Helium Health: Meet the Nigerian Entrepreneurs Transforming Africa’s Healthcare

helium health
Cofounders OF Helium Health (L to R): Sofowora (CFO), Ovia (Head of Growth), Olubusi (CEO)

Do you remember Helium health, the Lagos-based company healthcare technology provider working in several African countries?

It is the company trying to solve three core ways in which Africa’s healthcare system is dysfunctional. These are in inefficiency due to manual processes, fragmentation, and lack of data.

This is mainly because Africa hospitals had been operating entirely manually for decades.

The Electronic Medical Records/Hospital Management Information System is Helium Health’s flagship product. It is end-to-end software, which helps hospitals manage and digitally store data.

The company’s product is currently used by over 300 hospitals and serves 165,000 patients per month.

Meet the three Nigerian entrepreneurs transforming Africa’s Healthcare. Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia, and Dimeji Sofowora. They are 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees who launched Helium Health in 2016.

Olubusi is a Johns Hopkins graduate and an eBay and Goldman Sachs alumnus. He started Helium Health in 2016 with his high school friend Dimeji Sofowora (CFO), and Tito Ovia (Head of Growth), whom he’s known since college.

Olubusi

The three of them had studied abroad, had returned to Nigeria and were looking for a problem to solve. They decided to focus on healthcare. This is because it was a sector that desperately needed modernization. Also, it is a sector that applies to everyone.

In the last three to six weeks, Helium Health, with over 100 employees, rolled out several new products. And they hope these products will help them expand in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.

But Helium Teleclinic is the most popular of the new products due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. This is a platform that enables brick and mortar hospitals to have televisits with their patients.

Olubusi told FORBES that, “The demand is incredible, we’ve had over 250 hospitals sign up. More than half of them have never worked with us before.”

Regarding the software which helps hospitals manage and digitally store data, Olubusi said, “Imagine if a hospital sees 1000 people a day. How do you count 1000 people every day with specific issues they need taken care of when you’re doing everything on paper?”

He said, “When we think about the extent of the challenges and problems that we can solve in the healthcare sector in Africa, there could be a million ways in which this can help us grow.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, if you get in an accident and there isn’t a strong emergency department, you will die,” Olubusi says. “Because of the COVID-19 situation, now these countries now have to face the harsh reality of not investing in their healthcare sector.”

Olubusi

Helium Health participated in the Y Combinator class of 2017, where they raised a $2 million seed round. Today, the company has over 100 employees and with the 10 million Series A, it has raised a total of $12 million, according to FORBES.