Globally, Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications have demonstrated encouraging potential for enhancing the delivery of maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights information and services.
Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and data science approaches are also being used to identify risks, conduct predictive modeling, and provide evidence-based recommendations for public health policy and action. However, it is key to maximize the benefits while minimizing risks or harm when applied to the health sector. Responsible AI innovations are defined as those that are ethical, inclusive, and equitable, respect human rights, and contribute to environmental sustainability.
There is a strong opportunity to advance sexual, reproductive and maternal health rights, and adequately address epidemics while strengthening health systems in South and Southeast Asia through the responsible development and deployment of AI innovations.
The startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia is nascent but growing, and even more so in healthcare. This presents an unparalleled market opportunity for AI innovators and entrepreneurs across the region to develop and scale innovations through sustainable business models to address our most pressing health problems.
What is AI4Health Asia?
The AI4Health Asia is a 10-month accelerator program designed to promote and nurture innovations in Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) in South and Southeast Asia. The objective of the program is to fund and support startups that integrate AI innovations to solve health challenges across the region still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, particularly in the areas of (1) Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal health, and (2) Epidemic and Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response. The program will work to create and enable a robust ecosystem of support and catalyze responsible development, scaling, and support for AI innovations in healthcare.
AI4Health Asia aims to
innovative startups working on AI integration in health, particularly SRMH & pandemic response in South & Southeast Asia
hands-on commercial / technical / ethical training and support from domain experts to Asian AI entrepreneurs on product development, go-to-market, and growth strategies
promising entrepreneurs with seed funding to grow talent and capacity in the region to support the local design, development, and deployment of responsible AI for health innovations
AI-enabled innovations with appropriate capital providers to improve health systems in South and Southeast Asia
MEET THE COHORT
“Momby, a blend of the words “”mommy”” and “”baby,”” is an intelligent assistant that provides parenting and nutritional advice and educational information on topics of most interest to the parents using AI. It has been operating in Vietnam for three years and is preparing to expand to other countries in the Southeast Asia. Apart from being an AI company, Momby is dedicated to connecting with the parent community through various channels, such as the in-app parent community, where users can interact with each other and health experts through the timeline function.
BubbMe.AI is an AI-powered EduGame and Bot to combat gender-based violence with critical life topics that they never really teach or discuss in schools such as cyberbullying, phishing, financial scamming, and sexual harassment. The bubbMe.AI (Love Me with an AI-powered regulatory system) platform is a gamification concept to prevent, address, and heal a gender-based violence disaster (pre-impact, impact, post-rehabilitation).
RuangMom is a reproductive care ecosystem tackling issues on reproductive health and throughout a woman’s pregnancy journey from fertility, pregnancy, to motherhood. Through the Ruangmom app and website, they have built an ecosystem where women can find everything they need for managing their reproductive health. Currently, RuangMom offers an on-hand fertility and pregnancy information tracker, customized consultation and health services through optimized suggestions, and products based on the users’ needs.
Sex-O-Phone is an innovative online platform providing sex education and consultation focusing on adolescents and young adults. By using machine learning and professional services provided by healthcare workers, they provide professional services without judgment and transfer users to our partners for appropriate laboratory service and treatment. Their goal is to establish a better and healthy community for our future generation.
VIVID or Virtual Violations Detector is an AI-powered virtual assistant that scans, detects, warns, and tracks violations related to advertising harmful products to children under the age of 24 months in accordance with the provisions of the law and global health codes. This promotes the implementation of government regulations and improves societal public health. VIVID protects children and mothers from unhealthy product advertising, protects public health, and contributes to long-term development of society.
Titanium Technologies is a software development company that specializes in integrating IT, human resource, and process management to create value. Their services include automation, web development, and app development across native frameworks. The company’s Dr. App provides a platform for users to search, locate, and select doctors and medical institutions across Nepal based on medical proficiency, experience, user convenience, and urgency of medical attention. This helps users make informed health-related decisions.
Mobiva Suite is a set of end-to-end collaboration tools that uses smart data to enhance communication, interaction, and engagement from anywhere, using a mobile application to improve workplace connectivity and increase community engagement among dispersed teams and community members. By using real-time data collaboration, rescue agencies receive actionable data that will enable them to make better quality decisions and share and allocate resources effectively in a timely manner.
Chondo is a femtech platform that provides a range of digital and standard health tools, including mobile apps, educational materials, hygiene products, and expert assistance for women’s hygiene and healthcare. The platform enables women to track their menstrual, ovulation, and pregnancy cycle, seek advice from other women through the knowledge-sharing community, and purchase eco-friendly hygiene products through the e-commerce platform. Women can also consult a gynecologist or mental health specialist in case of any anomaly.
What the program offers
A customized 10-month program designed to help validate and scale the innovations toward growth and impact
Each startup will receive a grant of up to USD 6,250 to be used to conduct lean experiments to validate business models during the program
Peer Learning and Coaching
Startups will go through intensive virtual ‘learning labs’ facilitated by global experts through a high-impact curriculum and deep dives with peers through sharing circles
Access to one-to-one mentoring by business and domain experts to support lean experimentation and business model validation & growth
Tailored technical assistance from sector experts in the fields of digital health, ethics in data and health, gender-disaggregated data, AI designed for gender-specific concerns
Each startup will receive bespoke investment readiness support from our in-house investment and finance experts to build/strengthen their financial management systems, refine financial models and investment asks, and craft pitch decks and data rooms
Startups that are ready and have investment potential will have the opportunity to get matched and pitch to Villgro’s partner investors at the end of the accelerator program
An opportunity for the startups to showcase their solutions to investors, funders, peers, and stakeholders
This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
As part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) champions and funds research and innovation within and alongside developing regions to drive global change. We invest in high-quality research in developing countries, share knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilize our global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world
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