Judging Panel of Health and Technology Experts announces Winner of C/Can’s Live Pitch & Grant Award to develop Kumasi’s First City-wide Laboratory Network
Six technology vendors from around the world, including Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa, participate in live pitch event in Kumasi; the announcement begins the next phase of developing and implementing a city-wide laboratory information management system.
Today, the judging panel chaired by Dr Akosua Gyimah Omari-Sasu, Director of Health Services from the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and member of the City Cancer Challenge (C/Can) (CityCancerChallenge.org) City Executive Committee, officially confirmed the winner of the C/Can Live Pitch & Grant Award event, which took place on Wednesday 16 March.
The hybrid event, combining live and virtual presentations, saw six leading technology solutions providers from Ghana (Accra and Kumasi), Nigeria, the Philippines, and South Africa, pitch their proposed interoperable Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) solution for the city of Kumasi, a need that was initially identified as part of the C/Can city Needs Assessment (https://bit.ly/3JBDOHh).
“The announcement of a technology provider represents a significant milestone for Kumasi’s network of private and public laboratories,” said Dr Omari-Sasu who delivered the event’s opening remarks. “It takes the city one step closer to achieving greater efficiencies, and stronger communication and data exchange across the 15 city laboratories, which will ultimately help to enhance patient outcomes.”
In his keynote address to the audience of health experts and laboratory scientists, Dr Maxwell Antwi, Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation and a member of the World Health Organization Roster of Experts on Digital Health, spoke of the C/Can city project as an example of how private sector, cities and communities are collaborating to leverage the power of digital technologies to strengthen the delivery of cancer diagnostics.
“Laboratory networks have been shown to ensure efficient use of resources by reducing fragmentation and most importantly, promoting collaboration,” said Dr Antwi. “A tiered and integrated digitalised laboratory network especially if it is backed by strong core capabilities will provide the best model for efficient service delivery across all levels of cancer care. “
After a rigorous selection process, Penless Data Solutions and SIDRID Ltd—who made a joint pitch—emerged as the grant winner. The Ghanian IT solutions providers, who have a presence in Accra and Kumasi, demonstrated relevant experience in developing hospital management systems used by healthcare providers across the country. “We feel privileged to have the opportunity to partner with the city on this important project and look forward to delivering the best solution for Kumasi’s healthcare professionals, end users and cancer patients,” said Mr Francis Sunkwa, CEO of Penless Data Solutions.
The robust selection process has helped to set the standard for the way that digital health solutions are assessed, selected, and developed in Kumasi. “We are extremely impressed by the quality of solutions demonstrated at the Pitch,” said Mr Mathieu Morand, Senior Digital Health Manager at C/Can. “It clearly shows the exciting emergence of locally driven innovation in digital health.”
The pitch event also featured remarks by a representative of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (https://bit.ly/3tzPEMj) , who in cooperation with C/Can, is implementing the city initiative to enhance the Kumasi’s diagnostic capacities on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) (www.BMZ.de/en).
Members of the judging panel were:
- Augustine Acheampong, IT Head, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital
- Dr Ernest Kwasi Adjei, Head of Laboratory Services, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital
- Dr Eric Aidoo, Head of Laboratory Services, Manhyia District Hospital
- Kennedy Agyebi, IT Head, Ghana Health Service
- Dr Akosua Gyimah Omari-Sasu, Director of Health Services, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly
Organisations invited to participate in the Live Pitch & Grant Award event were:
- Atter Pathology Services and Gencode Software Consulting, South Africa
- Dashlabs, Philippines
- Healthbuk, Accra, Ghana
- Helium Health, Nigeria
- Medtrack, Accra, Ghana
- Penless Data and Solutions and SIDRID Ltd, Kumasi, Ghana
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can).
Communications Manager, City Cancer Challenge
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About City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can):
C/Can supports cities around the world as they work to improve access to equitable, quality cancer care. Since its launch in 2017 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), C/Can has developed a new model of addressing access to cancer care that, for the first time, leverages the city as a key enabler in a health systems response to cancer. More information (CityCancerChallenge.org)