Ethiopia’s Orbit Health makes access to healthcare more efficient

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Ethiopian startup Orbit Health is looking to make access to healthcare more efficient and affordable via a suite of digital solutions.

Orbit Health has developed three core solutions: a patient scheduling and appointment platform, an electronic medical record system, and a smart drug management system.

It is currently expanding the service to include a patient mobile portal, medical billing and payment solutions, and digital health data analytics.

The startup came about chief executive officer (CEO) Pazion Cherinet visited his birthplace in Ethiopia from the United States (US). After taking a family member to a local private medical center, he witnessed the unreasonable wait times and the lack of adequate care documentation.

Alongside co-founder Girum Assefa, he established Orbit Health to tackle these challenges.

“The major gap Orbit Health is addressing is the growing demand for an improved and quality care outcome by patients, and the weak and fragmented care management and delivery systems throughout Sub-Saharan Africa,” Cherinet told Disrupt Africa.

“We believe an improvement in the way healthcare is delivered is directly related to economically strengthening the country. Through innovative technology solutions, wait times and patient turnaround times can be shortened by over 55 per cent.”

The bootstrapped startup, which is currently raising money to scale and expand to different market segments within Ethiopia and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries, has had quite an impact. It has already scheduled over 8,000 appointments, diagnosed almost 8,000 conditions, and dispenses 14,000 medicines.

“Due to changing consumer behaviour, most private care delivery centres have shown keen interest in improving their operations by seeking innovative technology solutions. Furthermore, many countries, including Ethiopia, are striving to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in various sectors, including healthcare. The Federal Ministry of Health has been spearheading a health transformation agenda focused on an improved care outcome,” Cherinet said.

Orbit is already in conversations with potential partners over entering other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and earning revenues via a hybrid software as a service (SaaS) model, where it licenses its software products to care delivery centres.

“Also, to create an affordable framework to clients with multi-year agreements, there is a spread-out payment platform to include annual maintenance and upkeep of the system,” said Cherinet.

“Revenue has been climbing as more diverse solution packages have been deployed. With the rate of expansion a positive cashflow is anticipated by next year.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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