Almost 4 billion people, or half the world’s population, lack access to essential health services. Statistics are powerful, but such staggering numbers can make it easy to forget they represent individual lives. The statistics don’t tell the story of social, financial, and geographic barriers to healthcare that are a daily reality for vulnerable populations living in low-resource settings.
We’re working to accelerate universal health coverage with our Global Health Initiative. The scalability of AI can help us tell stories with different statistics, such as “hundreds of community health workers armed with AI decision-support tools,” or “1 million Tanzanian adolescents empowered with Swahili-fluent personal health guide.”
At the beginning of our journey towards healthier statistics and happier stories, we asked our Co-founder & CEO, Daniel Nathrath, and Global Health Initiative Managing Director, Hila Azadzoy, to share their stories and how we can help tackle the global healthcare challenge.
Decades ago, when 10-year-old Daniel visited his mother’s rural South Korean hometown for the first time, deficient basic health infrastructure made an impression that’s still fresh in his mind today.
“I saw what looked like a lack of sanitation to me. For instance, in many houses, toilets were holes in the ground. In a rural area like this, it seemed unthinkable to have anything even close to the healthcare access that we had in Germany at the time.”
On a second trip just 6 years later, he witnessed a dramatic transformation. The area was as well-equipped as Berlin is today.
“I realized significant change for the better is possible. This type of change can happen in healthcare today, on a global scale, and it can be very rapid thanks to the power of technology like Ada’s AI.”
The experience of living in Germany and having a family background from a country with less consistent access to healthcare also inspires Hila’s work.
“As a German citizen with a family background in Afghanistan, I’ve always been aware of the dramatic difference in healthcare infrastructure between countries.”
An entrepreneur dedicated to using technology for social good, Hila shifted from digital education solutions for refugees to applying Ada’s AI in low- and middle-income countries. She sees access to education and healthcare as the foundation of a life where everyone can reach their full potential.
“AI has the power to truly equalize access to healthcare on a global scale through a rapid transformation of primary healthcare delivery, which is what we’re doing with our Global Health Initiative.”
Keep reading. Learn how we’re partnering to accelerate universal health coverage. Read about the world’s first Swahili-language AI health guidance app.
World Economic Forum. “Half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services – are we doing enough?”. 20 September 2019. ↩