There’s been a push to develop mobile technologies to improve detection of counterfeit medication to improving access to healthcare in African countries. However, Merck’s move earlier this month to launch a digital health accelerator in Nairobi illustrates a more concerted effort, especially by big pharma companies, to support digital health entrepreneurs across the continent, according to Saravanan Thangaraj, research analyst for Transformational Health at Frost & Sullivan Africa, whom highlighted some of the programs to support digital health entrepreneurs in Africa.
Ampion, a non-governmental organization supports digital health entrepreneurs to launch business in Africa. Through their venture business initiative, it bridges the nascent stage startups and investors. Ampion is the first organization to initiate a program to accelerate digital health in Africa. It also provides the technology for innovation for entrepreneurs with the support of Merck, Microsoft, MTN and SAP.
Microsoft 4Afrika collaborates with Ampion to provide financial, technical and virtual mentorships for digital health startups in Africa. Through the MySkills4Afrika and Microsoft Virtual Academy programs, it assists entrepreneurs in taking their business solutions to market.
Open Medicine Project South Africa is a group of healthcare experts, mobile technology designers and application developers who aim to facilitate South African health workers through mobile technology. They focus on developing innovative, mobile information and decision support tools.
Philips partners with incubator and seed fund 1776 to support local innovators and digital accelerator labs in Kenya. Philips has developed an automated respiration monitor for diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia in Africa at the innovation hub in Kenya.
Tech Lab Africa accelerator program — run by Barclays Africa — supports startups in the health and finance spaces in Africa.
Bayer’s Grants4Apps Accelerator allows entries from Africa for its mentoring program for digital health startups. The program offers funding and mentoring by Bayer experts and entrepreneurs.