Ubenwa, an application that detects asphyxia in babies which was created by Nigerian innovators


A Nigerian Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup company by the name Ubenwa is committed to ensuring that new born babies are saved from Birth Asphyxia.

Birth Asphyxia is the medical condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen to a newborn infant that lasts long enough during the birth process to cause physical harm, usually to the brain.

According to the United Nations, Birth Asphyxia is one of the top 3 causes of infant mortality in the world, causing the death of about 1.2 million infants and severe life-long disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, deafness, and paralysis) to an equal number annually.

Ubenwa is an Igbo word which means ‘the cry of a child’ and this startup company was founded by Charles Onu to help create an artificial intelligence system that analyses a baby’s crying to give warning signs of baby asphyxia.

According to the founder of Ubenwa, the detection of birth asphyxia takes only 10 seconds using the Ubenwa application and from reports there has been a 95% accuracy achieved in trials involving about 1400 recorded baby cries.

Ubenwa is deployed via mobile devices and wearable will reduce the skill and cost required to diagnose the condition as well as make swift detection possible and much faster compared to blood test based detection and requires little or no skill to operate.

Ubenwa presently is conducting clinical validation exercises at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in Nigeria and at the McGill University Health Centre in Canada

“We want to do the tests in the hospital, interact directly with the babies, and compare how Ubenwa performs given all the new environmental challenges that would come up. The reason we are able to pursue this real-time validation in the clinical setting is as a result of the success of our earlier work,” Onu said.

This AI company made-up of Nigerians has Dr. Eyenimi Ndiomu as the clinical leader for the team, Innocent Udeogu as the software engineering lead, Urbain Kengni as head of business development.

Ubenwa is in the second round for the global IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition, a $5 million prize.



Source: The Unknown Nigeria

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