An Amazon AI model is being used to monitor cancer in Africa


Hurone AI, a Seattle-based oncology software startup, has started testing the use of artificial intelligence in the remote monitoring of cancer patients in Nigeria and Kenya.

Using Amazon Web Service’s Bedrock tool, which helps build generative AI foundational models, Hurone has created AI models for oncology care within its own Gukiza AI toolkit. In countries where oncologists are at a premium, Hurone claims, its AI model enables personalized treatment, generates fast patient data summaries, and makes the treatment and management of the disease more accurate.

Cancer cases are rising in Nigeria and Kenya

In Nigeria, Gukiza AI is being trialed at the Zenith Medical and Kidney Center in Abuja, the largest kidney cancer treatment facility in west Africa. Nigeria has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the world, with roughly four out of five cases resulting in death, according to the Global Cancer Observatory. In 2020, it reported over 124,000 new cases and more than 78,000 deaths.

In Kenya, Hurone’s software is being used at the Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, a tertiary medical center in western Kenya, which handles more than 5,000 cancer patients annually. Cancer is the second leading non-communicable of death after cardiovascular disease in Kenya, with roughly 47,887 new cancer cases and 32,500 deaths recorded yearly.

How can an AI app help cancer patients? 

Founded in 2021, Hurone trained Gukiza on open-source patient databases to recognize the progression and side effects of various forms of cancer. By monitoring patients remotely in what Kingsley Ndoh, Hurone’s founder, called “underrepresented populations,” the AI is designed to feed doctors with real-time data.

On its website, Hurone sad that a beta version of Gukiza “reduced off-duty oncology calls by approximately 60% for cancer care teams in our partner sites,” while helping oncologists save “more than 75% of the time traditionally required to handle specific care responsibilities.”

Hurone is part of a $40 million AWS project, in which more than 90 organizations have received free cloud credits to help advance cancer treatment in the developing world. In January, Hurone also introduced its AI tool to Rwanda’s Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa as a telemedicine solution, to save cancer patients traveling several miles to be diagnosed or monitored.


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