Gerocare is a health tech startup that provides subscription-based medical services to elderly people across Nigeria, enabling them to seek routine medical treatment.
Founded in 2017 by Ebi Ofrey, Ajibola Meraiyebu and Bruce Lucas, the startup advocates preventive healthcare for the elderly rather than waiting until something goes wrong. Using a model focused on subscriptions, Gerocare is able to give physicians personalised appointments to provide medical care. Using its website or mobile app, users can register and select a subscription plan for their older relatives. Once a subscription is placed, Gerocare provides for the subscribed, a regular personal health monitoring visit.
Business Elites Africa had a talk with the Co-founder and CEO, Dr. Ebi Ofrey.
Q: Tell us more about GeroCare?
A: The vast majority of elderly citizens (65 years or older) in Nigeria, and many other African countries, battle severely with deteriorating health across many different ailments. In most of these cases, neither the state, their adult children nor extended families are able to manage this situation adequately. GeroCare is solving the absence of a structure for medical care for the elderly and improving on the current average life expectancy in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
GeroCare leverages technology and traditional African family values of adult children caring for their parents to provide a structure for medical care for the elderly. The company makes it easy for Africans within and outside their home countries to subscribe to regular doctor home visits for their parents. Individuals are able to register the patient’s details and make payments through the GeroCare application.
Patients are immediately matched with a doctor who is in close proximity and monthly medical visits begin. The family is updated with regular information as to the health status of the patient. In addition, the family can pay for any required tests and drugs via the app for direct delivery. GeroCare has created a cloud-based service in which all those providing health services do not need to be located in one building but can participate remotely from wherever they are through their mobile application linked to that of the primary care provider who interfaces with the patient. A system that is easily scalable and replicable across cities and across countries. Hospitals without buildings where just by interaction with your doctor at home every other thing you need can be delivered to your home.
Q: What path led to where GeroCare is right now?
A: A few years ago in the space of one year, my father had two strokes. Living a distance away from Port Harcourt made my immediate participation in his care difficult. I probably would have helped to prevent its occurrence. Subsequently, my mother called me to tell me her blood sugar and blood pressure was extremely high.
What she said next jolted me to a reality I had not previously been faced with. She said I had neglected them. Initially, I thought this could not be possible but after a close analysis of my life, I realized that while focused on my career, business and family I had subconsciously neglected this special group of people.
It also occurred to me that this problem was not peculiar to me but to millions out there who live and work far away from where their parents are and the only time they hear anything is when something goes tragically wrong. The simple question is, is there a way whereby no matter where we are in the world we can ensure our parents’ healthcare needs are met while constantly reminding them that we care? This led to the founding of GeroCare to solve this problem for ourselves our parents and the millions out there experiencing the same thing.
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