TechEmerge Health East Africa
In partnership with:
Currently, 17 innovators from across the globe and 11 East African private hospitals, primary care clinics, lab chains, pharma retailers, and insurers are conducting 20 TechEmerge pilots in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
TechEmerge Health East Africa was launched in January 2020 to strengthen health care services, improve patient outcomes, and build commercial relationships, and quickly expanded to also tackle some of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A pool of up to $1 million in grant funding is supporting field-testing of new AI-enabled point of care diagnostics, clinical decision support tools, imaging, patient engagement solutions, emergency response, and more. Participants also receive ongoing support and advice during implementation.
TechEmerge Health East Africa is part of the Global Tech Challenge from the World Bank Group and the Consumer Technology Association.
Health care spending in East Africa by 2030
Medical device market expected to grow at 10% per annum in the next decade
Estimated population in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia by 2030
Over the next decade, the combined population of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia is expected to grow from 207 million people to 270 million. In that same period, East Africa’s $8 billion health care sector is forecast to almost double to $15 billion.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added to East Africa’s long-standing health challenges, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The region also has a rising non-communicable disease burden, with increasing rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. This is in combination with high maternal and child mortality rates.
Challenges are compounded by the region’s severe shortage of trained medical professionals and infrastructure, weak drug supply systems, variable quality, rural/urban disparities, and government underfunding.
Currently, most patients pay for health care out-of-pocket, creating great demand for new solutions that improve patient outcomes, operational efficiency, and affordability – especially for remote and underserved communities. In addition, many African governments are committed to universal health coverage and accessing new technologies and business models is critical to their success.
Launched in 2020, the open call for the TechEmerge Health East Africa initiative attracted 416 applications from innovators in 50 countries. After a competitive selection process, 53 tech companies were invited for matchmaking sessions with over 20 health providers operating in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, serving more than five million patients annually at over 250 facilities.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our matchmaking and innovation summit was staged online for the first time. The virtual format enabled TechEmerge to open up panel discussions, exhibits, and networking events to the public, enabling more than 500 participants across the world to explore potential business opportunities.
Following the summit, 17 innovative health tech startups from 11 countries were successfully matched with 11 leading health care providers, and two corporations providing wellness programs for employees in East Africa. They are now implementing 20 pilot projects and building long-term partnerships.
A pool of US$ 1 million in grant funding supports pilot projects. The TechEmerge team also provides support throughout field testing to help innovators mitigate operational risks, reduce adoption risks for local providers, and facilitate market-entry and tech transfer.
Read our Innovation Summit Brochure
What types of solutions are we looking for?
|Point of care diagnostics||Patient Engagement|
|Maternal & Child Health||Operational Efficiency|
|Electronic Medical Records||Education|
Benefits for participants
- Access to a robust network of East Africa health systems and potential users/buyers of technology
- Access to a pool of up to $1M in funding to support pilot projects in East Africa (competitive selection)
- Guidance from the TechEmerge team and global network of advisors to develop pilot implementation and market entry strategies
- Potential investment from IFC
- Proven product, installed with at least one health system
- Privately owned company, typically with less than 50 employees and less than US$100M in venture capital funding (with some exceptions)
- Meets the needs of the East African healthcare providers
- Demonstrated managerial capacity and scalability
- Ability to allocate time and resources to participate in the Project, including attending periodic meetings, and implementation of field testing/pilot project in East Africa
TechEmerge Health East Africa is supported by a network of advisors from across the globe with decades of experience in health, technology, investment, East African markets, and working with startups.
Director, Strategic Partnerships & Global Programs
Senior Manager, Global Business Strategy
Senior Investment Associate
Dr. Santorino Data
Country Director, Camtech Director, Mbarara University Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer Director & Principal Investigator Simulation for Life Program
Ventures Operations Manager
Dr. Trevor Gunn
Vice President, International Relations
Director, Health International
Robert M. Karanja, PhD
CEO & Co-Founder
Clinical Business Lead
Accelerator Program Manager
Dr. Beatrice Murage
Senior Scientist, Research & Innovation
Violet Wandaho Njugana
Product Manager Technology for Development
Dr. Walter Obita
Dr. Patricia Odero
Regional Director, Africa
Dr. Felix Olale
Partner, Global Co-leader for Health Investments
Dr. Kristian Olson
Vice President, Healthcare (India) Director, Medical Screening & Software Solutions (Germany)
Dr. Harpreet S. Sood
Doctor, University College London Hospitals Board member, Health Education England
Dr. Amit Thakker
Dr. Krishna Udayakumar
Program manager, Africa
Executive Secretary General
Our adopters are multi-specialty hospitals, primary care clinics, lab chains, pharma retailers, and health insurers. They operate over 250 facilities with more than 2,500 beds, serving over five million patients annually in urban and rural communities across Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia. For the first time, our adopters also include corporates implementing wellness programs for their employees.
