Helium Health: Digitizing Africa’s Healthcare Sector

Helium Health: Digitizing Africa's Healthcare Sector

Healthcare is critical, however never before has health systems been tested than during the Covid-19 outbreak. The results were disastrous, but nonetheless, they revealed gaps that needed to be looked at.

This is especially for Africa. The continent, with a weak healthcare system is recognised globally touted as a foreign-aid recipient.

According to Weforum’s report, Africa’s health sector represents a massive investment opportunity, estimated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to be worth $66 billion annually.

Yet African leaders and donors continue to discuss Africa’s healthcare systems in terms of funding gaps. This calls for immediate action from all quarters to resuscitate the sector through the supply of affordable and reliable health care.

Helium Health is on a mission to accelerate the transition of Africa’s healthcare sector to technology and data-driven system where everyone can get more efficient and affordable care.

Launched in 2016, Helium Health is the largest Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems provider with operations in West Africa and has since expanded across Africa.

In May 2020, the  Nigerian startup closed a US$10 million Series A funding round – the largest fundraise of any software as a service (SaaS) healthcare provider in Africa to scale.

Over 300 healthcare providers and 5,000 health professionals in Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana currently use Helium Health’s technology.

The startup was founded by three entrepreneurs, Adegoke Olobusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, with a shared passion for solving the practical problems that they identified within the Nigerian health sector using technology.

Helium Health is uniquely positioned as an African provider that understands digitizing healthcare data at the point of care will enable us to solve a myriad of problems along the healthcare value chain.

In June 2021, the health tech app announced the launch of its full suite of products and services in Kenya by working closely with those at the frontline and building the critical health infrastructure required.

Afritech Media Editor Brian Yatich spoke with Jean Kyula, Helium Health country manager for Kenya to share insights into the firm’s strategies for growth in Kenya – Tech hub for East Africa.

Below excerpt;

Since starting operations in Kenya. How is the reception? Are Kenyans embracing the service? Take us through some of the milestones recorded.


We are very excited about the reception we have received since we started operations. There is a real need for the services we offer. We have signed with 3 strategic partners including Phillips Healthcare Technologies Limited and Savannah Informatics who are well known in the region and are industry leaders.


Forging such key partnerships will help us further better the offering for Kenyans. Additionally, we have started deploying to facilities across East Africa and have gone live in facilities even outside of Kenya which just shows the demand for platforms such as ours.


How can we use technology to better the health sector? And why is integrating technology to the economy so important?

We must be careful not to view technology as the silver bullet that answers all questions. At the heart of it there are patients, real people and that is what we care deeply about.

We want to make sure they can access care when and where they need it, making that care more affordable and ensuring that there is quality all through.

We have chosen to use technology to do so. The value of integrating technology to the economy is realized in the economic growth that is seen. We have been able to expand into new markets quickly and remotely through the power of technology.

By launching in this new market, we have also created jobs and believe in empowering local talent.

How has the service picked up in the country? And how do you ensure that it becomes sustainable as the firm grows? What more should we expect in your long-term projections?

We have been engaging with several health care providers who have given us great feedback on the product. We are in the process of customizing some features for clients as we continue with our expansion across the region.

We have been able to work with small facilities as well as large enterprise solutions as we have something for everyone here at Helium.

We will be launching some of our other features very soon so do keep a lookout for those! As we integrate with other providers in the ecosystem, we continue to enhance our offering to patients and the population at large and we are excited about future products we have mapped out.

Data protection is a growing key concern. How are EMR solution providers like yourself change its strategies in data collection storage and transfers etc?

At Helium Health, we take the responsibility of data protection very seriously. We have an entire team that is dedicated to ensuring we handle and process data in keeping with the laws of the countries we operate in as well as global directives. This means regularly updating as data protection legislation changes.

The health tech industry is very dynamic and so we must also adapt as these changes come into play.

We are one of the few custodians of digital healthcare data on the continent and this is a role we do not take lightly. We execute our responsibilities with utmost reverence for data privacy.

Data entrusted to us is processed and stored with bank-grade security, and we are in compliance with the data regulations in the countries we operate, as well as global standards.

Looking ahead, what prospects do you have for Helium Health in the next five years?

We plan to continue to forge deeper and wider into Africa and across emerging markets.

We believe Kenya is very important to that strategy because it is one of the countries sitting at the pinnacle of technology adoption across the continent.