As COVID-19 spreads to low resource settings, there is an increasing need to explore the role of AI in the response to the pandemic. Register for our next webinar, or join our mailing list to get notifications about our upcoming webinars.

Big data and artificial intelligence are playing a role in the COVID-19 response globally. AI is being used to assess effectiveness of social distancing measures; accelerate the development of novel therapeutics and identify possible cases within the population. As COVID-19 spreads to low resource settings, there is an increasing need to explore the role of AI in the response – to better understand the health needs on the ground, leverage existing tools for modeling infectious disease outbreaks and assess what solutions have the most promise for impact.

In response to this need, the Harvard Global Health InstituteNovartis Foundation and partners are hosting a webinar series to unpack these pressing questions. Building off the community created through the Data Science & AI Summit for Healthcare (DASH), we will convene innovators, policy makers, data scientist and health experts to share nuanced insights on the role of AI in the COVID-19 response.

The series will focus on understanding the most pressing COVID-related health needs in low resource settings.




Can imaged-based AI meaningfully impact COVID-19 response in low resource settings?

Tuesday, June 16 | 9 AM EST

Practical uses for image-based radiological AI tools are being explored as part of the COVID-19 response globally. These solutions are being proposed to complement and fill gaps in the current response through applications such as increasing testing capacity by distinguishing COVID-19 from community acquired pneumonia and improving the detection rate and treatment consistency of COVID-19 cases. While these tools have immense potential to address critical needs, there remain concerns about their practicality, accuracy and utility, especially in low-resource settings.

By bringing together experts in the field of radiology and beyond, this webinar will explore the opportunities and challenges for the use of imaged-based AI tools in the COVID-19 response. Panelists will discuss the broader context for the application of these tools; explore how they are being developed and evaluated; and identify what steps need to be taken to maximize the potential of image-based AI while mitigating the risks.


Skye Gilbert
Executive Director, Digital Square

Skye Gilbert joined PATH in 2016, and assumed Digital Square’s Executive Director position in 2019. Prior to joining PATH, Skye worked on health and information systems from a variety of different lenses, first as an academic researcher living in Senegal and China, then as a consultant to the private sector at the Boston Consulting Group, and finally as a Program and Strategy Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Skye has a Global Executive M.B.A. from INSEAD and bachelor degrees in Economics, International Studies, and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.


Judy Gichoya
Assistant Professor
Emory University School of Medicine

Judy Gichoya is a medical doctor specializing in radiology with training and more than 6 years of experience in informatics. She has worked with multiple global health organizations in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Colombia and Tanzania, implementing mHealth and eHealth solutions targeting patient care. Her passion is to create health care ecosystems through a social entrepreneurship model that combines her medical and technology skills.

Eldad Elnekave
Chief Medical Officer
Zebra Medical Vision

Eldad Elnekave, MD is a US and Israeli Board-Certified Radiologist and has served the Chief Medical Office of Zebra Medical Vision since its founding. He completed his Interventional Radiology training at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and practices clinically as the Director of the Interventional Oncology clinic at Davidoff Oncology Center. Dr. Elnekave envisions a foreseeable future in which machine learning algorithms will contribute substantial, even critical, insight in every radiologic examination, from X-ray to CT and MRI.

Marco Bego
Executive Director, Chief Innovation Officer
University Hospital (HC), São Paulo

Virtual Health Assistants and AI Chatbots in the COVID-19 Response: Opportunities and Challenges

Tuesday, June 23 | 9 AM EST

Closing the Data Gap: Novel Approaches for Acquiring and Using Data in the COVID Response

Tuesday, June 30 | 9 AM EST

Lessons for the Future: The Role of AI in the Post-covid Era

Tuesday, July 7 | 9 AM EST

PAST WebinarS

Mature tech solutions in the COVID-19 response: Leveraging what already works to improve health OUTcomes

Tuesday, June 2 | 9 AM EST

The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed rapid innovation globally. Yet as novel digital solutions emerge, so has awareness of the breadth of tech-driven tools that already exist. In many low resource settings, these tools, such as SMS and telemedicine, already play a critical role in healthcare delivery, and have proven to be essential assets in the COVID-19 response. 

