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Female Engineering students attend motivational workshop
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KAI LAB Malawi Holds a Research Dissemination Conference

Article   Peter Bwanali   June 3, 2024
PIC: Dr. Amelia Taylor giving an overview of the workshop objectives.

KAI Lab Malawi, an Artificial Intelligence laboratory at Malawi university of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), held a one-day research dissemination conference on 28th March, 2024, at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.

The conference, was aimed at sharing findings of the various research which KAI Lab had been conducting with its partners.

Held under the theme: "Empowering IDSR Reporting and Analysis through An Intelligent Feedback System (IntelSurv)," the conference reflected on the work done over a 9-month period by KAI Lab leader, Dr. Amelia Taylor, and her team in conjunction with health officials from Blantyre and Lilongwe District Health Offices with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The main objective of the research was to find ways on how Malawi can use Generative Artificial Intelligence to  improve  its health care delivery system.

The conference was graced by the Deputy Director of Digital Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Alinafe Mbewe.

Dr. Mbewe pointed out that artificial intelligence can significantly improve digital health in the country, more especially in health data collection and management. 

Dr. Mwale observed that although Malawi is making some strides in digital health, more efforts need to be made to catch up with other countries.

"Digital health in Malawi is still growing, we are not as advanced as other countries, so this conference will help us learn which things we can embrace at our Ministry. Digital health covers so many areas like ordering of drugs, laboratory diagnosis and disease treatment so as the whole the world is going digital, we cannot afford to be left behind," said Dr. Mwale.

In an interview on the sidelines of the conference, Dr. Amelia Taylor said the project aimed at developing an Artificial Intelligence tool that can assist in generating knowledge in the health care system. Taylor added that Artificial Intelligence is important because of its ability to perform complex tasks, including information extraction. Taylor said:

"There is a lot of interest in Generative Artificial Intelligence technology around the globe because it can perform so many complex functions which we  believe can improve disease surveillance such as cholera, cancer or COVID".

Dr. Taylor also highlighted further developments that she and her team are planning to undertake:

"We are not only targeting doctors; we want to develop a tool that can easily be used even by community health workers who work deep in the community and may not have ready access to guidelines or clinical information so this tool will act as a dictionary in diagnosis and treatment in such settings. It can be used even on their mobile phones,’’ added Taylor.

The conference drew participants from many professionals in the health care and information technology who shared findings of the various research they have been engaging in in collaboration with KAI Lab Malawi and the project. 


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