PneumaCare: Paystack for Healthcare

Today’s article is special to me because healthcare is where I started my career. I went from being an admin Assitant to a weekend shift as a general administrative staff at a hospital to becoming a product manager at a healthcare startup. I think if I ever had to be a subject matter expert in a particular sector; it would be in Healthtech.

Globally, healthcare is highly neglected even in developed countries and it took a global pandemic to get our attention on all the gaps and problems that exist in healthcare. The problem starts with how medical research is not well funded and even extends to how healthcare startups are also not prioritised in funding.

I have nothing against fintechs but why fund only a savings platform when one health emergency can wipe out all your savings. What’s even more interesting is that if you knew about an existing health issue just a bit earlier, you may not need to wipe out all your savings when it becomes a crisis. The point is that we need to do more in healthcare as it is one of the most important sectors in any economy. There needs to be a high rate of incentivisation and encouragement when it comes to Healthcare in general. There needs to be adequate funding in all areas for researchers and entrepreneurs, there also needs to be both physical and digital infrastructure to ensure people can build and offer solutions quickly and effectively.

In Nigeria and mostly Africa, one of the biggest problems we face is terrible Healthcare and in some cases, access to healthcare is inexistent. In fact, one of the things that makes an underdeveloped country is low life expectancy and that is mostly due to poor Healthcare.

What’s even crazier about healthcare in a country like Nigeria is that building actual solutions is hard, a lot of persons can’t afford it, funds for healthcare like so many other sectors are mismanaged, people neglect model healthcare because they feel it is imported and hence an abomination and also for those who understand and can afford healthcare, it is gruesome to build healthcare solutions.

PneumaCare is solving a huge problem, in the same way, that Paystack makes it easy to build payment solutions. PneumaCare is building the infrastructural rails that will make it easy for different healthcare solutions to be created.

Meet Pneuma

PneumaCare is currently democratizing access to quality healthcare in Africa by accelerating digital health innovations through its APIs. They have built an API infrastructure, healthcare service platform and patient community that will transform healthcare across Africa.

Some of their use cases include:

  1. Building Pharmatech Solutions: The value of the global pharma manufacturing industry is at about $1.2 Trillion and that figure can only rise because the world is paying more attention to that industry and general health due to the COVID-19 pandemic as that mirrored how unprepared we are for a global medical emergency. One of the biggest problems pharma faces is distribution and authentication. With technology and especially the kind of product that PneumaCare is building we can be certain that we would be able to tackle these problems faster and a lot more effectively.
  2. Building a patient onboarding and EHR product: One of the biggest problems in healthcare is the unification and interoperability of health information. In health, data is everything and understanding how your body works should not be at the mercy of a paper and pen. With PneumaCare, anyone seeking to manage health data would be able to manage health data.
  3. Building for healthcare technology in rural and low coverage areas with the KaiOS: It might be my own Bias talking here but I believe that a huge problem if we can make health tech products accessible on the Kai-OS which is basically for phones that aren’t “smart”. You can say that Pneuma is making it possible for healthcare technology to be accessible on a Nokia 3310.
  4. Enabling healthcare financing: The plan would be a product that would help people easily set up a healthcare savings account which can also be a substitute for insurance. The difference here is that they earn returns on their healthcare savings. A great way to get in this is to leverage useful partnerships and existing technologies like the Cowrywise Investment API.

You can tell that Pneuma is trying to solve the core problems we face in Healthcare and it all boils down to drug distribution, patient records and access to technology with low-grade devices.

At the core of healthcare is information, the ability for information to be stored, accessible and transferable. Building technology that makes this possible is crucial.

The Future:

It is not hard to tell that PneumaCare has come to the market at the right time, right now, they are doing the hard work of making it easy to build healthcare solutions. It’s the kind of market that expands the sector they operate in much like the way Paystack expanded digital market payments. I believe that with the infrastructure being available more people will be more inclined to build.

As a product person, I would drive the product expansion by exploring partnerships. The truth is that for healthcare to reach an acceptable standard there needs to be a partnership between several sectors, companies and most importantly the government. I would leverage partnerships in the following ways:

  1. Get the Kai-OS product accessible in public health facilities: The plan would be to get it into as many general hospitals as possible.
  2. Partner incubators and startup foundries to help startups looking to get to the market launch faster.
  3. Ensure integrations and plugins are accessible on other platforms like Wix, Wordpress, etc.
  4. Onboard pharmacy chains and sell a custom-built Pharmatech system that can be integrated into their existing system.
  5. Leverage existing partnerships to provide an extensive last-mile delivery system for drugs.

CONCLUSION

PneumaCare excites me especially with the way it can actually make data interoperability possible. In a couple of years, you will definitely find several companies built on the PneumaCare infrastructure, this would definitely make several other healthtech companies spring up and the healthtech industry in Africa would definitely expand.

What’s even more exciting about Pneuma is the way they’d be the catalyst for expansion in the healthcare industry much like the way digital payments were not very significant until the likes of Paystack came along.

If you have an Idea in healthtech and you need to launch fast, then Pnuema is your best bet.

Whether or not you are developing healthcare solutions, you can actually book an appointment with a doctor on PneumaCare.