At-Home Service Platforms Reshape Healthcare in Emerging Markets –

In emerging markets like Nigeria, a generation of tech-driven healthcare innovators is disrupting the local health system by providing alternative ways to increase access while moving the emphasis away from a hospital-centric treatment model.
Related: From Telehealth to Teletherapy, Digital Apps Boost Mental Wellness in Emerging Markets
One such firm, Famasi Africa, is taking a multipronged approach to healthcare delivery by integrating a range of testing and telehealth services into its medicine management platform.
Users of the Famasi service can choose between a number of plans related to their specific healthcare needs, including wellness plans and plans for diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions.
As well as getting medicines delivered to their doorstep, patients also get free 24-hour access to online healthcare teams who specialize in their respective conditions. Famasi also offers discounted consultations, and through a partnership with Nigerian healthtech platform Healthtracka, can also arrange at-home tests at the patient’s convenience.
Read more: eHealth Startups Making Moves Across Africa
Leveraging its network of mobile phlebotomists, Healthtracka allows Nigerians to order tests for infectious diseases and other important health indicators without having to make the trip to a hospital or clinic. Instead, tests are carried out in their own home with the sample being delivered to a local lab for analysis, after which receive their results via email.
HealthTechs Focus on Payments
As well as partnering with local pharmacies and testing companies like Healthtracka, Famasi is focused on helping Nigerians pay for their medicine in a way that suits them. The firm allows subscribers to purchase medicines on credit to pay back at a later date or via a split payment plan. The company’s CEO, Adeola Ayoola, told Nairametrics that Famasi will also try to schedule patients’ prescription refills to align with their personal financial cycles.
Learn more: Tech Makes Health Insurance Affordable, More Accessible in Emerging Markets
From the beginning, Famasi Africa has leveraged technology to create a more seamless experience for patients, from appointments through to payments. But when Ayoola and her co-founder first started out, the company didn’t have a dedicated team of developers to build the Famasi website. Instead, as she explained in an interview, Famasi deployed Flutterwave’s online store builder as an easy way to get the business online.
In the time since, Flutterwave has become a key partner for the startup and has helped the business manage online payments, even making it easy for patients’ relatives living abroad to easily pay for medicines in their preferred currency through a dedicated international payment system.
While Famasi is tackling the challenge of helping patients conveniently receive their prescriptions, another Nigerian startup, Crib MD, is combining pharmacy services with primary healthcare delivery.
A full-stack healthcare platform, Crib MD incorporates a telehealth solution, at-home doctor visits and online pharmacy service via one of its insurance flexible coverage plans.
As a sign of the growing importance of digital-first firms in the Nigerian healthcare sector, just a year after its launch, Crib MD purchased retail pharmaceutical firm Charisland Pharmaceuticals, which offers rapid drug delivery services across Nigeria.
Overall, as Nigeria’s at-home healthcare movement continues to grow in significance, collaborations between different stakeholders, including hospitals, pharmacies, tech firms and distribution services will become more important.
Related: African Healthcare Startup CarePoint Raises $10M
With the likes of Famasi, Healthtracka, and Crib MD all having made public their intention to enter new African markets and expand internationally, at-home services look set to continue to shape Africa’s healthcare systems.
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