African hospitals adopt SOPHiA artificial intelligence to trigger continent-wide healthcare leapfrogging movement

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SophiaGenetics, a Data-Driven Medicine, unveiled today, at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) in Phoenix, 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.

Jurgi Camblong, Sophia Genetics’ CEO and co-founder said: “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.”

Medical institutions at the forefront of innovation already using SOPHiA in Africa include Morocco’s PharmaProcess in Casablanca, Morocco, ImmCell, The Al Azhar Oncology Center, The Riad Biology Center and The Oudayas, Medical Analysis Laboratory. Cameroon’s Bonassama District Hospital and Center for Proteomic & Genomic Research (CPGR) in Cape Town, South Africa.

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.

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.

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.

SOPHiA allows doctors to analyze genomic data quickly and with great confidence, to better diagnose and follow up with patients. 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.