Royal Philips a leader in health technology, today announced it has received a USD 15.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop artificial intelligence (AI) based application suite to improve the quality and accessibility of obstetric care in low- and middle-income countries, especially in underserved communities. By helping front-line healthcare workers such as midwives to identify potential problems in pregnancy at an early stage, the project aims to significantly reduce the number of women who die as a result of pregnancy – currently around 830 women every day worldwide – while reducing fetal mortality and morbidity.
The project plans to develop an application suite that will be deployed on Philips Handheld Ultrasound – Lumify – which is currently in widespread use in community-based mother and child care programs around the world. It also builds on the expertise of the Philips Foundation, providing access to quality healthcare for underserved communities worldwide, including a program in Kenya to educate midwives to deliver ultrasound-based antenatal pregnancy screening in village clinics, while receiving telehealth support from radiologists at distance.
“Philips is a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare, with many of its AI-based solutions already FDA approved,” said Joseph Frassica, head of Philips Research Americas and chief medical officer, Philips North America. “This effort to use AI to help deliver high-quality pre-natal care to the vast number of women in the world who cannot easily access it is a perfect example of what we believe AI should be used for – empowering healthcare professionals to help them deliver faster and more efficient care to help improve patient outcomes.”