Africa’s e-health sector is experiencing slow but steady growth, but there future looks bright as bottlenecks are unblocked and startups achieve scale.
Investor interest in Africa’s e-health sector has trundled along at a pretty stable rate over the past three years, but there are signs of growing interest.
According to the most recent African Tech Startups Funding Report released by Disrupt Africa, 10 e-health startups raised a total of almost US$9.5 million in 2017. This figure was slightly up on the total raised in 2016 – US$8.36 million.
Rob Heath is principal at South African investment and advisory firm HAVAIC. He says the reason why funding has been tough to come across for African e-health startups is that Africa still has a short supply of technology professionals that can take products that last mile.
“There are significant environmental and regional advantages for Africa in health-tech, but I think the bottleneck has been decent supply of technology experts – the quality is good, there are just not loads of them – and also lack of professional investors that can add real value,” said Heath.
However, the size of the African population and the myriad of problems faced by healthcare sectors on the continent mean there is an undeniable opportunity for e-health companies that manage to reach scale.
Nic Klopper is chief executive officer (CEO) of South Africa’s hearX Group, which develops smartphone-based hearing solutions. He says there are various African markets that need to be disrupted since current healthcare models and systems do not serve the majority of the population.
Source: Africa Health IT News