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Cape Town-based startup, iNNOHEALTH has announced an undisclosed seven-figure investment from a Hong Kong-based VC.
The investment will go to expanding the startup’s doctor-led app, MyPocketHealth, launching later this year for the national user base.
The healthtech disruptor aims to provide solutions for quality, affordable healthcare to everyone in Africa
The AI-enabled healthtech offering is set to position iNNOHEALTH at the forefront of digital healthcare in SA, easing the delivery of crucial primary healthcare services and products. Covid-19 has made virtual healthcare a necessity for patients globally and the startup has managed to leverage the current market boom.
iNNOHEALTH was founded in 2020 by medical doctors (MDs) Chad Marthinussen and Wade Palmer, and chartered accountant (CA) Abdul-Malick Salie. The healthtech disruptor aims to provide solutions for quality, affordable and equitable healthcare to everyone in Africa, to pioneer innovations that address healthcare inaccessibility and inequality and provide comfort and empowerment to users by increasing access through preventative care.
Enter MyPocketHealth – an AI-driven digital marketplace that delivers healthcare solutions to patients, regardless of their location or physical access to medical interventions. According to Marthinussen, the MyPocketHealth platform will reduce the need for in-person medical consultations, allowing patients to access the best, most affordable medical advice and care from their smartphones. “What we’ve seen is a 55% increase in out-of-pocket medical expenditure, when 40% of all forms of healthcare can be virtualised. Additionally, 78% of South Africans have missed appointments because of cost.”
Palmer, a practising medical doctor, said the increased burden on the public health system in the wake of the pandemic makes this app an essential healthcare management tool. “Our mission and vision as iNNOHEALTH is ‘doctors and technology,partners in care’. This platform is a full-service offering that provides users with access to low-cost medical care, and allows you to get your script, to have control of your medical records, your scans and blood results, creating a holistic experience,” he stated.
The business of healthtech
As medical providers across the world increasingly turn to digital delivery of consultations and services for connected patient care, investor demand for these types of medical technologies have increased. “MyPocketHealth offers an integrated, full-value chain that’s customer-patient-centric, and on a seamless platform,” added Salie, the financial head of the team, who has served on several listed and private boards in a financial capacity.
“As a company and as a team – funders are backing us as a collective. From a skillset and execution perspective – we have two medical professionals spearheading this tech and someone who can translate that into the financial commercial language. This execution is what’s driving investor interest,” he said.
Marthinussen commented that iNNOHEALTH’s commercial focus was another strong driver during the fundraising process. “The team set out to onboard its first commercial users before the final development process to ensure product-market fit and to ensure lean overheads,” he explained. “The opportunity to act is now. The current pandemic has demonstrated the relevance of mobile health and created an opening to revolutionise the healthcare delivery system. This revolution will be achieved by embedding digital healthcare into the existing ecosystem at scale.”
While there’s been growing interest in the startup’s healthcare offerings following their first-round funding success, the team said they’ve had to be discerning. “We’ve been engaging some larger local and international VCs who have shown interest in investing to facilitate scaling and expansion,” he explains. “We want to move SA away from telemedicine to virtual care,” concluded Palmer. “We want integration into the NHI and to become Africa’s biggest digital care provider of tech solutions, products and services.”
Featured images: (Left to right) iNNOHEALTH co-founders Chad Marthinussen, Abdul-Malick Salie and Wade Palmer (Supplied)