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For many Nigerians, a visit to the hospital involves waiting long hours to see a doctor. It might also mean that their records have to be retrieved from among mountains of files. This reliance on paper records makes patient management difficult. It also makes the hospital administrators’ work difficult; a routine inventory check would involve plowing through thick notebooks.

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This picture is changing, thanks to health tech. Health care facilities are adopting digital technologies that are efficient replacements for paper and pen, and the convoluted management systems associated with these tools. In Nigeria, this transformation is being led by startups like Helium Health.

Helium Health’s solution simplifies a vast plane of hospital processes. Its digital platforms allow healthcare establishments to take on facility management, patient records, and bill payments for the service they render, without the stress that manual methods involve.

The startup was founded in 2016 by three entrepreneurs: Adegoke Olubusi, Dimeji Sofowora, and Tito Ovia.  In its early days, the team pitched its integrated records solution to some of Nigeria’s leading hospitals and secured its first institutional clients from among them.

In time, it attracted the attention of investors, who committed funding of $2 million for its expansion. In 2019, it merged with another company, Medplus, and became West Africa’s largest digital records provider.

Helium Health now serves over 150 medical facilities across Nigeria, including private and public hospitals.

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The company’s flagship product is its Hospital Management Information System (HMIS). The software enables healthcare providers to unify patients’ records on one platform. This allows them to manage patients throughout their journey across the institution, from registration and diagnosis to prescription and bed spaces.    

Doctors can create patient files on the system, and access it when the patient returns on an appointment. Appointment dates, diagnoses, and prescriptions are recorded too and can be shared with concerned parties. Test results, including imaging from scans, can be captured here as well.

Patients can view their medical records from wherever they are, through a test portal. And if they want to pay for services they have received, they can do so via the software’s billings system. It’s all set up so that administration and financial record keeping can be done without stress.

Besides its hospital management systems, Helium Health also provides governments and multi-lateral organizations with health care data. They rely on the information it shares with them to improve their policies, healthcare programs, and other social intervention projects.

Helium Health also designs its solutions so that they can be configured by their users. Hospitals can make their platforms open only to specific staff.  This ensures that patient data remains secure, and hospitals can maintain control of their organizations’ information.

Featured image source: Medium

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This article was first published on 24th April 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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