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Zims Cancer diagnostic application wins regional competition

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

TWO young Zimbabwean software engineers are working on an artificial intelligence cancer diagnosis system to address challenges faced by cancer patients.

Zvikomborero Duri and Collins Jimu who are in their early twenties have become a living testimony of the new thrust of promoting innovation after winning the Cybertech Africa Challenge with their groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) cancer diagnosis system.

The Cybertech Africa Security and Blockchain Hackathon competition held in Kigali, Rwanda, had 120 entries.

“So what happens at a hackathon is they send you a challenge and you are supposed to come up with a viable solution within a given space of hours so at this competition they wanted us to come up with a solution from midnight and we were supposed to present it the following day at 12. So we were supposed to come up with a solution that solves problems in our communities using blockchain and cyber security tools. So we came up with a solution that diagnoses cancer using artificial intelligence and thermal imaging,” said Duri.

The cancer diagnosis system which they named Cancer 360 is almost ready for practical testing.

“So our system works with a camera called a thermo imaging camera when we were researching we discovered that using thermo technologies and Artificial intelligence combined we could check if there is a cancer that is developing in one’s body at the very early stages.

“We want the system to be deployed as early as possible. But the main challenge goes back to funds what is delaying our process is that we are in the process of trying to raise funds so that we can expand our resources and focus mainly on the system. As far as the system is concerned we have developed the interfaces, we have developed our backing systems it is like the brains of the system so we are in the process of combining our front ends and our back ends in a month we are planning to go for life testing with real patients and approach the ministry of health.

“We are passionate about solving community’s problems using technology and if you look around Zimbabwe the main problems that we are going through are health-related and they have been ignored by innovators and our society at large only waiting for big players to solve those problems yet we as individual players can come up with solutions and also help and contribute in solving these problems,” said Jimu.

The application can detect five types of cancers, colon, skin, lung, breast and prostate cancer.

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