In this webinar, we will bring together experts across sectors who are repurposing or expanding existing digital solutions as part of the COVID-19 response. Panelists will discuss the value of leveraging mature technologies in the fight against COVID-19; explore how these existing tools can complement new ones; and share relevant lessons learned.


Adele Waugaman
Senior Digital Health Advisor

Adele is the Senior Digital Health Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Over the past decade she has led programs and engagement campaigns at the intersection of digital technologies in global development, including as founder and managing director of an independent consulting practice, and, previously, as head of a $30M partnership between the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation.

Her past experience includes work as a journalist, editor, and communications advisor to both humanitarian groups and technology companies. She is an affiliated expert at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and a member of several advisory bodies for companies and non-profits advancing strategic digital innovation in the health and humanitarian sectors.


Shabnam Aggarwal
Senior Director of New Business
Dimagi, Inc.

Shabnam Aggarwal is an innovator of tech solutions for low-income consumers, a social enterprise startup advisor, and a published author covering topics such as entrepreneurship, failure, and startups. Her role at Dimagi is akin to one of an “entrepreneur in residence.” Leading the New Business division, Aggarwal and her team test new product ideas in the international development market to determine if and how they can support Dimagi’s clients and mission to create greater impact while enabling Dimagi to become a self-sustaining organization. Aggarwal’s career has spanned the education and healthcare technology industries across Cambodia, India, and now, based out of Rwanda, she focuses on East Africa.

Koku Awonoor
Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
Ghana Health Service

Koku Awoonor-Williams (MD, MPH, MPA, PhD) is a Public Health Physician Consultant and currently the Director responsible for Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ghana Health Service. He has almost 3 decades of experience in senior health management positions in Ghana including 16 years as District Medical Officer and 8 years as Regional Director of Health Services. Prior to that he had been the National Coordinator of Ghana’s flagship Primary Health Care Program, the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Initiative. His interests include health policy, health systems development for marginalized populations and implementation science for evidence-based decision-making. He currently leads a major primary health care health system strengthening project CHPS+ funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation under the African Health Initiative in Ghana.

Karin Kallander
Digital Health Lead

Dr. Karin Källander is a Senior Health Specialist in the Implementation Research & Delivery Science Unit in the Health section at UNICEF. She is the unit focal point for child and community health, and the global lead for digital health. She previously worked as Senior Research Advisor at Malaria Consortium in London, UK, where she was heading the organisation’s research group, leading and guiding research and evaluations in the areas of maternal, newborn and child health, pneumonia, and digital innovations for effective health service delivery. She is a specialist in pneumonia and health systems research as well as community-based primary healthcare. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Global Health at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr Källander has over 18 years of experience as researcher, lecturer, program coordinator, and consultant in both development and emergency settings.


Thursday, May 28 | 9 AM EST

‘Necessity is the mother of innovation’, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. While the rapid spread of the virus has led to unprecedented health needs, it has also created a window of opportunity for innovators globally.

In response, this webinar will bring together innovators from low and middle income countries who are creating AI solutions that specifically address COVID-related challenges. Entrepreneurs will discuss how they transitioned creative ideas to tangible output; highlight the ways the innovation ecosystem has changed in the midst of the pandemic; and reflect on why local ideas can sometimes be the most impactful ones.


Natasha Sunderji
Global Health Lead
Accenture Development Partnerships

Natasha Sunderji is the Global Health Lead for Accenture Development Partnerships – an innovative business unit at Accenture that works with leading international development organizations to address the world’s social, economic and environmental issues. Natasha has 15+ years of experience advising multinational companies, social enterprises, NGOs, and multilateral agencies on growth strategy, business model design, digital health, and cross sector partnerships. She has worked with leading organizations to design patient centric technology solutions, supported health impact investors to develop commercialization and scaling strategies for their portfolio grantees, and advised policy makers on the regulations and investments needed to drive a robust digital health ecosystem. She has written multiple articles and reports on the promise of digital health and the challenges in scaling leading solutions, in collaboration with Devex, the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, IFC, and others. Natasha holds a Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering from University of Toronto, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.


