The COVID-19 pandemic ensured that health and wellness never leaves the focus of our collective conscience. To say that the pandemic has forever altered our perception of well-being would be putting it mildly.
And the numbers are there to prove it: the Digital Health market in Africa is projected to grow by 15.42% between 2023 and 2027, resulting in a market volume of $10.42 billion in 2027.
As our technological toolkit expands, the healthcare industry is accommodating more of it in the way it delivers care to patients. Be it through apps, or wearables or a remote companion – the solutions are developing, and fast.
Prior to 2020, you’d have to physically visit a hospital to receive medical treatments, but things are changing fast. The new generation of health startups enable patients to speak to a doctor, carry out medical tests and order for their medical aid from the comfort of their homes.
These innovative ventures are transforming the way medical services are delivered, particularly in remote and underserved areas. By utilising telecommunications and digital platforms, Africa's new telemedicine companies are bridging the gap between healthcare providers and patients, improving access, affordability, and efficiency of medical care across the continent.
Some of the startups driving telemedicine services in Africa include DabaDoc, Waspito, Tibu Health, Rocket Health, Clafiya, Zuri Health, Quro Medical, Carepoint, Otida and Contro.
DabaDoc allows you to find the doctor or dentist that suits you, and to make an appointment directly online. The health startup gathers reliable information on practitioners around you and saves you from spending hours on the phone to find the one who can see you!
Founded in 2014, DabaDoc's mission is to simplify the process of finding doctors, guarantee a better appointment booking experience and allow doctors to better manage their appointments.
Waspito is a Cameroonian healthtech startup that connects users with medical doctors via instant video consultations from their smartphones.
The startup also provides mobile laboratory services, with a lab technician collecting samples from a user’s home and results received digitally. Founded by Jean Lobe Lobe in 2020, Waspito has raised $2.7M in funding.
Tibu Health is a Kenyan healthtech company that delivers health services where people live, work and click. The startup adopts the latest, most advanced technologies in health and logistics to provide patients with a convenient and coordinated end-to-end healthcare experience.
Through its website, mobile app, SMS, or email, prospective patients can book various services like home consultations, lab work at home, COVID-19 tests, and special services. Tibu Health which recently raised an undisclosed Series A funding was founded by Peter Gicharu and Jason Carmichael in 2020.
Rocket Health offers telemedicine healthcare services such as doctor consultations, laboratory sample pickups, and medicine delivery. The Ugandan startup was launched in 2012 and has raised a total of $6.2M in funding.
Rocket Health was founded by Davis Musinguzi co-founded Rocket Health with John Mark Bwanika (COO), Fiona Nuwamanya (CFO), Hope Achiro (Chief pharmacist) and William Lubega (Chief medical officer).
Clafiya is a digital healthcare community that improves the way people receive primary healthcare, by bringing the care to them, wherever they are. The Nigerian health startup combines telemedicine and in-person visits to provide fast and affordable on-demand primary care services in Africa.
The startup, founded in 2021 by Jennie Nwokoye, operates in Lagos and Enugu, Nigeria.
Zuri Health is a telemedicine company that uses apps, websites, and SMS services to provide affordable and accessible healthcare solutions. Through the app, patients can chat and consult with doctors, buy medication from a pharmacy, book labs and diagnostic tests and have a doctor visit them at home.
Launched in 2020, the startup was founded by Ikechukwu Arthur Anoke and Daisy Isiaho. Zuri Health operates in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Uganda.
Quro Medical is a digital health company offering Africa’s first tech-driven Hospital at Home, using health technology to analyse real-time data to monitor patient health. The Johannesburg-based healthcare startup uses technology to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. Quro Medical was founded in 2018 by Dr. Vuyane Mhlomi and Zikho Pali.
CarePoint is a technology-driven healthcare startup, that is setting up telemedicine centers in their facilities and building “micro-tech-enabled-clinics” which targets the masses. Carepoint, formerly known as African Health Holdings, was founded by Sangu Delle in 2017.
The startup’s MyCareMobile app provides patients with access to a wide-range of services through teleconferencing, including consultations with their doctors. Other services include access to test results, and 24-hour emergency response.
Otida is a healthtech startup that acts as a nutritionist, a fitness coach and physician, among other roles, for patients with diabetes. It helps diabetic patients to reverse Type II and sustainably manage Type I through digital therapeutics, wearables and continuous remote monitoring.
The Cairo based startup was founded in 2021 by Ahmed Tawfic Saleh. The startup has raised a total of $400,000 in funding.
South African startup Contro, is an online prescription and delivery service for sexual health and confidence products such as birth control and erectile dysfunction treatment.
On the platform, you can get digital doctor consultations and get your medical aid delivered to you at an affordable rate. The startup was launched by Alex Schmid. Contro recently raised $584,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round.
Healthtracka is a digital health platform that allows users direct access to lab tests bookings, at-home sample collection and digital results in 1–3 days.
On Healthtracka, users can speak to doctors, book lab tests online, have their samples collected at home and get their results via email. The Techstars backed startup was founded by Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson in May 2021. Healthtracka has raised $1.7M in funding since launch
Telemedicine services have the potential to bridge healthcare gaps, enhance access to quality care, and promote patient-centred healthcare models in Africa, ultimately contributing to a healthier and more equitable society.
Editor's note: The startups selected were health-tech companies that allowed users to speak to a doctor, run tests based on the doctor's diagnosis, and help the user to order drugs from the comfort of their homes.