Competitively selected from a field of more than 400 applicants worldwide, our 17 innovators offer a wide range of cost-effective, high quality solutions including AI-enabled point of care diagnostics, clinical decision support tools, imaging, patient engagement, emergency response, and more.
TechEmerge Health East Africa partners are implementing 20 pilot projects on the ground in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, field-testing a wide range of new solutions to improve health care access, affordability, and quality for communities across East Africa.
Helium Health & TMR International Hospital
Ally Pacs & Hallelujah General Hospital
This pilot will use Ally PACS’ medical imaging management solution to better coordinate care and improve radiology workflows.
Vecnacares & Nairobi Women’s Hospital
VecnaCares' iDeliver is a point-of-care application that provides clinical decision support to identify and treat maternal complications in real-time. The easy-to-use solution combined with a triage algorithm, enables healthcare providers to achieve and maintain high-quality maternal care from ante-natal care through labor and post-natal care. The algorithm identifies high-risk patients and prioritizes by severity so providers can focus on the most critical patients earlier. iDeliver also captures complete patient information, streamlining data reporting processes and informing quality of care improvement efforts. IN this pilot, Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Kenya will deploy iDeliver to cover a patient’s pregnancy journey from antenatal care through postnatal care. The solution will also address neonatal complications and collect and monitor well baby data. COVID-19 testing/ protocols have also been incorporated.
Tricog & Hallelujah General Hospital
Tricog’s Insta ECG machine provides real-time cardiac diagnosis through its cloud connected ECG service. Tricog extracts physiological data and ECG’s from clinical and personal health devices and securely uploads them to the cloud where AI powered algorithms process the data and a team of cardiologists work in real-time with the algorithm to verify the diagnosis which is then sent back to the remote centre within minutes. The service enables a doctor or a healthcare worker in any remote location to diagnose and initiate treatment for heart disease, thus saving thousands of lives. Hallelujah General Hospital in Ethiopia will pilot the Tricog solution, leveraging AI to do rapid cardiac diagnosis, and linking cardiologists in India with Hallelujah’s doctors.
Tricog & Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital
Tricog’s Insta ECG machine provides real-time cardiac diagnosis through its cloud connected ECG service. Tricog extracts physiological data and ECG’s from clinical and personal health devices and securely uploads them to the cloud where AI powered algorithms process the data and a team of cardiologists work in real-time with the algorithm to verify the diagnosis which is then sent back to the remote centre within minutes. The service enables a doctor or a healthcare worker in any remote location to diagnose and initiate treatment for heart disease, thus saving thousands of lives. Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in Kenya will work with Tricog to connect pediatric cardiologists in Nairobi with 6 remote clinics in Kenya to screen children. ECG’s will undergo AI analysis, and be sent to Gertrude cardiologists in under 10 min for review and sign off.
THINKMD & Goodlife Pharmacy
THINKMD's clinical decision support technology for healthcare professionals improves adherence to protocols and leads to better health outcomes for patients. The solution puts advanced clinical logic into the hands of any health worker, regardless of their level of training, improving the quality of care. During the pandemic, THINKMD created a screening and educational tool for COVID-19 assessment, which can also capture population health and epidemiology data for disease surveillance and predictive modelling. Goodlife Pharmacy will use THINKMD’s clinical decision support platform in about half of their retail outlets in Kenya, where pharmacy technicians will perform an in-house assessment of an ill child or mother, improving access and quality of care. When needed patients will be referred to Goodlife’s network of physicians.
SwyMed & Mater Misericordiae Hospital
SwyMed's Live Video Telemedicine software solution excels in connectivity challenged geographies and on congested networks. SwyMed’s video platform integrates medical devices, Electronic Health Records, Picture Archive & Communication System and medical applications, providing physicians a detailed evaluation of a patient from a distance. During the pandemic, SwyMed created a COVID-19 Telehealth Rapid Response to identify COVID-19 cases. Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Kenya will pilot SwyMed’s telemedicine solution to increase access to specialist services by connecting specialists at their main hospital to 3 of their satellite clinics and outreach programs.
