Panel of Judges Announced Winners of C/Can’s Live Pitch & Grant Award

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On Thursday, 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) City Executive Committee, officially confirmed the winners 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.

“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 16 laboratories, which will ultimately help enhance patient outcomes,” he said.

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,” he added. 

After a rigorous selection process, Penless Data Solutions and SIDRID —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 Mathieu Morand, Senior Digital Health Manager at C/Can.

“It clearly shows the exciting emergence of locally driven innovation in digital health,” he said.

The pitch event also featured remarks by a representative of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), who in cooperation with C/Can, is implementing the city initiative to enhance Kumasi’s diagnostic capacities on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

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

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

By Staff Writer.