Health is wealth, it is said. Many times, more often than not, we have come face to face with health issues. As techies, we may just think about our coke and code. But sooner or later, we face the reality, health is wealth. So today I would like to talk about some tech startups and/or projects that have contributed to health in Ghana.
MoTeCH (Mobile Technology for Community Health)
MoTeCH is a pilot community health project that supports pregnant women with their famous Mobile Midwife application. MoTeCH periodically sends messages to pregnant women to help them keep safe during that crucial nine months period, and even after birth. These messages are delivered to pregnant women as text messages and/or voice messages via their mobile phones. This makes it easy to reach the women since most of them have mobile phones. Currently, the project runs only in Ghana, specifically in the Kassena-Nankana East and West District of the Upper East Region. MoTeCH is heavily funded by the Grameen foundation which has been an ardent supporter of health care. Also, Grameen Foundation gives room for people to donate to this course. We hope the project will soon be able to roll out to the whole country to support all other efforts to reduce maternal mortality. For the tech savvy, MoTeCH has GitHub and Google Code repos that you can contribute to. With all the challenges that come with introducing new technologies, MoTeCH has continually kept up a good work. Supporting actors in this project are Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, and the Navrongo Health Research Centre of the Ghana Health Service. MoTeCH recently released a report of their activities which you can take a look at.
mPedigree / Sproxil
mPedigree has been a major force in the fight against counterfeit drugs in Ghana. It is one of the foremost health-related tech startups in Ghana. The company founded by Bright Simmons has helped to frustrate the efforts of counterfeit drugs peddlers. mPedigree has been recognized both on the continent and worldwide for its contribution to consumer health in Ghana using basic mobile phone technology. To use the service, the user has to scratch off a seal behind any drug pack. This reveals a serial number. The user sends a free text message with the serial number to a SMS shortcode. The user then receives an SMS to confirm the legitimacy of the drug. So, right at the counter, you can verify a drug. mPedigree has received immense help and support of HP, and Ministry of Health, specifically the Food and Drugs Board of Ghana. It has received notable mentions in the global media as well.
It will be inappropriate to speak of mPedigree without mentioning Sproxil which has been mentioned as the 7th most innovative company in the world. Sproxil is a US-based company co-founded by Ashifi Gogo, a Ghanaian. It also helps check drug counterfeits with a similar system, Mobile Authentication Service(MAS) that operates in Nigeria.
ClaimSync is a software company that is focused on designing innovative healthcare solutions. Their flagship product is a web application that hospitals and clinics can use to create and manage patient records and generate medical claims for electronic submission to insurance companies. The company’s mission is to help healthcare providers automate their processes and enjoy the benefits that come with it – such as saving time, saving money and having access to quality data for better decision making.
ClaimSync started in 2011, coming out of the MEST program through to the MEST Incubator. After processing 2500 electronic claims, the company pivoted the business and is now implementing their healthcare management solution for 2 prestigious hospitals in Accra. ClaimSync is also one of a handful of software vendors working with the National Health Insurance Authority to test electronic submission of claims to its Claims Processing Centre (CPC). The company is currently a semi-finalist for HealthXL, a global program that brings together some of the best startups in health with aim of helping them accelerate their progress. These are some of the successes chalked by this company together with other MEST Incubator companies
So these are some of the health tech startups that have contributed to Ghana. If there are any I did not mention, please let me know in the comments so I can write on them.