Digital health accelerator names finalists

Africa will benefit from innovative approaches as it is a populace eager for progress, says DHCT.
Read time 3min 30sec
Africa will benefit from innovative approaches as it is a populace eager for progress, says DHCT.

Digital health accelerator, Digital Health Cape Town (DHCT), has announced it top finalists for its inaugural accelerator programme designed to foster local eHealth innovation.

The company says the selected finalists have each developed innovative e-health solutions that address real-world problems. There has been an influx of new, early-stage, innovative digital health companies coming out of SA, it adds. DHCT's new accelerator programme aims to assist companies to navigate continuously changing landscapes and grow into sustainable businesses, notes DHCT.

The winning solutions are:

Udok, an online booking lead by Petrus Van Niekerk which has digital solutions that allow doctors to interact remotely with patients, facilitate treatment and monitor care.

Vula Mobile, a referral platform developed by Dr William Mapham, which links health workers to specialists in tertiary hospitals.

HealthAtHome, developed by Dr Anuschka Coovadia, which aims to provide high quality, affordable, patient-centric care to patients in the convenience of their homes.

ConnecTB: a Web tool by Brighton Khumalo, which allows administrators, supervisors and directly observed therapy providers to register and monitor TB patients.

GeneCare Molecular Genetics - GeneCare's platform developed by Nicole Van Der Merwe, which delivers high-quality exercise programmes, educational video-coaching, and access to customised diet plans.

The Aviro ART Treatment Mentor app, developed by the start-up'sDr Musaed Abrahams, which helps nurses in primary care settings to efficiently treat HIV patients.

GC Network: a pregnancy screening app developed by Suretha Erasmus, which informs individuals of their risk for a chromosome abnormality in their pregnancy, provides detailed information of available prenatal tests and empowers them to make informed decisions.

VR/AR Group (VRHealth): VRHealth is a safe, virtual environment where those admitted in rehabilitation centres for substance abuse can develop new behavioural patterns in a realistic, immersive virtual world. VereShaba is behind this solution.The eHealth start-up finalists will take part in a 10-week programme starting on 23rd January 2018, says DHCT.

As part of the programme, the finalists will receive mentoring and in-person sessions with eHealth systems experts and engage in product design discussions with key opinion leaders, it adds.

The sessions will focus on digital health problem and solution development; strategic planning and alignment to the healthcare environment; defining and marketing a value proposition; stakeholder's analysis, building a sales pipeline and pitching a business plan, as well as execution of projects and operations, says DHCT.

"We are excited to be part of the DHCT Accelerator Programme which brings together great minds to shape the future of the African healthcare landscape. Such programmes provide the collaboration and thinking that are the ingredients to creating a new healthcare innovation ecosystem, where we do anything but business as usual," said Dr Niri Naidoo, clinical and ooperations Executive for Bankmed and corporate mentor in the DHCT accelerator programme.

Richard Gordon, executive director: Grants Innovation and Product Development at the South African Medical Research Council and a judge in the DHCT accelerator programme, says: "Africa, in responding to its unique healthcare challenges, will benefit from innovative approaches as it is a populace eager for progress. It is an opportune time to explore digital health where the Internet, artificial intelligence and machine learning are going to make a significant impact on healthcare."

"DHCT's accelerator programme is an opportunity to unearth the exceptional talent and innovation we have in SA. The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) took the decision to participate on the panel of judges because it fits in with our mandate to stimulate technological innovation and we are excited to contribute to the growth of local digital health start-ups," says Karen Eksteen, programme manager: innovation skills development at the TIA.

The accelerator, according to DHCT, was established to digitally transform the healthcare sector, in response to the changing needs of healthcare providers and patients.

Regina Pazvakavambwa
ITWeb portals journalist.

Regina Pazvakavambwa is an experienced Journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the online media industry. She has worked for ITWeb for about four years. She is a strong media and communications professional with an Honours in Media Management focused in Communication Journalism, and related programmes. She is also a coffee and social media addict, loves photography and reading. She has ambitions of being a bestseller author….writing her first page as we speak.

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