HealthDart harnesses tech to overhaul SA healthcare

The HealthDart platform is a game-changing technology set to redefine South African healthcare. Photo: Supplied
The HealthDart platform is a game-changing technology set to redefine South African healthcare. Photo: Supplied

HealthDart, a burgeoning South African start-up, has set its sights on transforming the national healthcare system through technology-based solutions.

Public healthcare inefficiencies are rife in the country, with long waiting lists and time-consuming clinic queues plaguing the system. The private sector, despite offering quicker services, isn’t immune from its own share of inefficiencies. This situation has set the stage for HealthDart, which aims to overhaul healthcare delivery using an array of technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The startup, which operates out of Johannesburg, has garnered considerable backing from early-stage investor Founders Factory Africa and has recently been included in the Google For Startups Black Founders Fund 2023 cohort.

As part of the cohort, HealthDart will receive up to $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, Google Ads support, and one-on-one mentoring from Googlers and industry experts.

Njabulo Skhosana, HealthDart’s co-founder and chief executive, has charted a significant journey from healthcare scientist to an innovative entrepreneur seeking to change the business of healthcare.

“HealthDart works by ensuring people get the right healthcare they need at an affordable price,” says Skhosana. The startup launched an AI-powered chatbot last year, which helps people seek out the right healthcare providers for their needs.

This feature is just one component of their suite of services, which includes digital consultations with doctors and nurses, appointment booking, prescription uploads, and medication deliveries, all enabled through in-app payments.

Skhosana explains the ultimate aim is not only to facilitate patient interaction with the healthcare system but also to alleviate the financial burden and time spent seeking treatment. By speeding up accurate treatment, patients can return to work faster, with more disposable income, while healthcare providers can improve their efficiency.

He, however, emphasises the nascent state of digital healthcare in South Africa, noting that the nation is still in the early stages of its digital transformation process in healthcare.

“We’re still literally right at the beginning of the digital transformation process within healthcare,” he says. “We’ve got 60 million people in the country and I would honestly be shocked if more than a hundred thousand have actively used virtual healthcare services on a regular basis.”

HealthDart’s potential impact is not restricted to patients alone. Healthcare facilities can provide an overall improved experience. Skhosana also foresees partnerships with medical aid schemes and insurers, which could stand to benefit from the efficiency and cost-effectiveness that HealthDart promises to offer.

With its tech-enabled vision and Google’s backing, HealthDart is poised to transform South Africa’s healthcare landscape. While still in the early stages of its journey, it holds immense promise, with Skhosana determined to provide a more efficient, cost-effective, and improved healthcare experience for South Africans and potentially, for the broader African continent.

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