The rise of numerous healthtech startup, is helping to curb Africa’s fragmented healthcare ecosystem. Over the years, challenges in this space have included a poorly structured pharmaceutical supply chain, a lack of a variety of medical services and a shortage of ways to access it.
A Disrupt Africa’s report shows that the number of startups engaged in the health-tech field on the continent has increased by 56.5% in the last three years, with 180 initiatives currently in operations.
More on the African Healthtech MediSpark
Medispark, describes itself as “Truepill for Africa”. The Nigerian startup is creating an ecosystem of application processing units and software as a service solution to synchronise data across Africa’s fragmented healthcare systems.
“We started working on MediSpark in 2017 after we both worked in a hospital together and witnessed the challenges ourselves”, Nwokoro said. “We released a rough MVP in 2018 and started selling. But we only went full-time in January this year when we decided we had understood the market well enough, and were ready to build a second version of our product and raise money”.
Initially, MediSpark provided software to hospitals, labs, and other healthcare facilities to manage operations and retain digital records. Nwokoro said this was so because the APIs needed to be connected to the network.
“Our APIs will eliminate manual work by connecting hospitals to health insurers for automatic claims submission and settlement, researchers and governments for data extraction and payments, financiers for assessing their eligibility and issuing loans, and any mobile app willing to give patients visibility of their personal health records”, he said.
The startup makes money in three ways, which are subscription fees for SaaS, transactional revenues, and data-as-a product. According to Nwokoro it is rapidly expanding.
“We’ve had a 400 per cent jump in revenue between 2020 and 2021. And growing revenues over 15 per cent month-on-month. With the lean approach we took to building the business, we’ve been profitable from the start”, he said.
It has been challenging to break into the market and scale since medical practitioners in Africa have a steep learning curve to adopt digital working practices.
“However, once they start to use the product, the benefits are clear and we begin to see further adoption of more products in our suite”, he said.