ogweno1_TONY KARUMBAAFP via Getty Images_africa health innovation TONY KARUMBAAFP via Getty Images

The Necessary Rise of Africa's Health Tech

The African health-care sector continues to struggle with a lack of resources and funding, but creative uses of technology offer new possibilities for improving access to medical treatment. Building on developments spurred by the pandemic, health tech on the continent is poised for explosive growth.

NAIROBI – Africa’s health systems suffer from serious inefficiencies. Countries across the continent struggle with disruptions in medical equipment and drug supply chains, last-mile health-services delivery, medical data analysis and storage, and financing. But innovations in telemedicine, drones, big data analytics, wearables, and information management have brought the possibility of effective, affordable solutions into view, promising to improve overall health outcomes.

In recent years, African health tech has recorded impressive growth. More than 40 health-tech start-ups on the continent received series A funding in 2020 alone. Recently launched firms cover a range of health-related fields, including genetic sequencing, drug procurement, and health literacy.

The growth opportunities are enormous. But for health-tech companies to thrive, entrepreneurs must study past successes and failures to determine what works and what does not in the African context.