Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kenya’s Thalia Psychotherapy, TibuHealth selected for Google AI Health program

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Google for Startups has announced 24 startups selected for the 2024 cohort of the Growth Academy: AI for Health program.  

Among those selected are Kenya’s Thalia Psychotherapy, a mental health startup and TibuHealth, a solution that delivers affordable outpatient services in partner pharmacies. 

In a statement, the big tech said these companies are among those that exemplify the potential of AI to address pressing healthcare challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

This is by advancing mental health integration, providing accessible outpatient services, and delivering affordable healthcare to underserved populations. 

“The program is designed to support high-potential startups across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) that are leveraging AI to revolutionise healthcare and medical research,” the statement read in part.  

According to the World Health Organization, more than 116 million people across Africa were already estimated to be living with mental health conditions pre-pandemic and as things stand, there are fewer than two mental health workers for every 100,000 people. 

“Thalia Psychotherapy’s AI-powered chatbot provides initial assessments and therapy sessions, increasing access to mental health support in a region with a critical shortage of mental health professionals,” Google said.  

“TibuHealth, on the other hand, delivers affordable outpatient services via “minute clinics” in partner pharmacies in high-density neighbourhoods.” 

Google Africa’s head of communications and public affairs Dorothy Ooko said they are committed to supporting the growth of innovative startups, particularly those that are leveraging AI to address critical healthcare challenges.  

“The Growth Academy: AI for Health program is a testament to this commitment, and we are excited to see the impact these startups will have on the future of healthcare,” she said.  

The three-month program seeks to provide participants with intensive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities.  

Startups will benefit from workshops on best practices for AI, leadership development, responsible innovation, product design, and customer acquisition.  

Additionally, Google experts from Research, Health, Verily, Fitbit, and DeepMind are set to offer one-on-one mentorship sessions and technical project support. 

The selected participating startups, representing 13 countries from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, use AI models and technology to improve patient care and advance medical research. 

They include Aide (UK), AmplifAI (Saudi Arabia), Biorce (Portugal), C the Signs (UK), Callyope (France), (Netherlands), Ephion Health (Spain), Exakt Health (Germany), FiveLives (France), Health tracka (Nigeria), and HearMe (Poland).  

Others include Juniver (UK), Mindgram (Poland), Motherbeing (Egypt), Noah Labs (Germany), Nui (Germany), 07 Therapy (Egypt), Powerful Medical (Slovakia), Research Grid (UK), Rofim (France), SYCAI Medical (Spain), Talia Psychotherapy (Kenya), TibuHealth (Kenya) and Zoie Health (South Africa).  

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