Alexander O. Onukwue
Helium Health, a Nigerian electronic medical records company, has secured a $7 million investment led by Global Ventures, a venture capital fund based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, according to Reuters.
Three other firms participated in the venture round: AAIC holdings (Asia Africa Investment & Consulting and Tencent, the Chinese owner of WeChat.
Founded in 2014 by Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, Helium Health has emerged as one of the companies highlighting the role technology can play in adequate healthcare records management in Africa.
Helium bills its technology as a smart all-in-one electronic enterprise manager that handles doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and medical billing. Their mission is to enable providers to control the bulk of the healthcare management value chain, from support systems for clinical decision-making and telemedicine, to administration and financial management.
Due to physical restrictions on mobility posed by the coronavirus pandemic, health tech has come to the fore of investors attention.
In the fight against the coronavirus, healthtech companies have increased their visibility with a range of solutions aimed at either curbing spread, increasing access to testing or providing other complimentary services.
At the early stages of the coronavirus spread in March, Helium rolled out a telemedicine feature on its platform to allow hospitals to speak virtually to patients, thereby reducing the need for physical contact.
Other health tech companies have been active in different ways too. 54Gene, the biotech startup, has launched two mobile laboratories to boost Nigeria’s capacity to test and diagnose COVID-19.
A recent funding round announced in April is geared towards putting it in great shape to scale its DNA biobank in Lagos, providing resources for academic research collaboration and drug development on the continent.
Helium represents the first investment into health for Global Ventures. Noor Sweid, the firm’s managing partner, says they are excited about the opportunities in health tech, tipping the sector to be as in-demand over the next five years as fintech has been in the recent past.