Kenyan e-health startup ConnectMed has had its technology acquired by global healthcare firm Merck, which will take over the company’s telehealth applications and related management systems.
Launched in 2017, ConnectMed allows patients to access consultations with medical professionals via video link. Licenced practitioners are available for same-day consultations, and can provide prescriptions, sick-notes, and referrals. For doctors, the service allows them more flexibility and control over their work hours.
Until December the startup offered telehealth services for acute and chronic primary health conditions in Kenya and South Africa, but it has now been bought out by Merck, which plans to leverage ConnectMed ́s platform in connection with CURAFA points of care in Kenya.
The CURAFA platform provides over-the-counter and prescription medicines, digital health solutions, insurance schemes, education and awareness and a technology-enhanced facility experience. It is a new model employed by Merck in a bid to improve primary healthcare access for underserved populations, while strengthening local healthcare systems.
Since its launch, ConnectMed has been developing telehealth kiosks to provide its services within Kenyan pharmacies. It operated in over 30 locations, including branches of the largest Kenyan pharmacy chains, as well as at Merck ́s CURAFA points of care.
“We are excited that Merck will be utilising our telehealth solution to apply it to their CURAFA platform,” said Melissa McCoy, ConnectMed’s chief executive officer (CEO).
Following the handover of the company’s telehealth solutions to Merck, ConnectMed itself will cease operations. Over its lifetime, the company launched three direct-to-consumer digital health products in Kenya and South Africa, and served over 8,000 patients, plus corporate clients.
It raised over US$300,000 in investment and was supported by the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre, University of Oxford’s Skoll Centre, Entrepreneur First and Katapult Accelerator.