Meet Ernest and John
Dr. John Sargent and Dr. Ernest Darkoh were born with a drive to help others. These self-described “cosmic twins” grew up in different places around the world. They were left with a lasting impression of the deep inequalities in access to healthcare in many countries. Their work is now changing medical systems to improve care for all patients.
Making a positive difference in the lives of others
Dr. Sargent and Dr. Darkoh started BroadReach Group with an ambitious goal: Solving big health systemic problems so that people don’t need intensive medical care in the first place. They created an AI-powered approach to change how healthcare is prioritized, resourced, and delivered. By optimizing the effectiveness of healthcare delivery, they are rebuilding trust and improving care in under-served communities around the world.
Meet Ernest: Heart driven by helping others
I cannot see injustice and walk away from it: My heart just won’t let me. I was born in the United States, then grew up in Tanzania and Kenya. In Nairobi, I saw people suffering in the streets. One day, I met a man whose leg was swollen to the size of a tree trunk. I wanted to help but I was only twelve—all I could offer him was baking cookies. That moment was a turning point in my life: I became a doctor to dedicate my life helping others.
Meet John: Reimagining healthcare
I grew up in a multicultural family: My mother is from Taiwan, my father is American, and we lived all over the world. In medical school, I was able to work at refugee camps in war-torn countries where I saw the desperate need for healthcare. Even in those horrendous wars, companies were still able to deliver products to their customers. I realized that if I were to help people at scale, I would need to rethink how to deliver healthcare.
Sharing a new vision of healthcare
When we met in medical school, our connection was instantaneous. Both of us are third culture kids. We’ve been friends and business partners ever since. Our dream is to give everyone in the world access to quality healthcare. Many healthcare systems are set up to treat people after they get sick, but we believe that the best approach to healthcare is to prevent serious illnesses by changing the system. We gave up our medical careers and became Doctors of Systems: BroadReach Group was born.
Using AI to tackle HIV in South Africa
Funded by USAID, we started in South Africa where HIV was a crisis: 38.5% of adults were HIV-positive. We needed to treat people as quickly as possible, but data was paper-based and siloed: It was impossible to get a clear picture of who was getting consistent treatment. AI helped us connect data across 1200 hospitals, giving us clearer insights for better decisions to allocate resources so we can help as many people as possible. Now 2.4 million cases are managed on our AI-enabled platform — nearly 10% of the world’s HIV cases.
The promise of AI
We created Vantage, a platform that uses AI to aggregate all data, then give individualized decision support and step-by-step action steps. For example, AI can flag an area where children are behind on immunizations. We can identify staffing requirements, how many vaccinations are needed, and how many have been given. We can also see which clinics may run out of vaccines or nurses, so decision-makers can act quickly. AI helps us improve patient outcomes, reduce waste, and keep the system accountable to the people it serves.
A global perspective
We have supported projects all over the world — China, India, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, the United States, and Africa. What keeps us going is a team of people from diverse backgrounds and different disciplines who use creativity, experience, and AI to deliver on our dream of providing every human being on the planet with quality healthcare. So far, it’s been a 30-year journey that we’ve been grateful to share together.
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