Telehealth in Africa could boom thanks to more mobile connectivity and better innovations to bridge the gap between doctors and patients, according to a report.
MPharmaa Ghanaian startup, is looking to open 100 virtual centers in seven African markets over the next six months.
The report states that mPharma’s ultimate goal is to “provide quality primary care” and that the company wants to offer more medical tests.
Founder and CEO Gregory Rockson said the company already offers 10,000 medical consultations to patients in the startup’s network.
The new system, he said, would reach more people and operate more efficiently.
Rockson said the idea of the expansion is to reach more people who don’t currently have the right level of access to care.
“We saw this as an opportunity to transform our pharmacies into virtual medical practices so that patients could be examined remotely during a virtual consultation. This is what makes mPharma telemedicine unique,” Rockson said, according to TechCrunch.
MPharma was initially founded to manage prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and suppliers. It also manages retail pharmacy operations and provides market information to hospitals, pharmacies and patients. And the company benefits from the pharmaceutical experience of former members of CVS and Novartis.
The company says it plans to use its network to create a “digital primary care service” that will offer all-in-one diagnostic services with digital “stethoscope, otoscope, thermometer and examination camera” as well as integrated lighting for high brightness. definition images of the skin and throat, as well as rapid diagnostic tests.
Separately, Google plans to invest $1 billion in the country over the next five years to boost internet connectivity and help businesses get more financial support. The tech giant presented its Africa Investment Fund, which will give startups access to its employees and technology at the Google for Africa event.
Google is also partnering with Kiva, a nonprofit, to offer $10 million in low-interest loans to small businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
This comes as 57 percent of Africa’s population does not have a traditional bank account. But many of the continent’s 100 million people are digitally connected and want to do more through digital innovation.