Zoie Health joins Google’s start-up initiative

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 04 Jun 2024
Zoie Health founders Dr Nonhlanhla Sitole and Thato Schermer.
Zoie Health founders Dr Nonhlanhla Sitole and Thato Schermer.

South Africa's Zoie Health has been selected to be part of the 2024 Google for Start-ups Growth Academy: AI for Health programme.

The local digital health platform joins 24 other start-ups representing 13 countries from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to feature as part of this year’s cohort for the programme.

According to Google, the selected start-ups have demonstrated they are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise healthcare and medical research.

Furthermore, they have shown the potential of AI to address pressing healthcare challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa, advance mental health integration, provide accessible outpatient services and deliver affordable healthcare to underserved populations, says Google.

Dorothy Ooko, head of communications and public affairs, Google Africa, says: “We are committed to supporting the growth of innovative start-ups, particularly those that are leveraging AI to address critical healthcare challenges. The Growth Academy: AI for Health programme is a testament to this commitment, and we are excited to see the impact these start-ups will have on the future of healthcare.”

Co-founded by Dr Nonhlanhla Sitole and her cousin Thato Schermer, Zoie Health is a digital women’s health and wellness clinic launched in 2021, allowing users to access healthcare advice from professionals. It provides virtual consultations with medical providers, group consultations and community forums.

As part of the 2024 cohort, Zoie Health and the other start-ups will participate in the three-month hybrid programme that features a series of workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities.

The workshops will focus on best practices for AI, leadership development, responsible innovation, product design and customer acquisition. Additionally, Google experts from research, health, Verily, Fitbit and DeepMind will offer one-on-one mentorship sessions and technical project support.

After the initial three months, start-ups will continue to receive product support and mentorship from Google to help them address their challenges.