Nigeria-based health technology startup Helium Health has acquired Meddy, a Qatar-based and UAE-based doctor booking platform for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition, Adegoke Olubusi, CEO of Helium Health, called “a great deal” on a call is unusual in that it overlaps two regions that are rare in technology: Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)..
Meddy CEO Haris Aghadi and COO Abed Alkarim Khattab will join the Helium leadership team as part of the agreement. You will “play an essential role in the implementation of Helium’s GCC strategy and operations”.
The takeover of Meddy by Helium Health is an important expansion step. Founded in 2016 by Olubisi, Dimeji Sofowora and Tito Ovia, the company is known in Africa for its central electronic health records (EMR) and hospital management solutions. However, since then it has evolved to offer other services under its platform, including HeliumPay, a billing and payments solution; a collateral free credit product, HeliumCredit; Patient Care and Revenue Cycle Management Service HeliumDoc; and data analysis services.
With a presence in six African countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Kenya and Uganda – Helium Health has signed more than 500 healthcare facilities. Over 7,000 medical professionals from these facilities now care for more than 300,000 patients a month.
Normallya corporate customer needs various services on one platform – from electronic medical records and management information systems to revenue cycle management, consolidated analyzes and telemedicine services.
However, most platforms in the GCC have use cases that are vertical rather than horizontal. Vezeeta and Okadoc, for example, help users book appointments, access teleconsultation services, and order medication; Bayzat offers an online platform for human resources management, payroll and health insurance; and Clinicy operates a digital health management system. So for Enterprise customers, to get a holistic EMR experience, have to Stack these different products on top of each other.
Although SF-based Helium Health has a wide range of B2B offers, these other areas lack particularly telemedicine and appointment bookings, which are more consumer-oriented products. The company could have grown those services, but acquiring Meddy was a better option given its expansion game. In addition to providing a doctor booking platform and a telemedicine product to manage bookings and patient reviews, Meddy also offers marketing solutions for hospitals to improve their online presence and attract new patients.
With Meddy, the Y Combinator and Tencent-supported Helium Health can now cover a wider range of services that health groups need. Meddy will merge with the patient care provider and revenue cycle management platform of Helium Health under the name Helium Doc.
“There aren’t many people in the GCC who can offer a suite like ours. If so, they are doing it at such a high price that they have already priced the market out in that sense, ”Olubusi told TechCrunch.
“But we can offer a complete suite in which you can carry out your appointment booking, marketing solution, EMR, hospital management information system and have everything from a single source. It will save you a lot of stress trying to give it a try consolidate many different systems. “
Aghadi adds that the partnership will provide their customers with interoperability, a feature missing in other EMRs and stand-alone platforms.
Many older and new products do not have open APIs, which makes it difficult to exchange data between them. HHealthcare providers feel the brunt of this lack of interoperability when they use such platforms to Make uninformed health decisions.
“Interoperability is a very big challenge in the region, and having this central point of contact like ours solves that, ”remarked Aghadi.
While two obvious factors – capitalizing on the lack of other healthcare platforms and capitalizing on a growing opportunity in the GCC region (where digital infrastructure investments will account for 30% of healthcare investments between 2023 and 2030) – have driven this acquisition and partnership Olubisi and Aghadi point out a third, more subtle factor: the teams.
According to both founders, the Helium Health and Meddy teams are identical in terms of operations, technology execution, culture and market prices. These similarities made it easy for both companies to sign the deal in less than four months.
“In addition to the actual product and market opportunity, this was possible: Yes, really the makeup of the team, how well they implemented the fact that they share a DNA and culture that very much similar to ours, ”said Olubusi.
Meddy currently serves more than 150 private customers in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Backed with just $ 1.8 million in VC funding, the company has enabled over 200,000 doctor appointments and enabled healthcare providers to generate approximately $ 130 million in bills.
When the two companies come together, the next plan, according to Olubusi, is to figure out how to better serve the GCC market with its complete EMR solutions while introducing telemedicine and doctor booking services to its customers in Africa.
“Over the next few months, we will be better introducing and serving these consolidated product suites in our markets,” he said. “I mean, we want to double, triple, and grow our customer base over the next two to three years expand our reach even further to ensure that Helium Health is the leading healthcare technology provider in the GCC region only like in Africa. “