Sophia Genetics, a global provider of data-driven solutions for the medicare industry, has unveiled the list of African hospitals that have started integrating SOPHiA, the company’s artificial intelligence, into their clinical workflow to advance patients’ care across the continent.
The list, announced at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) in Phoenix, US, includes: PharmaProcess in Casablanca, Morocco; ImmCell in Rabat, Morocco; The Al Azhar Oncology Center in Rabat, Morocco; The Riad Biology Center in Rabat, Morocco; The Oudayas, Medical Analysis Laboratory, Morocco; The Center for Proteomic & Genomic Research (CPGR) in Cape Town, South Africa; and The Bonassama District Hospital in Douala, Cameroon.
African hospitals are adopting SOPHiA to – no matter their experience in genomic testing – get up to speed and analyze genomic data to identify disease-causing mutations in patients’ genomic profiles, and decide on the most effective care. As new users of SOPHiA, they become part of a larger network of 260 hospitals in 46 countries that share clinical insights across patient cases and patient populations, which feeds a knowledgebase of biomedical findings to accelerate diagnostics and care.
Speaking about the adoption of SOPHiA in Africa, Jurgi Camblong, Sophia Genetics’ CEO and co-founder, declared: “Since inception, our vision has been to develop innovative technological solutions that analyze patients’ genomic profiles to offer better diagnosis and care to the greatest number of patients, wherever they live. Today, I am very proud that SOPHiA is triggering a technological leapfrog movement in healthcare across Africa.”
Jurgi Camblong added: “By joining our community, African hospitals are breaking down the technological barriers that prevented African patients from benefiting from the same level of genomic testing than patients from the best medical centers worldwide. This is a story about accessibility, democratization, empowerment, and hope.”
Among other diseases, SOPHiA will be a key partner for African hospitals in oncology. Breast cancer, for instance, has been described as a “serial killer” on the continent as lack of relevant diagnostics and personalized care means that 60% of women with breast cancer in Africa die versus 20% in the US and EU. According to a 2012 global report from the International Prevention Research Institute, an earlier diagnostic of breast cancer could increase life expectancy by 30%. Globally, on the continent, the number of new cases of cancer every year should jump to 1.6 million by 2030. As oncology expertise might be based in different places across the globe, SOPHiA, ensures that the knowledge of a specialist in Paris will for instance be accessible to save patients in Nairobi.
Speaking about the benefits of using SOPHiA for African patients, Dr. Reinhard Hiller from the South African Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR) commented: “In creating a first-of-its-kind Genomic Medicine offering in Africa, using SOPHiA has been beneficial because its analysis are used by a global community of genomic medicine practitioners, allowing us to offer a best-in-class service.”
Prof Hicham Mansour, Geneticist at the University Mohamed 1st Genetic Department – Al Azhar Oncology Center in Morocco, added: “Using SOPHiA allows us to analyze genomic data quickly and with great confidence, to better diagnose and follow up with our patients”.
Jurgi Camblong concluded: “After Europe, Canada, Australia, Russia, and Latin America, the adoption of SOPHiA in Africa is perhaps the strongest evidence that the democratization of Data-Driven Medicine is changing scale to help the highest number of patients, wherever they live across the globe.”
Sophia Genetics is a healthtech company which developed SOPHiA, the advanced collective artificial intelligence for clinical genomics, helping healthcare professionals better diagnose and treat patients. SOPHiA is currently used by over 260 institutions in 46 countries.