Sonafi nurtures disruptive innovations in African healthcare space

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard with financial report

Sonafi, a global health care company, has tasked itself to alleviate the pinches of health care seeking  in the SUb-Saharan Africa region by growing innovative ideas that would help digitize that space.

In partnership with VivaTech and LabTech, Sanofi Africa, through its CEO, Peter Munyes is up to ensure that healthcare is digitized and access is made easy and readily available in Africa. VivaTech is an annual event held in Paris, France that assembles great innovative minds from across the world to showcase their innovations especially in the health space.

“Sanofi is the wing for Kenyan startups to register and participate in the worldwide innovation challenge and has been participating in VivaTech since three years ago and recently joined AfricaTech lab,” says Munyes adding, “The two together work to better ideas that will disrupt the health care system.”

“LabTech is an area secluded for Africa Innovation at VivaTech.”

Sanofi encourages innovations by inviting startups to participate in the Vivatech event held annually in France during the month of May. The nominated startups then get to showcase their products in solutions for health care, to great present and future world leaders, potential investors as well as could-be partners. It is an enabler for the creation of networks that will in future help startups scale up and grow the business to higher levels.

The innovative ideas or products are vetted pegged on their ability to increasing awareness about diseases and diagnosis, improve distribution and or supply chain and payment innovation for medication and consolidating data in the healthcare in a way to simplify analysis and support the healthcare stakeholders in improving outcome.

The criteria for the win selection he says, is the demonstration of a proven concept.

“Startups must validate the feasibility of their ideas,” Munya says, adding, “The ideas must have room for growth or scalability, and sustainable.”

He envisions to aid disruption of operations in health care space with the brilliant ideas presented at the VivaTech event which is why he says Sonafi gives innovative startups the global visibility to help get to grow the ideas into solutions I the health space.

Despite technological advancements in the country, Munya confirms a larger marginalized society that hardly understands healthcare. He sadly reminds me of the one out of every seventeen Kenyans suffering from diabetes, most of whom he says are in rural setups and who succumb to the disease either for ignorance  or wrong diagnosis also misdiagnosis.

He appreciates the ever expanding population in Africa that he says brings with it a challenge; the fast spread of diseases!

“There is a serious crisis in the health sector in developing countries particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya is proving no exception. Of the biggest challenges is resource allocation for various areas of healthcare need especially in hardship and rural areas of the country. This is an area am so keen to see digitized.” John Munya

He explains the importance of operating on digitized data as being accurate vis-a-viz written records that can always be misplaced or lost. He also mentions reduction of working time that translates into more patients being attended if their records are all on soft.

Digital data analysis to aid in resource allocation are the ideas Sanofi is recruiting into the 2019 challenge. The crème dela crème startup gets global visibility which is sort of a growth plan for the startup.

“The competition sees to honor innovative ideas just that the award is not a trophy,” says Munya. “The winners get global visibility which I would chose over a trophy. Sanofi in turn invests in the top successful startups.”

Going forward, he says Sanofi would wish to work with ideas that will formulate affordable and effective solutions to the ailments of Africans, what will in the long run reduce the number of lives lost to disease ignorance and poor diagnoses. The ideas should be able to improve awareness on diseases and generally better treatment outcome. They should impact in to the supply chain by reducing costs and enhancing medication affordability as well as increase the availability and accessibility of drugs even to the remotest of Africa. Ideas that will solve African healthcare puzzle.




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