By Samwel Doe Ouma @samweldoe
Sanofi Kenya has launched three challenges for e-health technology startups with innovative technological solutions to improve access to healthcare and transform health ecosystem to compete for ten slots to be presented for a pitch to global technology leaders in Paris.
According to Peter Munyasi Sanofi country Chair and general manger the three challenges for African start-ups aims to find innovative solutions to improve access to healthcare and transform the health ecosystem throughout the continent.
“The 3 challenges aim to spot, select and support the best startups in their desire to invent tomorrow’s solutions in the health sector on the African continent,” Munyasi said.
E-health technology startups are called to apply online and shortlisted startups will be invited to defend their projects in front of a jury consisting of Sanofi representatives and industry professionals in Nairobi.
For a health startup to qualify they will be required to demonstrate to the jury that the innovation they pitch can show concrete evidence of positive results in at least one African country, project maturity, the relevance of the solution, market potential and business model, skills, experience and knowledge of the team and eventually scientific proof if applicable.
The health technology Startups annual competition called Afri@Tech, is coordinated by drugs manufacturer Sanofi and takes ten African innovators to the annual competition in Paris every year. The innovation event is expected to bring together more than 8,000 startups from all over the world
Through the Sanofi e-health innovators challenge program, Kenyan e-health startup IsikCure received funding last year to actualise a medicines supply idea following their presentation before Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, IBM boss Ginni Rometty and Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi.
The first challenge will focus on diagnostics of non-communicable diseases, the second on telemedicine, and the third on solutions that improve the education of health professionals in the field of chronic diseases.
The second challenge focuses on a way to improve access to medicines in remote areas from provide chain management to various payment solutions.
This challenge ought to build it attainable to develop innovative and customized solutions, for better patient care, even in the most isolated areas.
Sanofi is trying to find tools developing systems reaching the “Last Mile” through e-commerce, direct to pharmacy, patient and tailored payment solutions and can provide better health support for people.
Finally, the last challenge appearance for solutions to support decision-makers in obtaining a far better usage of obtainable health knowledge to acknowledge and predict diseases, for research purposes and to improve health care management.
This challenge aims to spot solutions to help within the decision-making method and therefore the analysis of public-private partnerships.
“The funding to health technology startups illustrate Sanofi’s commitment to contribute locally by supporting the most daring and innovative entrepreneurs in the realization of their projects,” he said.
The successful health innovations will pitch their ideas at VivaTech 2019, an annual technology conference, dedicated to innovation and startups, in Paris, France in May 16th to 18th, 2019.
“These challenges are part of Sanofi’s strategy to support and encourage innovation within the African continent, in order to create a health ecosystem at the patient’s service and that includes all stakeholders in the sector: public authorities, private companies, start-ups,” he added.
The selected start-ups will be invited to present their innovative solutions at Afric@Tech, a Lab dedicated to the African continent within Viva Technology.
Start-ups will be evaluated according to five criteria including concrete evidence of positive results in at least one African country, project maturity, relevance of the solution, market potential and business model, skills, expertise and experience of the team and finally scientific evidence if applicable.