Darlington Ahiale Akogo
Founder and Director of Artificial Intelligence
minoHealth AI Lab

Darlington Ahiale Akogo is a global leader in the field of AI. He is the Founder and Director of Artificial Intelligence at GUDRA and its subsidiaries: minoHealth, minoHealth AI Labs, karaAgro AI, Runmila AI Institute, and Gudra AI Studio. Akogo is involved in AI and tech across several other platforms and industries. He’s the topic driver for AI4Radiology under the United Nations International Telecommunication Union and the World Health Organization’s Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (AI4H). At UN AI4H, Akogo leads the development of global regulations and standards for AI in radiology. He is an Advisory Board Member and Ambassador to West Africa at AI Expo Africa, the largest business-focused AI community in Africa. Additionally, Akogo is involved with the MIT Tech Review Global Panel and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. Akogo was adjunct faculty of Artificial Intelligence at Academic City College and is the Bioinformatics (AI & Data Analytics) resource person at West African Centre for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP). He has spoken at numerous international conferences including NeurIPS, ​MIT’s Global Community ​BioSummit, and the ACP Heads of States and Government Summit, among others. Akogo also writes for ​Synapse Magazine and MIT Tech Review Insights.

Mike Endale
Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team

Mike Endale is a Principal at BLEN Corp, and Co-Founder and CEO of Moxit, Inc., a software tech company that provides a complete tech stack for care providers. He has over 20 years of experience working in the tech space and has consulted in both private and public sectors; including The White House, and the Department of Education. In addition, he is one of the ops leads for the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team, a global volunteer team of 1,700+ software engineers, doctors, and ML experts, to help the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and other African countries respond to COVID-19.

Data Mining Large Internet Networks to Predict COVID-19 Hotspots

Tuesday, May 12 | 9 AM EST


Every day counts in the COVID-19 response. How many lives would be saved if we were able to predict COVID-19 a week earlier? Or even a month? With the growing field of artificial intelligence, early prediction of outbreaks through large Internet networks is becoming a reality. Yet while artificial intelligence holds immense promise, challenges remain to harnessing its full potential. 

By bringing together experts in artificial intelligence and health, this webinar will explore ways that data mining of Internet-based networks can be leveraged to predict COVID-19 hotspots; how we can overcome structural and political barriers to timely reporting and dissemination; and what partnerships are needed to reap the benefits of these tools globally.

This program is supported by Division of Clinical Informatics, Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center.


Yuri Quintana
Chief, Division of Clinical Informatics
Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center

Yuri Quintana, Ph.D., is Chief of the Division of Clinical Informatics, BIDMC, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. His research is focused on developing innovative technologies and systems that empower communities of healthcare professionals, patients and families. He has developed several award-winning global online and mobile collaboration networks that have had a transformational impact on healthcare delivery. At Harvard, with funding from AHRQ, Dr. Quintana and colleagues have created InfoSAGE Health, a family-centered private social network for supporting the care of older adults.  He has developed Alicanto, an online social learning platform for health professionals that is in use at leading academic hospitals and centers at Harvard affiliated hospitals and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With Homewood Research Institute and international colleagues, he is working on improved methods to evaluate mental health apps using evidence-based approaches. Previously, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he envisioned, implemented, and managed global eHealth solutions for children with cancer that have improved the lives of countless children and made a significant contribution to global clinical informatics. The platforms he has developed have been used as a reference model for collaborative platforms developed by international agencies such as UICC, WHO, and IAEA. Previously, he was a faculty member at the University of Western Ontario where he served as director of the New Media Research Lab developing innovations in interactive media and online education. Quintana was also a principal investigator in the Canadian HealNet Research Network, focusing on consumer health informatics. He has held high-tech positions at IBM Canada Limited and Watcom. He serves on the editorial board of several journals including the International Journal of Medical Informatics and the Journal for Cancer Education. He is an advisor on e-health to the Pan American Health Organization. Quintana obtained his engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Systems Design Engineering.



