TechInAfrica – Meet Ampabeng Richmond Bediako, the Digital Health Access CTO and co-founder – Digital Health Access is a social platform that seeks to bridge the communication gap between some vital professionals and the society. Among such professionals are our Doctors,pharmacist, Nurses ,counselors and lawyers.
First of all, can you pitch us your company in just a few sentences?
Digital Health Access is a health education and consultation platform that connects health professionals with users via an app. Digital Health Access provides an inclusive suite of digitally-enabled platforms that allow health consumers to connect to an aggregated on-demand network of health professionals, service providers and impact-driven healthcare interventions through digital identification and financial inclusion.
By leveraging on exponential technologies, we reduce costs, increase access, and improve care and patient outcomes. Digital Health Access is transforming healthcare delivery through digital transformation and financial inclusion. Our solutions include a suite of multi-sided mobile and web-based platforms that lead to improved clinical efficiency and improved patient care. Our core mission is to provide easy access to healthcare by removing all infrastructural and financial barriers and our vision is to create a world with easy and fair healthcare access as the air we breathe. We are to make the most interactive health forum in the world.
Our company provides a medium to health professional to give faster, better and less costly live online healthcare education and consultations to people who in remote areas, those with special needs, those with busy schedule and with family. Above all to those, whom these visits are personal and financially challenging, which means our platform allow them to access medical, legal and counseling consultations anytime anywhere in the world.
Can you tell us more about yourself, your personal background, your experience and how you went to this journey?
I am a medical physicist by profession. I however got into computer programming after I realized that I have high affinity for technology. I also needed to know how to use technology to solve basic human problems so i started building apps in 2012 and first health app was in 2014 and many other apps. But Digital Health Access is one of a kind when I forecast the potentials and the problems we are solving. With the help of my partner we hope to make health education and consultation as accessible as possible.
Can you tell us more about Uganda ? Why this market?
In Uganda the smart phone has been an enabler in communication, money transfer, food, transport challenges that have grappled our country these recent years years. For the health industry this revolution has yet to occur fully but there have been interventions over the years. Currently there are 19 million people use internet in uganda, It is predicted that there will be 29.9 million smart phones by the year 2021. ‘In global health terms, where even slight improvements in modeling go a long way, that is an extremely exciting proposition for us (DHA). However our competitors also give us a go ahead since most of them do not deploy the technology and their user acquisition strategy is poor or not good. Above all we have a hook effect that keeps our users engaged and healthier
What are the main issues you have been facing Digital Health Access?
Most of the hospitals want to see another hospital using it first, and when we approach individuals they need money for tips they thinks it’s a government scheme or from USAID basically they know we have the money so they need a lot more pay.
Most hospitals don’t want us to hold their money mostly since we are a start up but we normally win their trust on the second meeting.
Another challenge we have faced launching is cost we incur to meet the doctors during their CMEs at their various hospitals. It can be costly really mostly those who specify KFC products. Imagine a hospital of 50 doctors and nurses and one has to give them a KFC plate each.
Who are your main competitors around? And outside of the country, who are your inspiration?
In Africa our main competitors are :
- Bisa App
- Safe doctor
What is your point of view, as a startup founder, about Uganda ?
I think the time is now. Uganda is getting ready for the 4IR and the government its self is setting up 4IR task force to handle the disrupting and its new regulations.
Is it hard to find investors there?
The VC scene in Uganda is quite small. It is for tickets of between 5000USD to 100,000 USD. Most are into social impact businesses or into sectors that have high growth. However, investors who have been in Uganda have come to discover that Ugandan start ups are not very competitive say like the case in Rwanda and Kenya which have had very much attention from investors due to their markets are very competitive.
Most still are bootstrapping as they are not investor ready. Few however have raised money from angel investors and also done some few rounds of investment though they are still very early in the investment cycle.
What do you think is lacking to Uganda to develop it more? What are the main barriers to develop a startup there?
Lack of support from local players especially government agencies and organizations who can benefit from the services.
Poor attitude of Ugandans who are not very passionate about homegrown solutions by fellow Ugandans.
Lack of financial access as there few investment firms in Uganda.
Lack of information sources as research findings are hard to get in the Ugandan tech sector since many people have yet to undertake research and publish the findings.
What is your perspective for the next years on Uganda and more regionally on Africa?
We all know that Africa is the next target for industrialization, china, where all people went to for cheap labor and free industry land has now filled up and its labor capital is now educated, making Africa the next target. In the next 10 years will have more companies emerging in in african countries especially Uganda where the laws are friendly and people are very nice and accomodative. Uganda will have the most thriving startups in the next 10 years. Hence my, my vision which is to see African startups leading the 500 fortune companies in the next 10 years.