E-health startups are proving quite useful in helping the people of Africa have greater access to healthcare. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a tech entrepreneur has developed a customized solution for his fellow citizens.

Congo Medika is an e-health solution developed by a Congolese startup. The platform’s users can book appointments with physicians for visits at home or their workplace. They can also have drugs delivered, and get health advice. Founded in 2021, by Emmanuel Epenge, the startup is based in Kinshasa.

Creating an account is compulsory to access the platform’s services. Details required include an email address and a username. Depending on a given user’s health issues and whether they want to book an appointment, the procedure is easy to follow. Personal information, the date and time of the appointment must be filled in for booking.

After sending the request, the user will be contacted and given details about the booked appointment. In addition to this service, the e-health platform also has an online pharmacy. It's possible to purchase various drugs and have them delivered to your home. Congo Medika provides information on all the medications sold in its online pharmacy.

The health advice service includes a blog and video sections. Health-related articles are posted on the blog and the videos offer the same kind of content, only in short formats for easier understanding. 

Congo Medika also has a messaging feature that allows users to chat with physicians. The platform is available on Android. The startup behind the solution works with over 120 health professionals.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

Earlier this year, the Republic of Congo launched a project to speed up its digital transformation. In support of the move, the country’s partners have launched the "Mangwele" application designed to enhance the health information system.

On Wednesday, July 5, Congolese and Japanese authorities launched the "Mangwele" application, an SMS-based vaccination reminder system, at the Tenrikyo Integrated Health Center in Makélékélé.

The new system aims, among other things, to remind parents, particularly mothers, of their children's vaccination appointments according to the schedule of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

"Through this project, health personnel will be able to follow the status of birth registrations and track each child's vaccinations by recording this information in a national database. This system will allow for individualized monitoring and ensure that all children receive all the necessary vaccines, even if they move regions," explained Satoko Morito, the First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Congo, representing the ambassador.

Mangwele’s launch is part of the UNICEF’s Digital Health System Support Project which fights infectious diseases in Africa. Japan spent $3.3 million on the launch.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin are the two other beneficiary countries of Japan's financing for the implementation of the digital introduction project for the fight against infectious diseases in Africa.

In the long run, the project will help improve vaccination rates across the continent but also make it easier to analyze and use real-time data, thus enabling better estimation of actual vaccination rates, including routine and COVID-19 vaccination.

Samira Njoya

Published in Tech

During his final year of medical school, Imad Chakri came up with the idea of creating a mobile application. It aims to assist doctors and healthcare professionals in their daily work.

PocketDoc is a digital solution developed by a Moroccan startup. It allows users, specifically doctors, to access relevant and practical information to enhance patient care. Dr. Imad Chakri (see photo) founded the startup, based in Casablanca, in 2018.

 "Despite memorizing medical information for the past 7 years, I constantly forget important details, whether it's a prescription or a diagnosis when working in the hospital emergency department or a healthcare center. There was no solution, so I had to repeatedly excuse myself from patients to search on Google or call a colleague, or treat the patient's symptoms rather than the underlying cause of their illness," Imad Chakri stated.

The solution offers a mobile application available on iOS, Android, and Huawei's AppGallery. Once they download the application, users can register and gain access to various features. These include a list of over 300 conditions in 23 medical specialties, a medical semiotics dictionary, a selection of ready-to-use medical certificates, and a platform to discuss with doctors and healthcare professionals.

The startup generates revenue through subscriptions from doctors and healthcare professionals, as well as advertising from sponsors. According to Play Store data, its Android version has already been downloaded over 50,000 times.

PocketDoc wants to expand outside its local market. "After launching the application, we noticed significant traffic coming from other countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Guinea, Cameroon, and France. [...] Our goal is to be present in all French-speaking countries," Imad Chakri explained.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In recent years, healthtech startups have revolutionized the way Africans access healthcare.  They are democratizing access to care by offering tailor-made services, and boosting tech adoption while at the same time keeping populations healthy. 

HealthTag is a healthtech solution developed by Egyptian startup Bypa-ss. It enables access to digitized medical records via a mobile app and a QR-code-embedded card. Bypa-ss was founded in 2019 by Andrew Saad. Since its launch, it has raised $1.15 million to, among other things, develop its technology and support its growth in the country.

“HealthTag (a mobile app and a physical card) aggregates and gives patients ownership of their health records, while giving doctors and healthcare providers visibility on the patient’s full history allowing people-centric digital health information exchange as 1st of its kind in Egypt and north Africa,” the startup wrote in a statement.  

The HealthTag mobile app is accessible on iOS and Android. Through it, users can register for their accounts and provide their health details to allow quick access in case of emergency.  Thanks to HealthTag, patients can also pay for their medical services online, receive prescriptions and laboratory analyses, and benefit from a 70% discount with healthcare providers in Egypt when doing out-of-pocket payments.

