TWO Oxford University alumni are unveiling the next generation of a ground-breaking technology platform which has already made great progress in overcoming major health crises.

The platform, called Vantage, uses ground-breaking AI-powered data analysis combined with human expertise to ramp up services at every level of the public health hierarchy, saving exponentially more lives than was previously possible.

Fulbright Scholars Dr John Sargent and Dr Ernest Darkoh are co-founders of the BroadReach Group, the holding company responsible for the social enterprises Broadreach Consulting, and Vantage Technologies, a software development company.

Dr Sargent and Dr Darkoh have worked in 25 countries across the world to improve public healthcare systems.

READ AGAIN: First eyewitness tells murder trial what he saw on night of killing

Dr Ernest Darkoh is an internationally respected leader and expert on health systems strengthening, strategic planning and large-scale programme implementation.

He said earlier: “We are at a critical juncture in the global fight back against HIV, the end could be in sight.

“We need to kick things up to the next level - and we can only do so by adding better game-changing tools to our toolkit.

“South Africa is currently the global epicentre of HIV/AIDS, and BroadReach is proud to have been a trusted partner of the South Africa Department of Health since 2004.”

READ AGAIN: The Oxfordshire restaurants listed in the 2020 Good Food Guide

Between 2012 and 2018, as a result of PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief)-funded US Aid programme for HIV relief in South Africa, Broadreach partnered with the Department of Health in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), the province with the highest HIV prevalence.

Vantage was first introduced to the programme in 2014 which contributred to 5.5 million people tested for HIV, 530,000 of which are now on anti-retroviral therapy, and a healthy 93 per cent virally suppressed.

PEPFAR recently celebrated its 15th anniversary and reported that globally through its support 17 million individuals have received HIV tests, and 14.6 million people have started anti-retroviral treatment.

READ AGAIN: Burglars break into charity shop and steal money

South Africa has the highest HIV prevalence in the world.

Vantage Technologies was developed to empower healthcare workers to be much more effective and, in the process, to save more lives.

The platform brings together robust data analytics, best-practice workflow applications, automated reporting and team collaboration tools that are accessible from the desktop or mobile devices.

It is designed to support and coach all members of the health chain, from health field worker right up to the level of health minister, in a way that was currently not done or even possible.

READ AGAIN: Children sent sexual messages over Instagram

BroadReach Consulting is also using Vantage Technologies to look at innovative ways to improve access to healthcare across borders in West and East Africa, and running a pilot programme on cross-border immunisations in East Africa.

Human expertise and technology are being combined to manage the threat of cross-border outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, using regional data to alert neighbouring countries on potential infection disease outbreaks.

After meeting in medical school at Harvard, where they were study partners and became best friends, John and Ernest plotted how to ‘change the world’ of healthcare, rather than become practising medical doctors.

They both went on to become Fulbright Scholars at Oxford University, with John also gaining an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.

In 2003, they co-founded BroadReach, with the vision of improving the health and wellbeing of under-served populations around the globe.