Tanzania faces significant health challenges, particularly for children and adolescents, and ranks one of the worst in the world in healthcare delivery/ outcomes. Healthcare workers, especially in rural areas have limited training, resources, and tools to diagnose and treat complex conditions, resulting in high rates of misdiagnoses, prolonged care, and unnecessary services. Additionally, Tanzania has one of the worst doctor-to-patient ratios in the world (1:20,000), with over 75% of doctors living in urban areas. There is a severe lack of pediatric specialists in the country, causing 20 million children to experience poor health outcomes and low-quality care.
They are developing the Elsa Health Assistant, a clinical decision support tool that empowers healthcare providers with data-driven algorithms for consistent and optimal decision-making (e.g., diagnostic support, next-step recommendations, predicting disease outbreaks). They are passionate about building tools and services that improve health outcomes and ensure that children have access to high-quality healthcare.
The Elsa Health Assistant is a digital tool that offers automatic symptom assessment, decision-making support, and next step recommendations. Offered as a mobile application in both English and Swahili, the Elsa Health Assistant brings specialist-level decision-making to all health providers, standardizes data collection, and increases the quality of care provided to pediatric patients ages 0-14 years. The Health Assistant is also able to analyze existing health data to predict infectious disease outbreaks 6 months in advance, allowing health providers and governments to better protect children and adolescents, as well as prepare for these outbreaks.
Health providers input patient demographics, vitals, symptoms, and test results (when available), and receive insights and next steps recommendations about their patients’ health. Elsa supports common pediatric illnesses (rash, gastroenteritis, etc.), nutrition-related illnesses, high-mortality illnesses such as malaria, sexual and reproductive conditions (including HIV/AIDS), and supports healthcare providers in identifying early childhood development milestones.
Inspired Ideas have achieved 92% accuracy of correctly identifying diseases for both infectious and non-infectious diseases (true positives) using their algorithm. They have access to 25,000 paediatric patient records through a partnership with Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, and are working closely with relevant health sector stakeholders.