Employing institution: Rwanda Biomedical Centre 

Host institution: The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Rwanda.

Project title: Exploring the applications of artificial intelligence and digital health in healthcare delivery.

A native of Rwanda, Dr Ndishimye received his PhD in Life Sciences and Health Technologies from Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco (jointly with Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania). His PhD research focused on clinical and biological parameters associated with tuberculosis (TB) in Romania, a country which has one of the highest TB incidences in the European Union. His current research areas of focus include global health, infectious diseases, computational biology, predictive analytics, and personalized health in infectious diseases.

AREF Fellowship Research Project:

Although the use of digital health technologies is an emerging and promising way to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, case detection, treatment delivery, patient follow-up and facilitate health facility appointments thereby improving health outcomes; infectious diseases remain a substantial cause of mortality around the world, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMIC).

Dr Ndishimye’s research project aims to describe the lived experience of patients and healthcare workers using electronic medical records (EMRs) in Rwandan health facilities. He will use existing EMR data and explore the possibility of developing AI techniques to systematically monitor how diseases and medical interventions affect people; to create innovative data analytics tools; to develop mathematical models that can use AI and help to detect early warning signals for new disease epidemics in Rwanda. Through this project, he will contribute to Rwanda’s journey of using technology supported systems and data science expertise to effectively drive management and decision-making needs in health sector.

His placement will be at AIMS Rwanda under the supervision of Prof Wilfred Ndifon, a theoretical biologist who conducts research at the interface of the mathematical and biological sciences, and research interests include theory-driven machine learning as an aid to prediction in biology and medicine; quantization of health; and phenotype accessibility in evolutionary landscapes. This opportunity will see Dr Ndishimye develop professional knowledge on digital technologies in the public-health response to infectious diseases.

“Digital health is uniquely positioned to enhance the way we detect and manage infectious diseases. With AREF unwavering support, I strongly believe that joining AIMS will bridge the way to my successful career as a specialist in Digitalization and Infectious Diseases.”