Lancet Digital Health: Is the future of medical diagnosis incomputer algorithms? (7)

8 May, 2019

The AI [*] 'wonders' and statistics dominated by the USA sources is creating confusion in various levels in health systems in LMICs : at policy level. management level, point of care levels, training and skills acquisition centres. The stats mesmerise people already struggling to cope and transit from snail mail to email, analogue to digital technologies and so on. More often than not the confusion, and the feeling of not wanting to appear backward, leads policy makers to adopt AI technologies even when electricity is patchy and erratic, internet is remote and connectivity is very expensive  for the majority, human resource number and capacity is lacking, etc. We recall that many LMICs leap-frogged from lack of / poor landline telephone to mobile phones, but but mobile phones need network connectivity which like the individual phone owner need electricity to power the machines. Lack of power has made the leap-frogging at best messy in many cases.

AI advance is great but LMICs should invest in the basics including Human resource in health for now. The cost of AI will drop sometime in the future at which point LMICs would havehad  strong basic infrastructure and utilities to adopt AI.

Joseph Ana.


@HealthResources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation:12-Pillar Clinical Governance

National Implementing Organisation: PACKNigeria Programme for PHC

Publisher: Medical and Health Journals;Books and Periodicals.

Nigeria:  8 Amaku Street, StateHousing & 20 Eta Agbor Road, Calabar.

Tel: +234 (0) 8063600642

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HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group:

jneana AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): AI = Articial Intelligence]