During Yaw Ansong Jnr’s clinical practice, he realized that his patients with sickle-cell disease lacked tools to monitor their condition. The Berkeley bioengineering Ph.D. student teamed up with Timothy Adamson, a recent computer science graduate out of Yale, and Soon Kim, who recently got his MBA from Yale, to address the issue.


Collaborating with Duke University, the team created KovaDx, which uses proprietary 3D phase imaging microscopy and deep-learning algorithms to monitor blood morphological diseases using at-home monitoring solutions in order to increase health equity in the U.S. Such a system can not only catch severe sickle-cell disease episodes before they happen, but can reduce health-care costs and improve quality of life.


“We believe that, regardless of income or circumstances of birth, no one should have to forgo healthcare due to a lack of resources,” Yaw says. “We stand for the empowerment of marginalized communities and believe in solutions grounded in the experiences of individuals affected by the problems we’re trying to solve. We have a culture of transparency and mutual respect, and believe they are central to all stakeholders we engage with.”  


In the CoLab, the team hopes to develop new connections, learn from mentors, and share what they learn from with other CoLab teams. 

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