Goke Olubusi of Helium Health — The Future of Healthcare, Africa, and Telemedicine

"We had a unique understanding and we said, okay, we're going to rebuild healthcare software, but we're not going to make it look like traditional healthcare software. We're going to make it feel like platforms these people already use. And more importantly, we're going to make it so easy and flexible and affordable for them that it just becomes a no brainer."

In this episode of Build the Future, we talk with Goke Olubusi, the founder and CEO of Helium Health. In Africa where access to technology is very limited and few people know how to use it, Goke and his team at Helium health have made huge strides towards reshaping healthcare  without providing new devices or training. The next question seems to be how? 

Due to his extensive knowledge of the African market gathered from previous startups, Goke knew he had to work within people’s existing behaviors. While access to technology and the skills to use it are both constraints, he recognized that most people have a smartphone and are familiar with programs like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. From there, Goke shares how he specifically developed a new healthcare software that can be used on a smartphone and has a similar interface to apps people already know. 

Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

  • Data-driven decision making: Goke envisions healthcare in Africa and other markets being driven entirely by data and technology. Collecting and analyzing data rather than storing thousands of paper files would allow hospitals in Africa to analyze things such as when they are busiest and need to allocate the most resources, where they are losing money and where they could be more efficient. 
  • Digital Infrastructure: In order to enable this, Helium is building the digital infrastructure for hospitals. This is a collection of data and metrics that is built on top of the existing infrastructure of smartphones that already exists. Hospitals can then easily access and use this data to operate more efficiently. 
  • Telemedicine: Similar to other countries, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of telemedicine in Africa. Before coronavirus, Hospitals were not very interested in telemedicine, but they are now looking for a solution because they have never thought of operating virtually and their revenue is down 80% to 90%. 

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