Ghanian Startup, Redbird Raises $1.5 million to Extend Its Decentralized Service Across Sub-Saharan Africa


Ghanaian health-tech startup, Redbird, has raised a seed round of $1.5 million. The round has Johnson & Johnson FoundationNewton Partners (through the Imperial Venture Fund), and Founders Factory Africa participating.

The startup helps patients to have access to convenient medical testing as well as make sure that the doctors and patients can see the details of the test results at any time. Before now, the startup had raised a pre-seed round of $1 million. 

Redbird has a proprietary software called Redbird Health Monitoring, which it makes available to pharmacies.

Using the software, the pharmacies are able to render rapid diagnostic testing services for 10 different health conditions. The conditions include Hepatitis B, anaemia, blood pressure, prostate cancer screening, typhoid and Malaria. 

To fully carry out the tests, Redbird gives the partner pharmacies the supplies and equipment that are needed for each test. The software is connected among all the partner pharmacies, allowing the patient to create medical testing records after taking the tests.

Source: Redbird

The patient’s record can then be accessed whenever there is a need for it, through the patient and pharmacy account.

With this raise, Redbird will be taking its services deeper into sub-Saharan Africa where there are not many competitors in its area of speciality. Notable players in the space include HeliumHealth, LifeBank, mPharma, 54gene, Field Intelligence, Tremendoc, HelloDoc and Udok.

While most health-tech startups primarily connect patients to medical practitioners, only a few seek to decentralize the patient’s medical records and make them available promptly and at will to the patient and other practitioners when needed.

Tremendoc, HelloDoc, Oncopadi are a few of the startups that provide doctors-on-demand services as well as facilitate lab testing for the patients based on a doctor’s recommendation.

Redbird takes it a step further by making the results of a patients test available and accessible to the patient and a network of pharmaceutical partners in the shortest time possible.

This makes it easier for patients to get tests, get treated for ailments without losing time even if they have to switch from one medical service provider to the other.

In Ghana, more than 300 pharmacies have partnered with Redbird, according to information on its website, and it has registered more than 30,000 patients. The pharmacies, in turn, have recorded more than 125,000 tests carried out with the startup’s software solution.

According to Redbird’s co-founder, Patrick Beattie, “Pharmacies who partner with Redbird gain access to the software and all the ways Redbird supports our partners for free as long as they purchase the consumables through us. This aligns our revenue with their success, which is aligned with patient usage.”

L-R: Patrick Beattie (CEO), Andrew Quao (COO), and Edward Grandstaff (CTO)
Image Credits: TechCrunch

The World Health Organization predicts that non-communicable diseases like Diabetes and Cancer will rise by 27% on the African continent.

Redbird’s founders are of the opinion that these chronic diseases will form the bulk of Africa’s health needs. A decentralized approach to lab testing and medical records using tech will fast-track the patient’s access to relevant care because “the burden of chronic disease will make a health system that is highly centralized impossible”, according to Beattie.

With its newly-acquired funding, Redbird plans to drive expansion into other African countries where its decentralized health service will make more difference. The healthtech startup is co-founded by Andrew Quao (COO), and Edward Grandstaff (CTO), alongside Beattie who serves as the CEO.

Feature image credit: Redbird; Source: TechCrunch

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