ProWellness Health Solutions & Jubilee Health Insurance
ProWellness' Balansio, is a mobile, AI-enabled assisted self-care system for individuals with diabetes. Balansio incorporates automated 24/7 nurse-bots and clinical intelligence, and brings services of a diabetes clinic directly to patients’ smart phones. Balansio supports integration of physical and virtual care practices, and creation of new business models. The solution supports remote patient care of at-risk patients during COVID-19. In this pilot, Jubilee Health Insurance in Kenya will work with 1-2 clinics in their network to pilot Balansio with diabetic patients, with an aim to better manage diabetes, reduce patient complications and inpatient admissions.
OUI & Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital
OUI’s Smart Eye Camera (SEC), is a smartphone attachment that can record and evaluate ophthalmological images and videos that can be shared with ophthalmologists for remote diagnosis. SEC can diagnose diseases in the eyelids, conjunctiva, cornea, anterior chamber, iris, crystal lens and anterior vitreous. OUI’s portable slit-lamp can be compared to an existing slit-lamp microscope. In this pilot, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in Kenya will leverage OUI’s SEC to connect ophthalmologists in Nairobi to clinical officer in rural areas. This remote-diagnosis model aims to pilot a hub and spoke approach to screen pediatric patients in rural areas, and improve reach, efficiency and quality of pediatric eye diagnosis and medical solutions.
Orbit Health & Arsho Labs
Orbit Health’s cloud-capable state-of-the-art Electronic Medical Records (EMR) platform is user-friendly and highly customizable per the needs of each healthcare provider. The system is capable of seamless interoperability across different provider systems ensuring continuity and allowing change of care. In this pilot, Arsho Labs in Ethiopia will pilot some features of Orbit’s EMR, such as appointment scheduling, lab results dissemination, financial transactions, and lab equipment interface with Arsho’s existing laboratory information management system.
Noor Medical & Access Afya
Noor Medical’s Hybriclave is a hybrid electric-thermal autoclave that can operate either with a PV-battery system, other thermal energy inputs such as cooking gas, or conventional electricity. The Hybriclave enables health facilities with unstable electricity supplies to maintain safe medical equipment sterilization processes even in times of power shortages. Access Afya, operating in Kenya’s informal settlements, will pilot the Hybriclave in 5 of their clinics to test to efficacy and usability of the solution, in particular, the ability to continuing to successfully sterilize medical instruments during power outages.
Neopenda & Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital
NeoGuard is a wireless, wearable vital signs monitor that continuously measures pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and temperature to enable more responsive and effective management of hospitalized newborns, pediatric and adult patients in resource-constrained health facilities. Up to 15 patients can be monitored via one tablet. In this pilot, Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in Kenya will deploy Neopenda in their newborn unit and pediatric ward to support patients in need of continuous vital sign monitoring. NeoGuards real-time audio and visual alerts will improve Ruaraka’s operational efficiency and speed of action in life-threatening situations.
MphRx & IMG
MphRx's Minerva is an open digital health platform with deep interoperability that enables integration of disparate data across multiple systems to create a unified health record. Patient and physician facing applications facilitate patient engagement & care coordination. The system streamlines clinical and operational workflows, leverages data analytics and AI. During the pandemic, MphRx developed a COVID-19 Triage solution that remotely screens, automatically triages patients and sets up teleconsultations for symptomatic patients, and enables remote patient management. In this pilot, the International Medical Group (IMG) in Uganda will deploy Minerva’s care management, teleconsultation workflow, and online feedback functionalities, among others, to enhance patient engagement and quality of care.
Helium Health & the Medical Hub
Helium Health's electronic medical record/hospital management information system is engineered specifically for emerging markets, operating offline first, ultra-thin, easy to install/use, and has 24/7 support.
Forus Health & Nairobi Women’s Hospital
Forus Health’s non-mydriatic fundus camera and refraction equipment can be installed in primary health centers, diabetic clinics, physician’s office, etc., to detect eye problems and eye diseases early, and enable more efficient management. Minimally trained operators can be taught to use the devices on patients to acquire data, which is uploaded to the cloud and a combination of AI and clinicians determine patient's condition and provide advice to enable early treatment. In this pilot, Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Kenya will deploy Forus’ technology in two of their branches to increase the screening and diagnosis of eye diseases, addressing the scarcity of eye specialists in Kenya.
