In emerging markets like Nigeria, a generation of technology-driven healthcare innovators is disrupting the local healthcare system by offering alternative ways to improve access while shifting focus from a hospital-centric treatment model.
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One such company, Famasi Africa, is taking a multi-pronged approach to healthcare by integrating a range of testing and telehealth services into its medication management platform.
Famasi service users can choose from a range of plans to meet their specific health needs, including wellness plans and plans for diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.
Patients not only get medication delivered to their doorstep, but also get free 24/7 access to online health teams specialized in their respective conditions. Famasi also offers discounted consultations and can also arrange home testing at the patient’s convenience through a partnership with Nigerian health technology platform Healthtracka.
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Leveraging its network of mobile phlebotomists, Healthtracka enables Nigerians to order infectious disease testing and other key health indicators without having to travel to a hospital or clinic. Instead, the tests are done in their own home, with the sample being delivered to a local lab for analysis, after which the results are emailed.
HealthTechs focus on payments
In addition to partnering with local pharmacies and testing companies like Healthtracka, Famasi focuses on helping Nigerians pay for their medicines in a way that is convenient for them. The company allows subscribers to buy medicines on credit to pay back at a later date or through an installment plan. The company’s CEO, Adeola Ayoola, told Nairametrics that Famasi will also try to schedule patients’ prescription refills to coincide with their personal financial cycles.
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From the beginning, Famasi Africa has used technology to create a more seamless experience for patients, from appointments to payments. But when Ayoola and her co-founder started, the company didn’t have a dedicated team of developers to build the Famasi website. Instead, as she explained in an interview, Famasi used Flutterwave’s online store builder to easily bring the business online.
Since then, Flutterwave has become a key partner for the startup, helping the company manage online payments and even making it easier for patients’ relatives living abroad to pay for medication in their preferred currency through a dedicated international payment system.
While Famasi takes on the challenge of helping patients get their prescriptions conveniently, another Nigerian startup, Crib MD, combines pharmacy services with primary healthcare.
A full-stack healthcare platform, Crib MD includes a telemedicine solution, home doctor visits, and online pharmacy service through one of its flexible insurance plans.
In a sign of the growing importance of digital-first companies in Nigeria’s healthcare sector, just one year after its founding, Crib MD acquired retail pharmaceutical company Charisland Pharmaceuticals, which offers fast drug delivery services across Nigeria.
Overall, collaboration between different stakeholders, including hospitals, pharmacies, technology companies and distribution services, is becoming increasingly important as Nigeria’s home health movement grows in importance.
Related: African healthcare startup CarePoint raises $10 million
As companies like Famasi, Healthtracka and Crib MD have all made public their intentions to enter new African markets and expand internationally, home health care seems to continue to shape Africa’s healthcare systems.
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