Nigerian eHealth startup, Aajoh, is currently beta testing an artificial intelligence (Al)-based app designed to listen to a patient’s symptoms and provide diagnosis.

The startup, which launched earlier this year, aims to turn a mobile phone into a personalised medical doctor and use technology to eliminate long queues at hospitals and provide quality care.

“A way to think about this is we replicate and improve the physical interaction with a medical doctor and place it on a mobile phone which is accessible to individuals, thus placing healthcare in their palms,” CEO at Aajoh, Simi Adejumo, told Disrupt Africa.

“Users access this by inputting their health symptoms to get an accurate diagnosis instantly and then purchase prescribed medication. Other features of the platform include live consultation with a medical doctor and the ability to book appointments with hospitals,” continued Adejumo.

The subscription-based app allows users to report their symptoms via text, audio and photographs to obtain a diagnosis instantly using AI. The app will check for symptoms against a patient-generated database of diseases.

“The aim of this was to use data in its purest form and also this enables us to scale faster than the use of traditional hospital data,” said Adejumo.

The startup has already secured partnerships with two hospitals in Nigeria, with over 32,000 data entries combined. The beta test is being conducted with 34 selected users, while there are over 500 people on a waiting list.

“Our ultimate goal is to move healthcare from the current reactive state to a predictive state where we can predict if and when individuals would fall ill,” concluded Adejumo.

While AI is still in its infancy, in 2015 Deloitte listed AI as one of the technologies already transforming the healthcare industry on a global scale. For example, UK-based eHealth startup, Babylon Health, helps users navigate their symptoms, monitor medication adherence and consult a doctor using an mHealth tool. While researchers at the Houston Methodist Research Institute have developed AI software that can interpret mammograms and identify breast cancer risk with 99% accuracy.

According to Deloitte, through exponential increases in data, computing power, connectivity,miniaturisation of hardware and advanced software capabilities at lower costs, AI will rapidly accelerate the development of next-generation “smart” medtech devices and could cause profound disruption in the way healthcare is delivered in the future.

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