Kemsa bets on AI to boost system efficiency


The technology will enable efficient sourcing of healthcare products. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has partnered with a local tech startup to boost system efficiency and to hold suppliers accountable.

Xetova Services Ltd has deployed technology at the state agency to check expiry of drugs, their seasonality and offer real time tracking of orders.

Tapping of technology comes a year after the state agency was on the spot for stocking up drugs and medical supplies nearing expiry. That happened as counties grappled with drugs shortage.

“Kemsa will use technology to hold suppliers accountable and avert delay of orders that have in the past affected our efficiency,” Kemsa chief executive Jonah Manjari told a suppliers conference.

The technology by Xetova uses artificial intelligence to establish trends using data on how ordering is done, buying and payment behaviours.

The generated report on key indicators can be used in predictive decisions which is vital at Kemsa.

“The technology will enable efficient sourcing of healthcare products, thus ensure value for money,” Bramwel Mwalo, the Managing director at Xetova.

He said the technology will strengthen preparedness for emergency responses using real time data to identify potential risks.

Since deployment of the technology at Kemsa, on-time delivery between January and March improved to 89 percent compared to a corresponding period a year ago.

Medicine stock-outs and delayed deliveries are serious issues that have direct linkage to loss of life or treatment complications.

For instance its it is risky for a patient undergoing HIV treatment to miss out on his dose as this exposes him to opportunistic infections which could lead to loss of life.

Xetova conducted piloting of the technology between October 2019 and January before deploying it at Kemsa.