Innovating During Crisis: COVID-19 and Digital Health in Developing Countries

Thursday 21 May 2020 | Benin | Digital Inclusion | Ecosystem Accelerator | English | Innovation fund and grants | Mobile access and use | Mobile Health | Pakistan | Social impact and behavioural change | South Asia | Sri Lanka | Sub-Saharan Africa | Video | Webinar |

While COVID-19 is magnifying the weaknesses of existing health systems globally, the pandemic disproportionately threatens developing countries, not only as a health crisis but also as a devastating social and economic crisis

In this online panel discussion, we brought together leading digital health start-ups from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Benin to provide insights on the impact that their mobile technology services are having in helping people to understand their symptoms in the context of COVID-19. As you watch the recording, here are a few key takeaways:

  • Health-tech start-ups in their respective countries have developed partnerships with their respective governments and external stakeholders to offer telemedicine healthcare and other services to the potential COVID-19 patients;
  • These start-ups have evolved during this crisis by creating call centre services for people without smartphones, ensuring data privacy by engaging some of the best technology firms, and enhancing efforts in fundraising to ensure sustainability of their respective businesses;
  • Notably, Sehat Kahani and oDoc shared common experiences of significant support from Pakistani and Sri Lankan doctors belonging to the diaspora located abroad to support their initiatives in their respective countries; and
  • Health-tech start-ups have experienced multi-fold increases in terms of their users (a six-fold increase for Sehat Kahani) and (eight-fold for oDoc). Start-ups believe from their business perspective, if they continue to evolve and expand, they can grow out of the crisis even stronger.

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