To take advantage of these various services, a subscription is required. While the free package allows users to digitize their medical history and health record, individual packages of 100 Egyptian pounds (approx. $3.24) and 150 Egyptian pounds give several other benefits. The start-up also offers family packages at 250 Egyptian pounds and 350 Egyptian pounds for 5 people.

HealthTag has over 3,000 laboratories, pharmacies, and scanning centers in its medical network. It claims more than 250,000 subscribers, and its Android app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, according to PlayStore data.  

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The solution was developed by a Cameroonian doctor to offer a customized solution tailored to local realities for affordable access to home healthcare.

Clinic Home is an e-health solution developed by E-santé Cameroun. It enables users to book appointments for home or remote consultations with doctors, general practitioners, or specialists. It also offers home laboratory and online pharmacy services. 

Based in Douala, E-santé Cameroun was founded in 2021 by Philippe Ohandja, a trained doctor. Its solution aims to smooth the care pathway.  For that purpose, it developed a mobile app -available for Android and iOS users- through which users can register and start booking services. To book the services of a practitioner, they just have to fill a form informing of the type of practitioner they need, when and the type of service they need as well as their conditions. 

"Few minutes after payment is made, a teleoperator will call [the user] and forward the call to a doctor who will make an over-the-phone assessment before going to the patient’s home. After the consultation, if necessary, the doctor will ask a nurse to go to the patient for further tests or nursing care,” Philippe Ohandja told We Are Tech Africa at Gitex Africa (May 31-June 2) in Morocco. 

If needed, the patient can also buy drugs and directly request for tests right from the mobile app. 

A consultation with a general practitioner affiliated with Clinic Home costs CFAF10,000 (around $16.41). The fee rises to CFAF15,000 for consultations at night time or at weekends.  Consultations with specialists cost CFAF15,000 at daytime and CFAF20,000 for night and weekend consultations. Teleconsultation, on the other hand, costs CFAF3,000.

The start-up claims around 25,000 users. In 2022, it joined an acceleration program in the Sahel through I&P (investors and partners). Although it has not yet completed a financing round, E-santé Cameroun plans to expand outside Cameroon, starting with Côte d’Ivoire. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The solution is the result of one of its co-founders’ experiences. Indeed, when her grandmother got serious burns and was to be hospitalized, there was no one to assist her at the hospital since her parents also had chronic diseases. That is how she decided to create a solution to avoid such pain for others. 

Mbombo Home Care is an e-health solution developed by a Cameroonian start-up, founded in 2019. It allows elderly and dependent persons to get home healthcare services. 

"Mbombo Home Care assists elderly and dependent people in Cameroon every day. We have a personalized approach to home care and choose the best options to meet your expectations," it says on its web platform.

Currently, it has no mobile app. So, users need to visit its web platform to book its services. Once they click on the “Book an appointment” option on the web platform, users are redirected to a Whatsapp account where they can discuss their needs.  

Among other things, Mbombo Home Care offers geriatric and general consultations, nursing and life support services, physical therapy, and even daycare services. The healthtech also rents or sells wheelchairs, anti-scarring mattresses, canes, walkers, and crutches.

In 2021, it had a team of about twenty people, of which 90% were women. They included doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. Despite the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on its activities, it has continued to grow. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

He founded KondjiGbale to help doctors fulfill their lifesaving tasks.  The startup has been celebrated in Togo and beyond and won him several awards. 

Yvon Koudam (pictured) is a Togolese entrepreneur and co-founder/CEO of KondjiGbale, a start-up that aims to facilitate access to healthcare.  

His startup, founded in 2019, develops medical technology solutions to simplify the daily management and monitoring of people's health. Through its platform, doctors can access patients’ medical records. Patients can also access teleconsultation services every day from 6 am (Togo time) to midnight and order medication by sending their prescriptions. It also lists on-call pharmacies and gives users the possibility to set medication schedules.

KondjiGbale is accessible, in local languages, via many channels including a mobile and web app, a USSD code, a call center, and SMS.  It is partnered with three health centers and over 34 health professionals. To date, it has some 5,165 patients and over 500 consultations booked.  

In March 2023, Yvon Koudam represented his country at the Brazzaville International Youth Leadership Forum (BILYF). He shared his knowledge and experience on the panel: "Sustainable Development and Digital Economy".

Between 2016 and 2022, the entrepreneur worked as a programmer analyst in the start-up Clin Sarl U in Togo. In that position, he supported the design, programming, and development of applications for clients and companies such as TMoney and AgriStore. In December 2021, he was a guest speaker at the Emerging Valley Summit. Since December 2022, he is the Delegate of the Youth Innovation Week in Togo.

