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The startups changing healthcare through innovation

A change in the way we see, and deliver, healthcare has been a burgeoning investment in startups in the sector. In 2017 alone, the estimated global investment in healthcare startups sat at around $12 billion.
The startups changing healthcare through innovation

Some of the brightest and best ideas transforming healthcare have been born on our continent: Drones delivery of medical supplies, systems that transform diagnosis and apps that connect remote medical workers to resources at nearby hospitals.

This year’s Africa Cup finalists include some of this next generation of innovative healthcare startups who all share the same sentiment: They believe the continent’s healthcare issues can be solved by using technology.

The next generation of new ideas

The SA Innovation Summit’s Africa Cup is open to innovative ideas, startups and early-stage companies in tech and tech-enabled sectors. Finalists will pitch their businesses in front of an esteemed panel of judges on the final day of the Summit, with the winner set to receive a R5 million investment offer and three weeks of acceleration.

The cup has 11 finalists from a range of categories, including Fintech, Big Data, Social Entrepreneurship and Healthcare. The three healthcare finalists are:

  • Curacel, a Nigerian AI-driven platform, that fast tracks claim processing and detects fraudulent claims for health insurance companies. Curacel provides a web application to health insurance companies for collecting, processing, and paying health claims.

  • South African-born BIIS has developed Cyber Guardian, an early depression detector mobile application built on a machine learning algorithm. Cyber Guardian uses access to end user’s mobile device activities such as social media lifestyle, chats, searches and emails to analyse an individual’s mental health.

  • Proudly South African 3D Prosthetic Hand is a low-cost, robotic prosthetic hand which senses the intention of the user, allowing them to hold a variety of objects as well as do intricate tasks like tying their shoelaces. The machine learning techniques enable the amputee to feel the objects they are holding.

Over 80% of startups at the SA Innovation Summit competitions are from the continent, and the majority have a revenue of less than R2 million, explains SA Innovation Summit chairperson Audrey Verhaeghe. Of the entrants, 7% are in the field of Biotech (healthcare) and 22% are classified as social entrepreneurs.

The Summit, taking place from 11-13 September 2019 at the Cape Town Stadium, aims to facilitate more than R1bn in deals between investors and start-ups.

“There is a yearning among African start-ups to disrupt the current healthcare industries on the continent through technology and innovative ideas. The healthcare industry is ripe for disruption and investors should be looking to the next generation of innovators for the ideas that will transform our continent,” says Verhaeghe.

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