Editor’s Note: The Future of Health Conference II is 23 days away!! As we at Nigeria Health Watch work to deliver this year’s conference themed “Health Meets Tech: From Innovation to Implementation,” it is only natural that we begin to take a look at the health tech space in Nigeria. Our guest contributor this week is Dr. Ikpeme Neto, Internal medicine physician turned digital health entrepreneur, who through his start-up ‘Wella Health’ is working on ways to provide cost-effective technological solutions to improve quality of health care and patient engagement in Africa. He is the Editor of Digital Health Nigeria, and highlights 20 start-ups everyone should pay attention to in the health tech space. The article first ran in Digital Health Nigeria’s Medium Blog, and has been edited and re-published with permission.
There are phenomenal things going on in the tech startup space currently in Nigeria. Most recently, Andela, a talent accelerator founded in Nigeria and the U.S raised a big round of funding from the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. There have been similar fundraising and huge milestone successes in Fintech and other consumer tech startups.
The Nigerian health tech space on the other hand hasn’t received much attention from investors or the media. Some token mentions pop up now and again but nothing concrete. One may think that there aren’t startups doing much in the health space. My experience over the last two years as a health tech founder in Nigeria suggests otherwise. In that time I’ve come across more than a handful of startups doing great work in a difficult yet rewarding digital health space.
Here are 20 of many such startups I’ve come across. I have categorized the startups by their primary targets; Information on what they do, channels and business models is drawn from the respective websites or social media accounts and my own inference. I’ve avoided companies that operate as consultancies to focus more on startups with specific products or services. This is what I found:
Category 1 — Startups targeting patients
SaferMom addresses the high maternal and infant mortality crises in Nigeria. The platform works to deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers using interactive, personalized and low cost mobile technologies, including SMS and voice calls in local languages.
Model — B2B/ Donor funding; Channels — SMS, web, mobile app; Follow them on Twitter
Omomi helps parents keep their children healthy by enabling them easily monitor their children’s health. Parents can track their child’s immunization status, manage diarrhea at home with an interactive do-it-yourself platform and get access to doctors as well as other parents. It also provides a fun and very educating quiz which gives parents simple health education knowledge.
Model — B2C/ B2B/ Donor funding; Channels — web, android, SMS
Find-a-med helps users find the closest health and medical centers around them with turn-by-turn directions to the centers using an Android app. Find-A-Med uses your location either via the web or mobile to find the nearest hospital, clinic, pharmacy, dental care, eye care, therapy, laboratory, etc.
Model — B2B; Channels — Android. Follow them on Twitter
Kangpe is an interactive platform which encourages users to ask real doctors their health questions and get answers in less than 10 minutes. It also has “Find a Doctor” and “Book Appointment” features, as well as health tips and featured questions.
Model — B2C/ B2B; Channels — android, web; Follow them on Twitter
Mobidoc is a simple, mobile health consultation application for everyone. It is currently in pre-launch stage.
Model — B2C/ B2B; Channels — Mobile.
Category 2 — Startups targeting doctors/clinics/ hospitals
Meditell enables hospitals assist their patients in taking their drugs through reminder alerts. The patient receives the exact time to take their medications via an automated voice call and a text message that is sent to his or her phone. The company was incubated at LeadPath Nigeria. *Meditell’s website is currently down.
Model — B2B; Channels — Web, SMS, Voice. Follow them on Twitter
Medismarts Inc. develops and sells compelling, integrated healthcare software that uses advanced technologies to improve medical practice productivity for health insurance companies and hospitals. *Medismarts received funding from Sasware.
Model — B2B; Channels — Web
Apmis is a means to capture, store, exchange and utilize healthcare data or information easily, transparently, and securely in an affordable cost effective manner using information technology – a service that is generally referred to as “Hospital Information Management Systems”, adapted to the Nigerian context.
Model — B2B; Channels — web
Medenhanz is an accessible and affordable web-based and mobile application for point of care clinical reference and continuing medical education. The platform provides online continuous professional development (CPD), standard treatment guidelines, and a clinical reference database.
Model — B2B; Channels — web, mobile app. Follow them on Twitter
Dokilink is a professional social network for doctors. It provides an avenue to connect with classmates and colleagues, engage in conversations and earn rewards and influence corporate decision-makers by sharing insights.
Model — B2B; Channels — Web. Follow them on Twitter
- Medical device as a service (MDAAS)
MDAAS provides hospitals with a range of medical device acquisition options and offers world-class service support with each device.
Follow them on Twitter
Category 3 — Startups targeting Pharmaceuticals
Drugstoc helps licensed pharmacies, hospitals, and medical professionals order pharmaceutical products directly from officially accredited distributors. Drugstoc is powered by Integrahealth.
Model — B2B; Channels — Web
Medrep is a tool to help pharmaceutical sales representatives and pharmaceutical companies manage their sales teams.
Follow them on Facebook
- Wella Health
Wella Health helps community pharmacies to keep dispensing records and use automated SMS messages to promote drug adherence and patient loyalty.
Model — B2B; Channels — web, android app, SMS. Follow them on Twitter
Gen-rx is a pharmacy inventory application. The app is designed to detect drugs close to expiration date among drug stock, detect potential drug overdose before drug is dispensed to patients, and detect wrong drug combinations.
Model — B2B; Channels — Web
Category 4 — Startups that don’t fit in above
Healththink is a big data analytics platform for Nigerian health data. It is currently in pre-launch stage
LifeBank is a platform that makes blood available when and where it is needed in Nigeria to save lives. The company mobilizes blood donations, takes inventory of all blood available in the country, and delivers blood to where it is needed.
Model — B2B; Channels — Mobile app; Follow them on Twitter
Redbank is a service that helps hospitals and patients quickly and easily search and find safe blood in real time via SMS.
Model — B2B; Channels — SMS, android app; Follow them on Twitter
Ubenwa is a platform application which analyses the frequency patterns in the cry of a new born baby in order to quickly diagnose birth asphyxia.
Model — B2B; Channels — mobile app
- Numa Health
Numa gives access to reliable high quality health information to help patients make the right healthcare decisions. The platform is in pre-launch stage.
Follow them on Twitter
Inspiration for putting this list together is from the guys at Nigeria Health Watch who are putting together the 2016 health tech conference. I wrote about the conference here. I hope all startups and techies interested in health make it to the conference on Sept. 22.
Further inspiration for this is from Steve Blank who advocates a collaborative learning process to aid founders in non-silicon valley ecosystems succeed: “Keep asking questions, and try to rough it into a framework…”
Please feel free to suggest additional health tech startups in the comment section.