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5 startups improving access to healthcare

April 7, 2021

On the occasion of World Health Day, we are sharing the inspiring stories of startups who are leveraging technology to improve access to healthcare. 

Happy World Health Day, everyone! This day is celebrated globally every year since the founding of the World Health Organisation in 1948. This year, the theme is Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone, highlighting the importance of improving health equity, especially for the vulnerable groups which are more likely to experience the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe digital health entrepreneurs play an important role in accomplishing this. Here are 5 startups whose innovations are making health and care accessible to people across the world:

Delivering accessible medical consultations

Mobihealth is a startup based in the UK and Nigeria, on a mission to bring affordable, quality healthcare to underserved communities globally. This teleconsultation platform is designed for low bandwidth areas, enabling remote physical examinations, online prescriptions and follow-up services in hard-to-reach locations. Mobihealth’s users have the choice of using a smartphone app, a toll-free line or visiting one of the mobile telehealth clinics. During the pandemic, the startup provided teleguided COVID-19 screening and testing to support remote communities in Nigeria. 

Mediquo is a Barcelona-based startup, offering telemedicine solutions in over 20 countries. Its business model aims to ensure health consultations are accessible to everyone. By signing up for an affordable monthly subscription, users gain unlimited access to health professionals: from pediatricians and gynecologists to personal trainers and nutritionists. The founder, Guillem Serra, describes Mediquo’s app as ‘WhatsApp for healthcare’ – users text doctors who reply in less than 2 minutes. Last year, we interviewed Mr. Serra about the startup’s experience during COVID-19. 

Enabling early detection and diagnosis

The founder of Feebris, Elina Naydenova, says healthcare should be a universal human right. However, healthcare systems are easily overwhelmed and understaffed. Feebris developed an AI platform that enables non-medical users to identify complex respiratory conditions. The app allows users to capture the necessary measurements, so that the platform can then analyse, detect an issue and provide a recommendation. Today, London-based Feebris offers remote monitoring solutions for health care providers to increase the number of early diagnosis of a variety of chronic illnesses and diseases.

Adiuvo Diagnostics, a startup based in India, aims to prevent limb amputations and deaths caused by wound infections, a problem that is especially apparent in developing countries. The startup’s solution, Illuminate, is an non-invasive AI-based screening device that detects and classifies pathogens on wounds, leading to an instant identification of an infection. The device takes measurements and provides an assessment within two minutes. Check out this recent interview with Geethanjali Radhakrishnan, the founder of Adiuvo. 

Connecting people and building awareness

According to FindMeCure, a Sofia-based startup, only 15% of patients are aware that clinical trials are a treatment option. To address this issue, FindMeCure has built a platform that collects information about clinical trials across the world and provides information in an accessible and user-friendly way. Nearly 80,000 clinical trials are now posted on the platform. The startup also established a non-profit foundation that aims to educate people about clinical trials and encourage patients to make informed decisions. 

These startups are some of the many examples demonstrating the potential of startup innovation to save lives, reduce healthcare disparities and improve accessibility.  A clear pathway to improve public health is to reduce barriers to startup innovation. In our #digitalhealthvoices interview series, we invite digital health entrepreneurs to share how COVID-19 has changed the perception of digital health and what policy makers can do to empower innovation in healthcare.