Flare & Penda Health
Flare’s platform is a cloud and mobile-based 911 technology for emergency response services. It aggregates public and private ambulances onto a single platform, building a nation-wide network for response for less than 1% of the cost of a traditional 911 system. In Kenya, it has reduced response time by over 90%. During an emergency, a patient or hospital dials one number or presses a digital button to access help in seconds. Once rescued, the patient is taken to a facility with the right services & capacity to treat them. In this pilot, Flare’s system will be integrated with Penda Health’s EMR to create a linkage that will increase efficiencies in emergency situations and facilitate more accurate decisions about the right referral hospitals, increasing care coordination and patient outcomes.
Flare & Jubilee Health Insurance
Flare’s platform is a cloud and mobile-based 911 technology for emergency response services. It aggregates public and private ambulances onto a single platform, building a nation-wide network for response for less than 1% of the cost of a traditional 911 system. In Kenya, it has reduced response time by over 90%. During an emergency, a patient or hospital dials one number or presses a digital button to access help in seconds. Once rescued, the patient is taken to a facility with the right services & capacity to treat them. In this pilot, Jubilee Health Insurance will pilot Flare’s services for their employees in Kenya to cover them with unlimited emergency rapid response.
Coeo Labs & Hallelujah General Hospital
Coeo Labs' Saans-Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a low-cost, easy to use, neonatal breathing support device, with multiple powering options. The solution maintains respiration and oxygenation in neonates with breathing difficulties by providing positive ventilation or CPAP to keep the lungs open both during transport and in hospital settings. In this pilot, Hallelujah General Hospital in Ethiopia will deploy Saans CPAP devices in their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and ambulance for transport to improve quality of care for newborns with respiratory distress.
Ultrasound system that connects to a mobile device
Butterfly Network’s Butterfly iQ is a whole-body single-probe ultrasound system that connects to a mobile device. The iQ has a powerful suite of software tools that allow you to store, collaborate, access AI-powered advanced imaging tools and access Butterfly Network’s ultrasound education learning platform. Low-cost, portable and radiation free, iQ provides diagnostic imaging across 13 clinical indications which span the whole body. The iQ offers lung ultrasound to identify pulmonary complications in suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients and helps risk stratify those for admission/closer observation. Access Afya, a low-cost primary healthcare provider with micro-clinics serving Kenyans living in informal settlements is piloting Butterfly iQ in 8 of their clinics, coupled with Butterfly’s TeleGuidance functionality, to increase access to ultrasound services, improving detection of COVID-19 and supporting antenatal care patients in informal settlements.
Baobab Circle & MTN Uganda
Baobab Circle's Afya Pap is a patient centered platform that leverages AI and behavioral science to improve management and prevention of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. The solution provides localized health education and personalized remote monitoring via SMS (for basic cell phone) or an app (for smartphones). Afya Pap enables the most remote person to be monitored via its Ask a Doctor feature, with doctors responding in real-time, or by using the connected glucometers and blood pressure monitors. During the pandemic, Afya Pap is supporting patients at risk by providing personalized health education, remote monitoring, eprescription, COVID-19 symptom triage and tracking and connecting to a doctor. Baobab Circle will work with MTN in Uganda to pilot Afya Pap to support their staff to improve management and prevention of diabetes and hypertension, and to increase staff’s productivity and to reduce insurance costs related to treating chronic diseases.
Baobab Circle & Equity Bank
Baobab Circle's Afya Pap is a patient centered platform that leverages AI and behavioral science to improve management and prevention of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. The solution provides localized health education and personalized remote monitoring via SMS (for basic cell phone) or an app (for smartphones). Afya Pap enables the most remote person to be monitored via its Ask a Doctor feature, with doctors responding in real-time, or by using the connected glucometers and blood pressure monitors. During the pandemic, Afya Pap is supporting patients at risk by providing personalized health education, remote monitoring, eprescription, COVID-19 symptom triage and tracking and connecting to a doctor. Baobab Circle will work with Equity Bank in Uganda to pilot Afya Pap to support their staff to improve management and prevention of diabetes and hypertension, and to increase staff’s productivity and to reduce insurance costs related to treating chronic diseases.
Ally Pacs & Nairobi Women’s Hospital
Ally PAC’s technology is a medical imaging management solution enabling tele-radiology, long-term archiving of medial data and unification of multiple imaging sites under one cloud-based umbrella. Images can be viewed on any device anywhere. The solution includes physician and patient portals. AI technology has been incorporated to identify potential COVID-19 cases. In this pilot, Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Kenya will use Ally PACS’ fully digitalized and cloud-enabled solution across their 9 branches to better coordinate care and improve radiology workflows and optimize resources.
Healthcare providers participating