The launch of a technology platform founded by women promotes access to quality health care at home

Marked by a critical shortage of medical resources and personnel, as well as poor career prospects for nurses employed in the public and private sectors, South Africa is in the midst of a health care crisis – a crisis that compromises the well-being of patients and healthcare professionals alike.

Origin: Supplied.

In public care settings, this results in long waiting times, ineffective hygiene and infection control measures, and overall poor quality of care for patients.

As a result, increased pressure has been put on the private sector to fill the void. However, for patients, private facilities are seen as too expensive for routine care, in part because of issues with overtreatment.

Meanwhile, the for-profit nature of the private sector means that healthcare professionals working in these facilities are often overworked and underpaid. Thus, many workers – especially nurses – are forced to moonlight to make ends meet, resulting in physical and mental exhaustion.

To solve these interrelated challenges and advance the well-being of healthcare professionals and patients, a new health technology platform has been launched. Inspired by the Yoruba word for “healer” – Noosi is an end-to-end web-based platform that connects users with verified nursing professionals to deliver real-time home healthcare.

Co-founded as a partnership between UCT Tech4Good Laboratory Manager Dr Sumarie Roodt and a seasoned nursing professional with over three decades of experience, Sister Catherine Williams – Noosi promotes the delivery of high quality, compassionate care for users, who can use the platform to access a wide range of home healthcare services.

These include counseling, chronic disease care and management, mental and psychiatric care, with patients able to cross-reference their healthcare needs with a list of nearby professionals registered on the platform.

Home is where the heart is

Digital home healthcare has become a popular alternative for patients seeking care, in part due to Covid-19 pandemic regulations, which have limited individuals’ ability to access medical facilities and spurred the adoption of solutions of telemedicine.

This is supported by research, which has found that – with the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the subsequent need for post-acute and long-term care – personalized environments – such as the home – speed up recovery times by reducing exposure to hospital-related injuries and infections, and allowing patients to maintain routines, attend to manageable tasks, and enjoy the comforts of familiar surroundings, including family, pets , recreation and the outdoors.

Source: Dr. Carolyn Chinsinga.

Says Roodt: “Noosi is founded on the desire to reinvigorate the South African healthcare system, and we believe that by leveraging a ‘tech4good’ approach, this can be achieved in a way that simultaneously empowers nurses who work hard to get a new and better job. opportunities, while providing patients with a way to obtain affordable and accessible health care.

Roodt adds that this focused mission earned the company several inquiries from potential investors, culminating in Noosi receiving an undisclosed pre-seed investment from Futureworld International partner Anton Musgrave and Vanessa September. , Chief Executive of Constitution Hill Trust. , earlier this year.

On this, Musgrave notes that: “As a veteran entrepreneur and seasoned start-up angel investor, Noosi’s vision is one that has the potential for exponential growth, especially as healthcare has become a global issue. leading.

“We have seen phenomenal growth in initiatives that prioritize the well-being of the public, and the home healthcare market is an example of this. The global home healthcare market size is estimated to reach $634.9 billion by 2030, which represents many opportunities for scale – hence my decision to invest in such an incredible initiative.

The investment in Noosi also comes as the African healthtech industry has seen impressive growth over the past few years: in 2020 alone, more than 40 healthtech startups on the continent received Series A financing.

This trend is set to continue, as governments across the continent recommit to achieving the health outcomes set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Agenda 2063 roadmap. African Union.

September adds to this: “Communities around the world are increasingly recognizing that, to realize their right to good health, we must develop patient-centred interventions and approaches that ensure that health services are in good health. aligned with patient needs.

“When I heard about this initiative, its goal of empowering both healthcare workers and those in need of care, and the fact that it was led by an all-female team, I was very willing to lend my support in the form of an investment.”

To accelerate access to high-quality and affordable healthcare, Noosi will initially limit its platform to metropolitan Cape Town before expanding to several provinces in South Africa in the new year, with medium- and long-term global ambitions.

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