Amelia Taylor says use of Generative AI in the healthcare sector very important

By Chisomo Phiri

Dr. Amelia Taylor, a lecturer in Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) has described Generative Artificial Intelligence as an important tool that can provide solutions to challenges Malawi is facing in the healthcare sector.

Generative AI is a type of AI that can create new content and ideas, including conversations, stories, images, videos, and music.

Speaking on Thursday during the one day Generative AI project dissemination workshop at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre, Taylor said Malawi has to adopt the use of Generative AI if it is to end challenges faced in the healthcare sector because the tool is very effective and innovative


Said Taylor:” Generative AI is very innovative tool or technology that can be used everywhere including in the healthcare sector.This technology can be used in so many ways. For example, it can be used to find information using natural language.Not only that, but also the tool itself can be able to perform complex tasks, for example summarizing information, extracting information from documents, extracting key words, creating tables, creating reports and many others. So it is basically an assistant.”

She added:” It can help healthcare professionals to be able to understand contexts. In this case, the contexts we mean disease surveillance. This means that the Generative AI can help healthcare professionals to know the information of the disease of interest for example cholera, cancer, Covid-19 and many other diseases.”

Taylor said the other important part of Generative AI in healthcare sector is that it can be accessed everywhere even in the rural areas.

“The tool is accessible everywhere and it can be found in communities. The tool can be on the mobile phones and it can be online and offline. It can provide answers to several questions in relation to health. Questions like what are symptoms of cholera, what causes Covid-19, how best can we prevent cholera or cancer.It also interprets abbreviations and many others difficult terminologies in the healthcare field.It acts as a dictionary but in this case, Generative AI is a very modern dictionary. In short it is an assistant to guidelines,” she said.

Dr Amelia Taylor

On her part, Dr. Alinafe Mbewe, a Director of Digital Health in the Ministry of Health echoed Taylor saying everything nowadays is going digital and that the use of Generative AI in the healthcare can indeed bring positive results.

“I am glad that digital health is growing in Malawi. Of course, we are not doing well as other countries but still we are at a better level.And the idea to bring Generative AI in the healthcare sector is another indication that we are doing much better in as far as digital health is concerned. This is really exciting news,” she said.

She added:”In short, as Taylor said, Generative AI is very important in the healthcare sector. All the systems you see in the hospitals whether  ordering drugs or in the laboratories, is part of digital health and AI is one of the most important components of digital health. I find the use of Generative AI as an  important idea if we are to keep doing great in the digital health sector.”