The healthcare system in Nigeria is presently in a mess. The most populous black nation on Earth has about 24,000 hospitals as of 2018 and a doctor-patient ratio of about 1-5000, which is one of the lowest in the world.
The World Health Organisation’s recommendation is 1-1000. Perhaps the bigger problem is the budgetary allocation to the health sector, which has been on the decline for years, making it extremely difficult for Nigerian hospitals and other healthcare facilities to raise the standard of their offerings.
Amidst this chaos, Adegoke Olubusi, an American-trained engineer, alongside three of his friends, set up Helium Health to help bring sanity to the system.
The company works with a wide network of hospitals in Nigeria and other African countries to digitalise medical procedures to enhance the healthcare delivery process.
How Helium Health Was Started
Adegoke, co-founder and CEO of Helium Health, first got the idea to start the company when he visited a health facility in Nigeria and discovered how they worked manually. He was alarmed at how disorganised the system was and how the lack of efficiency in data management undermined service delivery to patients.
Adegoke said he found “chaos” in their record-keeping, complicating everything from patient data and billing to inventory. “It’s all on paper—it’s messy, inefficient, and there’s no way to analyze the data,” he says.
Moved by the situation, the John Hopkins graduate launched a startup to address the problem. The company was first called OneMedical, but in 2017, it was rebranded to Helium Health to keep pace with its growth objectives.
In launching the company, Adegoke and his team knew they couldn’t just transplant the system in America down to Nigeria because of the peculiarities of both environments.
“We thought, ‘How can we make something simple and easy to adopt for hospitals to operate more efficiently? Eventually, that turned into an actual idea for a business, and a concept that a lot of people loved,” he stated.
What is Helium Heath
Helium Health is a holistic hospital management software platform that helps healthcare institutions in Africa digitise their operations and patient records. Because of the services offered by Helium, hundreds of hospitals have embraced digitalisation in their record-keeping procedure, which has made them more efficient in service delivery.
Over the years, the company has expanded its offerings to include tech solutions and developer resources for administration, medical records and financial management. Helium Health also has digital payment and credit products for hospitals and insurance providers.
The company prides itself as the top healthcare technology provider in West Africa, facilitating hundreds of thousands of encounters each month across the region.
Expansion into African markets
In 2020, the company announced that it had received $10 million in Series A funding. That was a major turning point for Helium Health. The additional finance allowed the company to pursue an aggressive growth plan in other African markets.
In one of his interviews, Adegoke explained that his company tries to solve the three core ways in which the healthcare system in Africa is dysfunctional: inefficiency due to manual processes, fragmentation, and lack of data. In that case, the company’s opportunity for growth is massive and limitless.
Acquisition of Qatar’s Mendy
In 2021, following a string of successes, Helium Health made a giant leap in its growth trajectory after it acquired ‘Meddy,’ a Qatar-headquartered and UAE-based doctor booking platform, for an undisclosed amount. This enabled the company to expand its operational footprint to the Middle East radically. This has allowed Helium to serve more than 500 health facilities across Africa and the Middle East.
Adegoke as a tech disrupter
Adegoke has been described as someone with a knack for solving complex problems. Before creating Helium, he founded one of Africa’s largest social platforms and productivity suites with over 30 million users.
Aside from his job at Helium, he is also the Managing Partner at Magic Fund, a US-based venture capital firm that has supported more than 50 startups. Some of the beneficiaries include Akido Labs, Apero Health, Medumo and others.
In 2019, Adegoke was listed as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree. He is also a Future Africa Awards Honoree and a recipient of several notable global awards from Chevron, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, the State of Maryland, the Nigerian President and more.
Egypt is the third largest economy in Africa, only behind Nigeria and South Africa. But it…