Patricia Monthe is the Founder/CEO MEDx eHealthCenter B.V. eHealth services is an emerging goldmine and business in Africa. In this exclusive interview she talks to Business Africa Online on MEDx eHealth Centre B.V, Challenges targeting healthcare seekers using technology, how she intend to make MEDx eHealth Centre B.V remain competitive in a fast-changing global marketplace, contributing towards Africa development by creating jobs, empowering mums, etc. Excerpt.
BAO: Tell us about MEDx eHealth Centre B.V and your role at the company?
MEDx: We are the Next Revolutionary thing for supporting Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). MEDx eHealth Centre is a community-based platform connecting healthcare providers, healthcare seekers and families in an innovative (or digital) environment that enables access, acquisition and payment of healthcare services and healthcare resources globally.
We are also a global IT SAAS (Software as a Service) solution, being a multiservice digital Hospital platform, targeting the needs of HealthCare Seekers and HealthCare Providers in growth markets, to help balance demand and supply of healthcare services, through an efficient and streamlined self-care, ePrimary, eSecondary & eTertiary care powered by CASH TO HEALTH for those markets.
We are also the one stop shop to access all healthcare capabilities and resources at anytime from anywhere.
e.g. To illustrate the benefits of such a system, think of a medical professional in Africa in need of validating test results for an illness never encountered before. Should such a professional have the opportunity of getting a second opinion from a peer in a neighbouring or overseas country, he will be able to do more in less time, enabling other institutions to do more with less resource and ultimately the patient would benefit from cross validated results.
BAO: What is the inspiration behind this IDEA? Why health and not other sector?
MEDx: Why am I so dedicated to this cause? Because of my personal experiences! I almost lost my sister to misdiagnosis; she was being treated for Typhoid while suffering from Malaria. Hours after starting the treatment, her body reacted severely to the administered medication; none of the medical professionals around seemed to know what was going on. We were fortunate to know a nurse with a very good track record in the neighbourhood. We reached out to her and she intervened soon enough to turn the situation around.
This single experience said a lot about some fundamental issues threatening the local system of care. Doing a bit of background research helped realized that many growth markets shared commonalities in root problems affecting the system of care.
In fact the issue of affordability of care is a global issue, the ‘Affordable Care Act’ pitched by the Obama administration is a great reminder of that fact. Accessibility of care is a more fundamental issue, affecting growth markets. Imagine how difficult it is to be sick and to have no idea where or how to find help. The need for care is so basic and so primal, that people will do with whatever they find to survive, regardless of risks and consequences associated. As a result, a large number of people in growth markets turn to inadequately trained professionals; they end up misdiagnosed, resulting in disabilities or death in some cases.
Scarcity of healthcare services usually mean that healthcare seekers have to pay high fees for care, despite the facts that they are unsure of the quality they are getting for their money. Unaffordability then implies that the poorest will most definitely opt for the cheapest options, which in the context of growth markets, is likely to imply medical professionals insufficiently trained to make informed decisions on patient’s cases.
BAO: What in your view are the main challenges targeting the healthcare seekers using technology in Africa and what strategies are you employing in overcoming these challenges?
MEDx: The main Challenges targeting healthcare seekers using technology today are
- Access to smartphone
- Quality internet
- Electricity to be connected constantly
- Slowly we will see the rise of theft of data but less of an issue today
BAO: Do you have Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) programs? If yes, how do you balance it with running a profitable, efficient company?
MEDx: Our total organisation is built and operates around key SDG 3. That’s the reason why our mission for the coming 2 to 3 years is
The Next Revolutionary Thing for supporting the SDGs Goal 3 and To be more concrete we focus on the Goal 3.8 which is aims to Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
Within our organisation we therefore enable a digital hospital innovation that supports our customers in delivering on the SDGs 3 and empowering our consumers to access health resources on demand. Our full business and profit or loss account is around this mission which is SDGs driven.
BAO: How does MEDx eHealth Centre B.V remain competitive in a fast-changing global marketplace?
MEDx: We innovate daily and we also have a polo more than 300 ideas co-thought with our users to structurally enhance the digital hospital for the coming years. Our tech team is very busy checking with some of our users, what are the next urgent stuffs and this is often developed, tested, deployed to a local user and later across our platform.
BAO: Where do you see your brand in 7 years from now? And what strategic steps are your taking to meet this goal?
MEDx: To be the one and only digital hospital offering data driven care to the communities in emerging countries
BAO: How is your business participating to the development of Africa?
MEDx: We have a huge social responsibility plan. Here i will highlight only few points we shortly aim to address
- Local jobs creation.
- Provide opportunities to capable mums.
- Engage on volunteer activities to support bottom of the pyramid initiatives.
more can be read under our social responsibility page. https://sites.google.com/a/medxcenter.net/corporate-social-responsibility/home
BAO: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking forward to starting in a business or investing in Africa?
MEDx: Dedication and Hard work. A good idea will be to listen to my advice to Europeans aiming to get into Africa through this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSVcMzzZQiA&list=PLBeI8kzRvpA19C34S0gghTeQ62Zba2_Na&index=7
About Patricia Monthe: I take pride in being a challenger of the status quo. I am an ambidextrous thinker with good abilities to match strategic with operational thinking, technical with managerial knowledge, as well as rational with intuitive insights. People describe me as entrepreneurial and energizing, for the enthusiasm l exhibit towards situations that require new knowledge and innovative thinking. Connect on LinkedIn via: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patricia-monthe-0b41808/