Digitizing African Healthcare Data for a More Equitable Future in Medicine

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Many businesses in Africa still rely on paper-based records. Often, this leads to slow and cumbersome processes and the information is limited, hindering the possibility to make data-driven decisions. Accurate and accessible information is nowhere as important as in the healthcare system, yet many Healthcare providers in Africa still do not have digitized data.

Digitization is an opportunity for organizations to gather insights from historical data, which would lead to better services and, most importantly, better patient outcomes.

Data Science and AI




London, UK

Company Size



The Client is a major healthcare provider with over 50 years of experience working across African markets. They have traditionally used paper records to document patient history and attendance. The reliance on paper records has made it challenging to efficiently acess information, which leads to a lack of insights regarding patient information and the overall functioning of their interinal operations.

The Client’s leadership recognized the need to improve their healthcare services and decided that this could be achieved by digitizing their paper-based records. This would enable them to more easily research and analyze their historical data.

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Aya Data was brought on to implement the solution. We used a combination of digital scanning and bespoke optical character recognition models to convert over 500,000 anonymized patient folders into a digital database.

Each patient folder was assigned a unique identification number. Our data science team collaborated with our in-house medical professionals to analyze the data and develop a taxonomy and categories for labeling the assets through Named Entity Recognition (NER).


Through the digitization of their paper medical records, the Client achieved the following results:

  1. Time Savings and Reduced Manual Intervention: The digitation process removed the need for manually handling physical records. The Client’s employees could focus on higher-value tasks that required human oversight, thus improving productivity and efficiency.
  2. Improved Document Retrieval: Digitized information allowed employees to quickly and easily located the documents they needed. Accessing patient information became more streamlined and contributed to quicker and more accurate decision-making.
  3. Data-Driven Decision Making: Easy access to historical data enabled the Client to identify trends, patterns, and correlations within the patient population. Ultimately, this allowed the Client to make informed decisions and implement more targeted strategies that could improve their healthcare services.

Aya Data’s involvement and the Client’s digitization efforts allowed the Client to significantly enhance its operational efficiency and information retrieval process, and overall led to better decision-making capabilities.