Africa’s health-research landscape has been steadily growing as of recently, but in order to keep this momentum going healthcare must become decentralized.
For Ghanaian medtech startup Redbird, its company believes there is a better way to make medical testing in the country an easier process for both patients and doctors by introducing a simple health monitoring system.
By partnering with pharmacies, Redbird is able to bring Ghanaian doctors proven rapid test technology for chronic and acute conditions that allow them to give patients a more convenient way to monitor their health wherever they are, its website reports.
In order to continue Redbird’s vision of making modern healthcare more efficient, the startup has just announced a raise of a $1.5 million seed investment that will ultimately help scale the company.
Participating investors in the round include Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Newton Partners (via the Imperial Venture Fund), and Founders Factory Africa, according to TechCrunch. To date, this brings the company’s total amount to $2.5 million.
Redbird plans to use this seed investment to grow its operations within Ghana and expand to new markets that have yet to be disclosed.
Initially launched in 2018, Redbird co-founders Patrick Beattie, Andrew Quao and Edward Grandstaff saw how many new testing developments were happenings in the U.S., but could not say the same for Ghana.
According to Quao — who was familiar with how Ghanaians utilize their local pharmacies — he saw a need to modernize Ghanaian pharmacies in a way that went beyond transactional purchases, TechCrunch reports.
Collectively, Quao, Beattie, and Grandstaff came together to merge their backgrounds in healthcare and tech to execute a new system that could bring rapid diagnostic testing for 10 different health conditions to Ghana through Redbird’s pharmacy services. These rapid medical tests are able to diagnose anaemia, blood sugar, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, Hepatitis B, malaria, typhoid, prostate cancer screening, and pregnancy.
“Pharmacies who partner with Redbird gain access to the software and all the ways Redbird supports our partners for free as long as they purchase the consumables through us,” CEO Beattie told TechCrunch. “This aligns our revenue with their success, which is aligned with patient usage.”
Additionally, Redbird also provides pharmacies with the necessary equipment and resources to make this a seamless process, including its software — Redbird Health Monitoring — which is networked across all its partner pharmacies to help build medical testing records for patients.
According to CEO Beattie, he predicts that most diseases Africans may experience in the future will be chronic diseases, which is why he believes decentralized, digitized healthcare is the next prime opportunity for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Chronic disease is exploding and with it, patients require much more frequent interaction with the healthcare system. The burden of chronic disease will make a health system that is highly centralized impossible,” he said to TechCrunch. “Like previous leapfrog events, this momentum is happening all over the world, not just in Africa. Still, the state of the current infrastructure means that healthcare systems here will be forced to innovate and adapt before health systems elsewhere are forced to, and therein lies the opportunity.”
Looking ahead, Redbird’s decentralized business model looks forward to driving significant growth within Ghana’s healthcare space and hopes to eventually scale it across the African continent.
For more information about Redbird, visit its website.