Healthcare Europa

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At least six firms vying for Abraaj’s US$1bn healthcare fund

At least six firms are reportedly in the running to take over management of embattled Abraaj's US$1bn healthcare fund, including TPG, Colony Capital and Cerberus Capital. We talk to contacts in the emerging markets investment community, one of whom says as much as half of the portfolio's EBITDA could be in one country.

Connecting sub-Saharan Africa to better healthcare through mobile technology

PharmAccess is a Dutch NGO that works to improve healthcare access and services in sub-Saharan Africa through mobile technology and providing financial loans. It was a finalist because the M-TIBA solution is unique, claims 250,000 users and incremental increase in revenue. It connects patients and providers, remitters and employers, as well as governments, insurers and donors onto one platform.

Interview: Andre Meyer, co-founder, Invenico

We talk to the former CEO of South African hospital group Life Healthcare, Andre Meyer, a year on from his departure. He tells us about his start-up, Invenico, which he says he co-founded to tackle the biggest issues facing healthcare in South Africa. He also shares his thoughts on the acquisitions made under his tenure at Life.

Value-driven outcomes tool that increases quality and cuts cost

In 2012, University of Utah Health introduced its Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) tool in both inpatient and ambulatory care, which has resulted in increased quality outcomes and more than $2.5m in cost savings. Providers can engage with the VDO tool to compare themselves to their peers and to identify standard care pathways and supplies that lower the cost of care while providing the best possible outcomes. The tool has been applied to sepsis, total joint replacement and laboratory services leading to improvements in outcomes and reductions in costs. The judges were impressed by the sophistication of the Utah offering. .

Urine tests at home using smartphones

Healthy.io takes smartphone cameras into clinical quality medical scanners, using colour recognition and AI data sets to create a product for existing healthcare systems. Its first test kit is Dip.io, which digitizes urinalysis, the second most common diagnostic test, particularly useful in prenatal health and chronic kidney disease. The solution increases access to testing and, by eliminating the need to travel to a lab, can be used in any setting at a low cost. Images are sent directly to the doctor, reducing wait time. The judges gave the award to healthy.io on the potential for this single test which is being rolled out in the NHS in England and elsewhere.

Measuring fat and muscle more accurately with MRI scans

The medical community relies on the notoriously inaccurate Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement when it comes to measuring body fat. AMRA has developed a way of producing 3D-volumetric fat and muscle measurements using a single six-minute MRI scan which is far more accurate. This will enable doctors to better identify at risk patients such as those with high fat levels in the abdomen – visceral fat. Elderly patients with muscle loss and increased fat, a debilitating condition known as sarcopenia, can also be identified. AMRA has introduced a new paradigm where rapid, 6-minute whole body MRI scans are analysed to produce precise, three – dimensional volumetric fat and muscle measurements. This standardized, automated method eliminates reader variability and reduces processing costs. AMRA also researches the relationships between fat, muscle and the development of disease, with the aim to become the new global standard in body composition. AMRA’s aim is also to support the precise tracking of treatment effects, the identification of who should participate in clinical trials, and the understanding of those who are at risk of developing disease.

A low-band width teleradiology platform

Teleradiology Solutions, an Indian company which reads images remotely, has produced a platform that works on low-speed bandwidth, making it accessible in areas with poor digital infrastructure, particularly in rural areas of Africa and India. This works on a pay-per-click model making it more affordable and suited to small institutions as well as larger providers. It claims a 99% accuracy rate, 2% higher than the American College of Radiology standard of 97%. With coverage 365 days of the year, 24 hours per day, it is able to turn around emergency image reads in 15 minutes. It currently works in over 20 countries including the United States, Singapore, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Maldives and India.

South African cabinet approves National Health Insurance bill

The long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) bill has been approved by the South African government cabinet and will now be published for public comment. It is thin on financials but outlines what the single-payor health fund will look like.