Yu-Chuan Jack Li
Distinguished Professor, College of Medical Science and Technology
Taipei Medical University

Dr. Yu-Chuan Jack Li is currently a Distinguished Professor of Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics at Taipei Medical University, Chair of Department of Dermatology at Wan Fang Hospital (TMU), the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal for Quality in Health Care and BMJ Health & Care Informatics journal, and he has been served as president-elect ( 2019-2021 ) of International Medical Informatics Association. His main areas of expertise are Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, Patient Safety Informatics, and Medical Big Data Analytics. He has dedicated himself to evolving the next generation medical Al for patient safety and prevention (“Earlier Medicine”). He has been involved deeply not only in biomedical informatics projects in Taiwan, but also has developed international collaborations across several continents including America, Europe, and Africa.


Elaine Nsoesie
Assistant Professor, Global Health
Boston University 

Dr. Nsoesie applies data science methodologies to global health problems, using digital data and technology to improve health, particularly in the realm of surveillance of chronic and infectious diseases. She has also been appointed as a BU Data Science Faculty Fellow, as part of the BU Data Science Initiative at the Hariri Institute for Computing. The Data Science Faculty Fellows program assembles a cluster of uniquely talented faculty whose expertise transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries to enable fundamental advances in data science. Dr. Nsoesie completed her PhD in Computational Epidemiology from the Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at Virginia Tech, and her PhD dissertation, Sensitivity Analysis and Forecasting in Network Epidemiology Models, at the Network Dynamics and Simulations Science Lab at Virginia Tech BioComplexity Institute. After postdoctoral associate positions at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Nsoesie joined the faculty of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

Marcelo D’Agostino
Senior Advisor, Information Systems and Digital Health, Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Actions in Health, PAHO/WHO

Mr. D’Agostino currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Information Systems and Digital Health, in the department of Evidence and Intelligence for Actions in Health at PAHO/WHO. He has held a variety of managerial positions at PAHO/WHO since 2008; including acting as the Senior Advisor for Knowledge Management, and the Director for Knowledge Management and Communications, Bioethics and Research. His work with PAHO dates back to 1987, when he worked as a programmer at the Pan American Center for Zoonosis, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His experience includes working as a consultant at the Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a program analyst for the Pan American Institute for Food Protection and Zoonosis (INPPAZ); and the Coordinator of the Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Latin American Center for Health Science Information and the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). Mr. D’Agostino has also served as the Regional Advisor for Information Dissemination in the area of Information and Knowledge Management in Washington, D.C.

COVID-19: Health Needs and the Role of Technology in Low Resource Settings

Thursday May 7, 2020 | 10 AM EST


Technology has already played a major role in the COVID-19 response globally. Yet digital tools, including AI, are not ‘one size fits all’; in order to be effective, solutions need to be developed and deployed based on the context and greatest need. This is particularly salient for low resource settings or areas with high socioeconomic disparity, many of which are poised to see a surge in cases in the coming weeks.

By bringing together key international and national policymakers, this webinar will highlight the most pressing health needs in the COVID-19 response in low resource settings; the technological solutions that could address them and strategy needed to reap the benefits.

Part of a new webinar series hosted by DASH, the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Summits for Health. This program is supported by the Harvard University Center for African Studies.


Ann Aerts
Novartis Foundation

Ann Aerts has been Head of the Novartis Foundation since January 2013. During this time, she has been leading an organization committed to catalyzing innovations that transform the health of low-income populations. Since 2019, the Novartis Foundation sharpened its focus to concentrate on how digital technology, data science and artificial intelligence can reimagine health and care around the world.

