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Digital technology is making inroads into Nigeria’s healthcare system, and it’s doing so swiftly. At one time, the country’s hospitals relied on pen, paper and old typewriters to get their recordkeeping done. Inefficiency was rife; patients waited days to see a doctor. Thanks to modern tech, this picture is changing.

Companies like Helium Health are leading this charge. They’re taking their digital recordkeeping solutions to local hospitals and helping them integrate these tools into their daily operations. This movement began with the big facilities in the larger cities; it has now touched smaller towns and may encompass the remote regions soon.

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Helium Health is barely four years old. Founded in 2016, it started life by pitching its flagship integrated records to fix some of Nigeria’s most reputable healthcare institutions. By the end of its first year, it had won a number of competitions and was coming on the radar of healthcare industry watchers.

A $2 million investment contributed by global venture capitalists allowed the company to ramp up its selling and marketing, as well as improve its internal systems. By 2019, it had merged with another company, MedPlus, and became the largest digital records brand in West Africa.

Today, Helium Health’s Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution is used by over a hundred facilities across Nigeria.

The Helium Health software simplifies the work done by doctors, administrators, and financial record keepers at the hospitals that use it. It brings all of their patient records to a single platform, allowing the seamless transition of patients through registration, diagnosis, prescription, appointments, and bed spaces.

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For instance, doctors can enter their patient’s health information on the platform, and access this when the patient has a scheduled appointment with them. Appointment dates are also recorded, as are diagnoses and prescribed medicines. Other data captured within this system include imaging (Xray, CT-scans, MRI scans, etc), results from other tests, and details concerning surgical procedures (before and after they’re carried out).

Administrators can get a bird’s eye view of the transactions that take place within the hospitals they oversee. Things like billing and payments are easy to capture and track on Helium Health’s platform. There’s a billing system that takes care of fee assessments, and a setup that lets payments be made in a fairly straightforward manner.

As with any standard organizational management software, Helium Health’s solution can be configured to allow only authorized persons (staff) to access it. Thus there’s some guarantee that patient’s information will remain safe and private, even in the cloud environment that the software utilizes.

Featured image source: Techpoint Africa

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This article was first published on 8th January 2020


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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