Medicine and technology converge at Les Rencontres Africa

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Ms Jacqueline Kitulu, Chairperson of Kenya Medical Association (left) and by Ms Yvonne Mburu, Co-Founder & CEO, Med in Africa (right) speaking during Les Rencontres Africa.

Les Rencontres Africa business event which ended yesterday in Nairobi, narrowed its focus on Kenya’s healthcare sector with attention drawn to medicine and technology coming together to improve healthcare service delivery.

Ms Jacqueline Kitulu, Chairperson of Kenya Medical Association, took the stage at the event to present about the interplay between technology and medicine throughout the world.

While referencing Steve Jobs quote: “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.”  Ms Kitulu said that disruption caused by tech in the health sector is a necessity and something that is called for, but there has to be engagement for innovations to make sense.

“As the Medical Association, we are trying to get health care workers to engage with tech entrepreneurs so that their needs can be met when they are innovating,” said Ms Kitulu.

Ms Kitulu added that the Kenya Medical Association is planning a tech conference where entrepreneurs and medical practitioners can come together, share ideas and learn from one another.

“In the past, such conferences have been set by tech companies with their own agenda, our idea is to have our own agenda and that way we will have a better engagement and more value, in terms of what comes out of it from a needs point of view,” Ms Kitulu added that it is important to consult with tech professionals and the government for proper multi sectoral collaboration.

“I think there are lot of opportunities that are present particularly on the technological front that would dramatically revolutionise the healthcare sector, make it accessible and affordable.”Ms Yvonne Mburu, Co-Founder & CEO, Med in Africa

The tech community represented by Ms Yvonne Mburu, Co-Founder & CEO, Med in Africa, who talked about medicine and technology in Africa saying: “I think there are lot of opportunities that are present particularly on the technological front that would dramatically revolutionise the healthcare sector, make it accessible and affordable.”

“I just came from speaking with an entrepreneur who has an app, that allows patients to find the cheapest drugs within a five kilometer radius of their residence, what this does is, it changes the way pharmacies operate. So, I think that the opportunities are magnificent, not only for the investors and the entrepreneurs, but also for the end users who are the patients who will benefit the most from the transparency and efficiency that is coming into the system,” Ms Mburu added.

Ms Mburu’s Med in Africa is an online platform that connects and engages African scientists and healthcare professionals globally. The platform makes it easier for the diaspora to be involved in medical and science innovation in Africa, and conversely for professionals in Africa to be connected to their counterparts overseas.

“Med in Africa is committed to illuminating the expertise of the African diaspora and maximizing our collective potential to make a difference. We facilitate trust and global collaboration between scientists and health professionals in Africa and in the diaspora. No matter where we are located, we can and should be a unified voice for the advancement of healthcare, science and education in Africa,” reads a statement on the company’s official website.

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