How Rwanda’s Karisimbi is helping hospitals go paperless with electronic medical records

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Rwandan e-health startup Karisimbi Technology Solutions is helping hospitals go fully paperless, offering digital patient files that streamline service delivery and have so far been used to treat more than 30,000 patients.

The Karisimbi journey began in 2016, when founder Angelo Igitego was accompanying one of his family members to a local hospital in Kigali.

“Wait times were very long and difficult. Being a systems thinker, I realised that there was an opportunity to innovate and automate repetitive tasks like patient file creation and retrieval, and billing,” he told Disrupt Africa.

Igitego’s solution was IvuliroTech, software that helps hospitals go 100 per cent paperless, providing a locally-contextualised electronic medical record which he said really fits the Rwandan environment. 

“Paper files are expensive to print, to store, to retrieve. They harm the environment. They cause delays in service delivery – imagine retrieving one paper file among 20,000,” said Igitego.

Karisimbi aims to solve this problem, and since releasing its MVP in September 2019 has onboarded more than a dozen hospitals countrywide. 

“Ninety per cent of them are paying clients. We are now in the process of working with the umbrella organisation of private medical facilities. This will increase our market share from five per cent to more than per cent in the next two years,” Igitego said.

The bootstrapped startup, which is looking to raise pre-seed funding, has growth on its mind. Karisimbi plans to expand into new countries in the East Africa region, and is also adding to its product.

“In the next five months, we shall launch our pharmacy management systems that will help patients with NCDs to receive better treatment. The education sector is also very viable – given the recent changes caused by COVID-19 more people are demanding to shift the education online,” said Igitego.

Karisimbi makes money from monthly subscriptions and upfront installation fees.

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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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