Ann holds a Degree in Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Leuven, Belgium, as well as a Degree in Tropical Medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.

Passionate about improving health outcomes through data science and digital technology, Ann applies her relentless commitment to overcoming global health inequities to pioneer solutions that can advance health and care globally. Ann chairs the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Working Group on Digital Health, is a member of the Governing Council of the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries and the International Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health. In 2017-2018 Ann served as a member of the US National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Committee on Improving the Quality of Health Care Globally and currently sits on the US National Academies of Medicine Commission on Healthy Longevity. Ann has authored numerous publications on digital health, infectious and noncommunicable diseases, and multisector partnerships that address global health challenges.

For more information on the Novartis Foundation:




Bernardo Mariano Junior
Chief Information Officer (CIO), Director of Digital Health & Innovation
World Health Organization

Bernardo Mariano Junior is the Chief Information Officer at the World Health Organization. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating WHO’s digital health vision and strategy. He leads and oversees all aspects of information technology, data security, and enterprise applications, ensuring WHO is advancing its digital capabilities to deliver its global health goals effectively.

Prior to joining WHO, Mr. Mariano was the Senior Regional Adviser to the Director General at International Organization for Migration(IOM), where he was responsible for strategic oversight of IOM’s activities within the Sub Sahara Africa region and advised on emerging trends and developments including regional and national policy initiatives. Mr Mariano also held the position of Regional Director for the Southern African Office, where he was responsible for the management of the IOM field office operations, overseeing activities in 15 countries. Before that, he held two strategic roles at IOM as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Director of Information Technology and Communications. He was responsible for the development of innovate ICT-driven solutions that improved IOM’s field operations management, and for introducing collaboration technology to advance working practices internally and with external partners. He received much recognition for his leadership in technology during his tenure at IOM, including awards for “innovative use of technology” and “outstanding commitment to manage migration and promote partnership.”

Marcos Vinicius de Souza
Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation of the State of São Paulo, Brazil 

Marcos is the Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation of the State of São Paulo, working within the Secretary of Economic Development. The area of Science, Technology and Innovation is responsible for actions to stimulate research and technological progress to encourage economic and social development. Prior to assuming this position in 2019, Marcos served as National Secretary for Innovation and New Businesses at the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services in Brazil, where he was responsible for innovation policies, startup programs, intellectual property regulation, international negotiations, investment attraction, workforce training, and digital economy strategies for the country, as well as R&D plans for the Amazon region. He lead the largest startups accelerator program in Latin America and the Brazilian Strategy for Impact Investments and Social Business. With a Bachelor of Business Administration, an MBA in Cluster Development from ECLAC/United Nations and training in innovation policy by VINNOVA, a Swedish Innovation Agency, Marcos is a member of Advisory Boards and Steering Committees related to innovation policies, social investment and technology . Before pursuing a career in public services, he worked in management consulting and venture capital funding.


Akhona Tshangela

Programme Manager, Mortality Surveillance
Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Ms. Akhona Tshangela joined the Africa CDC in 2016 and as one of its first staff members, she played a critical role in launching Africa CDC and developing its first programs. Currently she manages the Mortality Surveillance Program. In this role, Akhona is responsible for designing and executing the program’s strategy for understanding the numbers and causes of death in African countries, and improving the use of this data for decision making. Currently for the COVID-19 response she is the Chief Science Officer and co-chairs the Sciences, regulations and standards technical working group; under the Africa Task Force on Coronavirus (AFTCOR), a joint partnership between Africa CDC and Member States, supporting Member States with making science based policy decisions.  She also leads the knowledge management platforms, innovations and research for the COVID-19 response.

Before arriving at Africa CDC, Akhona held several positions at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), including working as a medical scientist and working as an epidemiologist at the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis. She is a graduate of the Field Epidemiology Training Program graduate, a sister program to the Epidemic Intelligence Service program of the US CDC. She is a member of the women in global health movement and is passionate about building gender equity in public health.