director of the Alliance, spoke about the organization’s strengths, particularly its trusted role as a neutral convener able to broker multi-sector collaboration. Its 82 members—who share a vision for global health equity—now span the globe and include partners in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. “While we will hold on to our region’s roots in innovation and technology, we are expanding our scope to more intentionally include more partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia,” said Anderson. “The Bay Area Global Health Alliance is a trusted community where, coming out of our silos and across the sectors, we can collaborate and advance global health equity together. Thank you for helping us earn your trust,” she concluded. (Watch The State of the Alliance, 5 min)
Check back here and via our various communication channels for more information on the upcoming workshops. An insights brief on the convening will be released later this summer. If you missed it or would like to hear it again, you can watch the recording of the Annual Meeting here.