Through his startup, he has won several competitions, including the Pitch Your Startup Idea organized by Enginnova, the French Embassy in Togo, and the Togo Innovation Challenge of the Ministry of Grassroots Development in 2019. A finalist in the Hacking Covid-19 Africa competition initiated by HEC Paris in 2020, he was also among the 10 finalists of the fifth edition of the RFI App Challenge.

Melchior Koba

Published in TECH STARS

Healthtech solutions proved useful during the coronavirus pandemic by addressing healthcare accessibility concerns, which has led to increased popularity and encouraged more entrepreneurs to enter the sector.

Estshara is a digital solution developed by an Egyptian startup. Through its web platform and mobile application, it allows users access to health services. 

Users need to create an account on the web platform or the Android/iOS apps to access the services offered by the solution. Depending on their symptoms, they can consult with a general practitioner or a specialist. To aid the diagnostic process, users can attach the results of their various tests. They can also communicate with the doctors via text or audio messages.

Estshara offers various packages to users. Its first package is for single consultations, which costs EGP50 (about $1.62). It also has monthly (EGP100) and yearly (EGP1,000) packages. The startup also offers alternative employee health insurance policies to small businesses and startups.

In 2021, it was claiming more than 200,000 consultations. The Android version of its mobile application has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. It dreams of becoming a reference in Egypt and the MENA region. For that purpose, in 2021, it raised about $500,000 in seed funding.

At the time, founder Amin El-Hemaily said: “The investment will help us scale our organization with exceptional talent and enhanced resources, as well as further increase our marketing and sales outreach to support our focused go-to-market strategy and achieve our expansion goals.” 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The solution was launched in Guinea under the brand name Evatis. However, its founder chose to continue the project to ease access to healthcare in his country, Djibouti.  

Medyc is an e-health solution developed by a Djiboutian start-up. Thanks to integrated videoconferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meet, it allows access to healthcare for its users. It also offers specific services to companies and institutions. 

The solution has no mobile applications yet, so users can access its services only by visiting its web platform. New patients have to register first before accessing those services. To book a service, individual users only have to log in -if they already have an account- and click on the “book an appointment” button in the upper right corner, select the service, the date, and the time. The services they can access range from teleconsultation to home care and medicine delivery. 

Companies and institutions can access consulting services that support the development of personalized wellness programs for their employees. The healthtech solution also helps them digitize existing physical health records and even trains their teams on how to access those digital records.  Medyc also enables hotel guests to receive medical consultations, care, and drugs during their stay.

According to the founder, Moubarik Mahamoud, about 30 patients are currently using Medyc's services. He says the Healthech solution, founded in 2019, is still in its pre-launch phase and collecting feedback to improve its services. It is also carrying out actions to allow easy access to its services for people without access to the internet.  “Internet penetration has improved significantly thanks to pricing efforts. We are discussing with our telecom operator to make the platform data-free with our incubation center, CLE, which is leading the negotiations,” Moubarik Mahamoud told We Are Tech Africa.

Since its inception, the solution has completed a €107,000 funding round to support its growth. Apart from Djibouti, it is currently targeting the Ethiopian and Somalian markets since they are closer to its prime market and the demand for quality health services is growing in the regions. Another factor that motivated his choice for Ethiopia and Somalia to be the next stage in Medyc’s growth is the constant improvement of telecom infrastructures in those markets. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The healthtech startup behind the solution was launched after a discussion, between its co-founders, on the lack of affordable healthcare in their country (South Africa). After that discussion, they decided to mobilize qualified healthcare professionals to find a solution to that challenge.   

NOOSi is a healthtech solution developed by a South African start-up. It connects -virtually or in person- nurses to people who need home health care. The Cape Town-based healthtech was founded in 2021 by Sumarie Roodt and Catherine Williams to create a community where healthcare is accessible to all.

“NOOSi was started because we wanted to revitalize the South African healthcare system. We believe that this can be done by using a “tech4good” approach in a way that gives hardworking nurses new and better job opportunities and gives patients a way to get affordable and accessible healthcare,”  explained Sumarie Roodt.

To access its services, users need to set up their NOOSI accounts through the solution’s web platform. The startup has a skilled workforce to perform every task, from chronic disease management care to mental and psychiatric care. The platform embeds a search bar where one has to fill in information such as the address of the potential patient, the services he/she needs, and the category of the service.

NOOSi always suggests the best nurse for every task since each of them is specialized in a particular area. When users select the nurse they want, they can contact them directly on Whatsapp to book their services. The rates applied depend on the services requested.  Currently, the healthtech solution is only available in the Western Cape. The startup is typing to expand to other provinces before a possible international expansion.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions
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