These three Nigerian entrepreneurs are transforming Africa’s healthcare system

Mohammed Awal May 14, 2020 at 03:00pm

May 14, 2020 at 03:00 pm | Tech & Innovation

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

May 14, 2020 at 03:00 pm | Tech & Innovation

Helium Health Team from left to right: CEO Adegoke Olubusi (left), Head of Growth Tito Ovia (middle), and COO Dimeji Sofowora (right) ADEGOKE OLUBUSI. Credit: Forbes

Nigerian entrepreneurs – Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia, and Dimeji Sofowora – are co-founders of Helium Health, a healthcare technology building critical infrastructure to transform and strengthen Africa’s health system.

Launched in 2016, Helium Health is inspired by a vision of a connected healthcare ecosystem across Africa that simplifies health access, making it easy for patients to get the care they need when they need it.

The company co-founded by the three 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees, recently secured $10 million in investment from a Series A funding round co-led by Global Ventures, a Dubai-based venture capital fund, and Africa Healthcare Masterfund, a fund managed by the Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC), TechCabal reported.

Other participants were Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, HOF Capital, Y Combinator, VentureSouq, Chrysalis Capital, Kairos Angels, and Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, Forbes reported.

Helium Health is set to begin offering loans to hospitals across Africa after securing the $10 million in investment via CareCredit, a digital loan product for healthcare providers. Integrated into the HMIS product, CareCredit can understand the revenue and expenses of each hospital on the system.

“[CareCredit] is able to create a credit score for providers and use a machine-learning algorithm to figure out how much of a loan they are able to handle,” Olubusi, who serves as the company’s CEO told TechCabal.

Forbes also reported him saying the acquisition of the investment gives the company “more firepower to be able to expand the reach of our product way beyond Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia where we are now.”

“When we think about the extent of the challenges and problems that we can solve in the healthcare sector in Africa, there could be a million ways in which this can help us grow.”

The company’s flagship product Electronic Medical Records/Hospital Management Information System, enables healthcare providers to utilize telemedicine and receive additional financing, as well as, allow patients take control of their care, and other partners receive unprecedented epidemiological insights and real-world evidence, all resulting in a significantly better quality of care.

The product is currently used by over 300 hospitals and serves 165,000 patients per month. Not long ago the company expanded into Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.

Helium Health, according to Olubusi, a Johns Hopkins graduate and an eBay and Goldman Sachs alum, aims 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. 

“Imagine if a hospital sees a 1000 people a day,” Olubusi told Forbes. “How do you count a 1000 people every day with specific issues they need taken care of when you’re doing everything on paper?” 

In a July 2019 interview, Olubusi gave insight into how the company was birthed in partnership with his friends. “It’s not that hard when you have co-founders who are genuine friends,” he said.

“Some people hesitate to do business with friends but you spend so much time together, if you are not friends then that just sounds even harder. You are constantly communicating, trading emails and texts, and making calls. The least you can be is friends.”

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