Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world. According to the U.S Census Bureau Current Population (June 2020), Nigeria is rated the 6th most populous country in the world with an estimated number of 214,028,302 people.
This high-density population is a strong indicator that the demand for healthcare services is high and health care service should be regarded as one of the most prioritized sectors of the country.
Unfortunately, the Nigerian health care sector is in such a terrible condition that is better left imagined than experienced.
Healthcare statistics have rated Nigeria as substandard and having one of the highest mortality rates in the world. Little wonder government officials and the wealthy patronise foreign hospitals as better alternatives whenever they need medical attention as the Nigerian hospitals.
The Global Health Workforce Alliance attributes the following challenges as some of the factors for the poor health services in Nigeria:
- Lack of planning based on staffing projection needs resulting in an overproduction of some categories of health workers and a lack of others
- Inadequate distribution of health workers, health care centres, and health care facilities.
- Poor work environments that contribute to low motivation, less-than-optimal productivity, high attrition – especially from rural areas commercial pressures in the private sector that lead to poor quality work
However, the advent and growth of digital technology in the various sectors of the economy has resulted in a paradigm shift in the health industry.
Healthcare Startups have begun to string up and with the achievements they have been able to amass in a short period of time, it is safe to say that the health sector in Nigeria is poised towards better days to come.
In this post, we shall be taking a look at some of these healthcare startups and their remarkable achievements in no particular order.
Kangpe: This is a mobile app whose unique features such as Find a Doctor, Book Appointment makes it easy for a mobile device user to interact with professional doctors anytime of the day via SMS, Mobile App or Web.
Response rate is less than 10 minutes and user also gets enlightened about health tips and featured questions
Hudibia: This mobile app is available on the Android Google Playstore and iOS and can be downloaded for free. The app is built in such a way that it can be accessed in not only English but as well as Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
The app enables the user to access medical experts of all specialities for swift success, quality healthcare and a personalised relationship between the patient and the doctor irrespective of location. Hudibia is a Nigerian health startup and the name is of Igbo origin which means “see a doctor”
Redbank: This is a fantastic platform that is centered around the provision of safe blood whenever it is needed. The platform is easy to access by either a patient or medical practitioner. All that is needed is to send an SMS stating valid information such as Blood Type, Number of pints and location.
They provide detailed information on the nearest blood banks that have the exact blood that you require. The platform can also be reached via phone call and get the necessary information about the blood type being requested.
Avon HMO: This is a Nigeria based health insurance company noted for its professional online health insurance plans to individuals, families, organisations and the government as well.
The services offered by this platform includes but not limited to laboratory and specialist investigations, physiotherapy, special consultation, ultrasound scans, drug prescriptions among others.
Flying Doctors Nigeria: Flying Doctors Nigeria (FDN) is an indigenous Air ambulance service founded by a female medical entrepreneur, Olamide Orekunrin.
It is basically a Medical Emergency Service whose operation covers medical logistics services, remote site medical solutions services, medical infrastructure development, medical training services, and air ambulances
JenRx: This is an online-based pharmacy inventory application designed to detect drugs close to expiration, drug overdose before dispensation to patients, and wrong drug combinations. It is simply an app that ensures that drugs are safe before being administered to patients.
The healthcare startup was organised in 2015 through a partnership between Nigeria’s Wennovation Hub, Informa and Disrupt Africa.
Mobidoc: Founded by two Nigerian medical entrepreneurs, Timi Aiyemo and Abiodun Okunola, this Abuja-based healthcare startup is a mobile technology platform that offers users the opportunity to receive medical consultation from professional medical practitioners 24/7.
Omomi: Coined from the Yoruba language which means ‘my child’. As the name suggests, this healthcare platform is a mobile based service that enables parents to monitor their children’s health easily and helps the parents make informed health decisions for their children and also understand their children’s health better.
Since inception, it has proved to have provided essential child care services in Nigeria.
Safer Mom: This is an essential mobile platform for pregnant and nursing mothers. It is a mobile technology that helps women monitor their pregnancy and keep track of their baby’s development. The app also enables mothers to have an interface interaction with healthcare providers on a real-time basis.
Heium Health: This is a health startup that provides integrated services that include medical billing, hospital management and insurance, digital medical record keeping etc.
Helium Health was created to overcome the challenges associated with paper-based healthcare documentation and provides a digitalised, electronic medical documentation which can easily be accessed by healthcare institutions.
It should be noted that healthcare startups available in Nigeria are not limited to the aforementioned list as there are several others that are in operation in the Nigerian health sector and many more continue to spring up thanks to the rise of innovative technology.
Although it can be said that the digitalised healthcare startups have proved valuable in the healthcare sector resulting in laudable health care developments and safety of lives, much still needs to be achieved in the Nigerian health sector for it to stand a chance with the rest of the developed world.