AI-HIVE – A multimodal AI integration toolkit for comprehensive, differentiated HIV care pathways

Partner organizations: Indlela@HE2RO, Audere and Shout-it-Now



Study objectives:

  1. Conduct a contextual enquiry to understand the barriers and motivators to using the AI Hive app
  2. Evaluate the usability of the AI-HIVE mobile application for providing health, HIV, and sex-related information and counselling among adolescents and young people in South Africa.



Intervention description: Audere is developing a multimodal AI integration toolkit, codenamed AI-HIVE (AI for Health Information, Virtual testing, and Education),  that can augment any app or service seeking to offer personalised, tailored self-care pathways. The toolkit includes an AI-powered (using language models) counsellor to empathetically answer questions about life, relationships, sex, and health; computer vision services for self-testing guidance and result interpretation; and anonymised connections to clinicians for prevention and treatment options.


An exemplar product that leverages WhatsApp to drive self-care client interactions is being developed. Also under development, Audere’s clinical portal, which leverages multiple forms of AI for prioritisation and decision support, is used to oversee and support self-care clients. To evaluate feasibility, usability, acceptability, and to create learnings that guide future investments, the AI toolkit, the WhatsApp experience, and Clinical Portal will be piloted in South Africa with Shout-it-Now.

Indlela’s usability study will inform AI toolkit and product design, future product roadmap, and inform readiness for the pilot in South Africa.



Evaluation description: The study will be conducted in two phases.

Phase 1: Qualitative focus group discussions to understand trust building and information seeking behaviours, identify barriers and motivators for use of the exemplar product with a sample of adolescents and young people enrolled in the Indlela Behavioural Hub (B-Hub).

Phase 2: Results from the qualitative investigation will inform a usability evaluation of the exemplar product and user journey with both young people and clinicians.



Study site:

Phase 1: Participants enrolled in the Indlela B-Hub in Johannesburg

Phase 2: TBD


Target population: Inclusion criteria for Phase 1:

  • Adults ≥ 18 years
  • Willing to provide written informed consent
  • Comfortable consenting and talking in English or any of the approved study languages


Exclusion criteria for Phase 1:

  • Participants who are not willing or available to take part in this sub-study
  • Participants who refuse to be  audio-recorded


Inclusion and exclusion criteria for Phase 2:

  • TBD



Sample size:

Phase 1: The study will enroll up to 40 participants, 20 adolescent girls and young women to participate in 2 separate focus group discussions and up to 20 adolescent boys and young men to participate in in-depth interviews.

Phase 2: TBD



Duration: 12 months