Akon Lighting and GATC Health Announce Partnership to Analyze and Provide AI-driven Genomic Insights to Over 1 Million People Across Africa
Akon Lighting Inc., founded by music artist and philanthropist Akon, and GATC Health Corp., a science and technology company revolutionizing disease risk assessment and drug discovery using artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced genomic analysis, announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to interpret genetic and other biological data to identify predisposition to diseases and reduce unnecessary deaths of Africans and people of African heritage.
The initiative will gather and study the genetics, biological data and other important health information of at least 1 million people across Africa. Utilizing GATC Health’s proprietary AI platform, which can process and analyze the entire human genome, this broad set of data will be used to identify personalized healthcare solutions for the African participants, in addition to providing deep population health insights that can change the course of healthcare on the African continent.
“Akon Lighting and GATC Health’s mission is simple, utilize our resources to the best of our ability to close healthcare gaps in Africa,” Akon said. “However, the execution of this extensive and meaningful project will require the involvement of many organizations, governments and individuals to achieve our goal and make a lasting impact on African healthcare.”
Akon Lighting, Inc is a clean energy company started by music artist Akon and his business partner Brandon Martin Sr., with a mission to help provide electricity to the nearly 650 million Africans who do not have access to energy. Akon Lighting is leveraging its broad reach and trusted relationships to change the face of healthcare on the continent by partnering with GATC Health. This collaboration’s goal is to bring the next generation of personalized medicine to millions of Africans using the latest in genomics-based science and technology.
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Partnering with prominent organizations and foundations across the globe, Akon Lighting is working to assemble life-changing data and deliver better healthcare throughout Africa. This initiative goes far beyond simple research and data collection, focusing on promptly delivering personalized care to the African people, which is why it chose GATC Health as part of its collaborative efforts on the continent.
“We selected GATC Health as a key partner in this landmark health initiative because of their ability to analyze enormous amounts of genomic and related health data very quickly to produce actionable consultative reports for each individual,” said Brandon Martin Sr., CEO and Co-founder of Akon Lighting. “Having access to broad sets of health data is critical to uncovering health risks within communities and quickly developing needed medicines. Our goal is to eventually collect as many as 5 million biological samples for GATC Health’s analysis to help close healthcare gaps that exist for many Africans and to help develop new therapeutics that treat these diverse communities.”
These genomic analyses can reveal previously unknown genetic variations, and when combined with the other gathered biological and health data, enable GATC Health to discover the cause of specific diseases along with potential new therapeutics to treat those diseases. GATC Health will work with Akon Lighting and healthcare professionals to assess individuals’ de-identified health data to predict health risks and recommend potential treatments. These predictive reports will provide key insights into specific health risks at both the individual and population level, enabling healthcare providers to be more proactive with individual patients and assisting multiple African organizations in understanding where their resources should be deployed for maximum impact in public health.
“It is a tremendous honor to join Akon Lighting and other globally respected organizations in this worthwhile and life-saving pursuit,” said Jeff Moses, President of GATC Health. “With GATC’s unique capability to provide actionable health insights from massive sets of diverse data, we are more than ready to kick off this project and make a lasting, positive impact on healthcare and population health in Africa.”
GATC Health is working to expand its predictive health tests that currently include: General Health & Wellness, Cardiac Health, Depression Treatment, Viral Immunity, amongst others, along with predictive tests for diabetes, PTSD and cancers, which are forthcoming. With a standard cheek swab and blood draw, GATC can extrapolate detailed health information for each individual utilizing a whole genome or exome read that provides billions of valuable genomic data points. This extensive analysis allows GATC Health to predict health outcomes, population health risks, potential treatments and more. GATC’s Multiomics Advanced Technology™ (MAT) platform also has the ability to measure epigenetics, or genetic expression, which can reveal the level of success of a given treatment. GATC utilizes these types of biological data and patient health information as part of its AI’s drug discovery engine, which can save up to approximately 70 percent of the time it currently takes discover and validate a new drug— potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars over traditional methods. GATC also just released a study showing that its MAT platform can successfully predict drug success with 88% accuracy, an 11x increase over the current industry lead optimization success rate of approximately 8%.
GATC Health’s AI platform will be the exclusive processor of genetic and other biological data to support the discovery of new therapeutics, which address diseases affecting specific populations. Akon Lighting will provide localized implementation and operations, as well as manage relationships with frontline healthcare professionals.
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