Discovery to take SA e-health entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley

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South African insurance firm Discovery has launched its Entrepreneurs Medical Technology programme, which will take local e-health startups on a trip to Silicon Valley later this year.

The programme aims to provide local medical technology entrepreneurs with the opportunity to network and learn in a global market by visiting Silicon Valley for a week from November 27.

The trip will allow selected entrepreneurs to see how technology is transforming the American healthcare system, discover new innovations designed for emerging market consumers, and unearth alternative approaches to venture capital.

Interested entrepreneurs must submit their applications by September 25, after which 20 will be selected to spend the week in the San Francisco Bay area exploring the latest in global technology-driven innovation.

Discovery said technology is changing the global approach to health and wellness, tackling issues such as disease, compliance, fraud and waste in healthcare. But to find solutions to these challenges, issues of access, quality and affordability need to be addressed, with digital products able to disrupt healthcare delivery in the same way they have disrupted other traditional business models.

“We are in a global digital healthcare revolution with significant investment across various categories. These include wearables, analytics and data, digital medical devices, population health management, personal health tools and tracking as well as the evolution of electronic health records,” said Discovery Health deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Ryan Noach.

“The pace of digital health funding in the first half of 2016 echoed the record-breaking years of 2014 and 2015, with funding just passing the US$2 billion mark. This is an exciting time for startups looking to disrupt the game.”

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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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