MPharma, a Ghanaian health IT business, plans to create 100 virtual centres in seven African regions to deliver quality primary care in the communities they serve.
MPharma, a Ghanaian health tech startup, is set to open 100 virtual centres across seven markets in Africa over the next six months.
The company, founded by CEO Gregory Rockson, has the goal to deliver quality primary care in the communities they serve by providing medical examinations.
MPharma already provides about 10,000 physician consultations to patients at the startup’s network of pharmacies. It also managed to raise over $50 million since inception; this includes a Series C round of $17 million, led by U.K.’s development arm CDC Group last year.
Other existing investors include Silicon Valley backer Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital, Shravin Bharti Mittal of Bharti Global Limited — an Indian Conglomerate, Social Capital, and Golden Palm Investments.
The company said the new centres would allow patients “to get examined remotely during a virtual consultation” making its approach to digital outreach “unique.”
It’s a big move and one that will be beneficial to those struggling to get care. According to World Health Organization data, countries across sub-Saharan Africa have an average of 0.23 doctors for every 10,000 people. This is against the best ratio of 84.2 doctors in some of the most developed countries.
“We saw this as an opportunity to leverage our pharmacies as virtual doctor offices so that patients could get examined remotely during a virtual consultation. This is what makes mPharma’s telemedicine unique,” Rockson told TechCrunch.
Patients around the continent — in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, where mPharma has a presence, are set to benefit from the virtual consultations, and it plans to raise more funding to further grow its business across the continent.
“We currently have five centres open. We have done an assessment of all our pharmacies and plan to establish the Mutti Doctor locations (the virtual centres) based on the needs of the community. We have already identified the first 100 locations,” Rockson added.
The African pharmaceutical industry is anticipated to expand dramatically as the population grows, creating a place for innovation and a market for companies delivering mobile health solutions.
According to the Deloitte research, East Africa is the most attractive region in Africa for healthcare investment due to its integration and expanding economy, which is backed by diverse industries such as agriculture and tourism. Increased demand for services and goods as consumers’ purchasing power grows, it is predicted, would lead to a rise in healthcare and telecommunications spending.
mPharma, founded in 2013 by Rockson, Daniel Shoukimas, and James Finucane, is one of Africa’s most well-funded companies, having raised over $50 million since its creation, including a $17 million Series C investment sponsored by the United Kingdom’s development arm CDC Group last year. Silicon Valley supporter Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital, Shravin Bharti Mittal of Bharti Global Limited — an Indian conglomerate, Social Capital, and Golden Palm Investments are among the existing investors.