BY TOM JACKSON
South African e-health startup iNNOHEALTH has secured a seven-figure seed investment from an unnamed Hong Kong-based VC for its AI-based healthcare platform it hopes will position it at the forefront of digital healthcare in the country.
Founded in 2020 by medical doctors Chad Marthinussen and Wade Palmer, and chartered accountant Abdul Malick Salie, iNNOHEALTH’s focus is on providing solutions for quality, affordable and equitable healthcare to everyone on the African continent.
The startup’s first product is doctor-led app MyPocketHealth, an integrated patient healthcare platform that will provide comprehensive AI-driven digital healthcare solutions for all South Africans once it launches later this year.
Marthinussen said the MyPocketHealth platform will reduce the need for in-person medical consultations, allowing patients to access the best, most affordable medical advice and care from their mobile phones.
“What we’ve seen is a 55 per cent increase in out-of pocket medical expenditure, when 40% of all forms of healthcare can be virtualized. Additionally, 78 per cent of South Africans have missed appointments because of cost,” he said.
The initial minority stake VC funding, which comes from a Hong Kong-based firm that at this point prefers not to be named, will allow the founders to scale the product for a national user base, and utilise AI-functionality for the delivery of crucial primary healthcare services and products.
Palmer, a practicing medical doctor, said the increased burden on the public health system in the wake of the pandemic makes this app an essential healthcare management tool.
“This platform is a full-service offering that provides users with access to low-cost medical care, and allows you to get your script, to have control of your medical records, your scans and blood results – which makes your entire experience holistic,” he said.
“We want to move South Africa away from telemedicine to virtual care. We want integration into the NHI, as well as to become Africa’s biggest digital care provider of tech solutions, products and services.”