Nigeria’s budding preventive healthcare market has attracted a fresh bet from a growing global firm, Healthlane, aiming to democratise access to optimised precautionary health services to all Nigerians.
The digital health company joins a slew of big private investments that have localised operations in Africa’s largest economy in a year racing to cope with the new normal of a pandemic world.
With an anchor plan that enables access to over 70 wellness screenings in 45 minutes, Healthlane hopes to simplify processes around healthcare optimisation in the country with smart technological resources that generate fast and accurate data for personalised care on the go.
It also aims to grab a substantial stake from the rising shift from sick care to a preventive healthcare technologies and services market estimated to hit $493.1 billion by 2027 globally, according to a 2021 UnivDatos Market Insights.
The report states that the key driver of the uptick in demand for preventive healthcare technologies and services is the rising prevalence of chronic diseases; lifestyle-associated diseases, as well as the surging aged population across the globe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated interests in preventive care as people living with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, cancers and heart-related challenges have taken preventive measures more seriously, the report shows.
Alain Nteff, Healthlane’s chief executive, says Nigeria’s life expectancy data could improve from the average age of between 54 and 55 years to around 70 to 80 if regular wellness checks were widely accessible to track vital signs and determine the individual state of health.
The company has invested about 12 months of research globally in best protocols, engaging physicians in the United States, Dubai, Nigeria, and Cameroon to design a model that helps people live longer, Nteff discloses.
Health checks on the platform cover the heart, kidney, liver, blood, cancer, diabetes, hormones, bones and minerals, and others.
“The majority of what we have is sick care which is about a $5 million market. At Healthlane, we believe healthcare is really around eating, exercising, supplementing, having check-ups, and immunising yourself. If you get this right, it will add extra decades to your years and avoid losing loved ones to silly things. Our goal is to help every Nigerian be in good health,” Nteff states while speaking at the unveiling of the mobile product in Lagos.
While data on the spate of growth in Nigeria’s preventive care market remains scant, data show it is a growth area in some developed countries, especially the US. The country, for instance, operates a patient protection and affordable “care act” that includes preventive healthcare on insurance provision at no added cost.
The total health innovation funding reached $9.1 billion in the first half of 2020, 19 percent more than $7.7 billion invested during the same period in 2019, according to a report.
It was found that nearly 80 percent of healthcare data executives are upping their investments in big data analytics and artificial intelligence, which would positively impact the market growth.
Healthlane, like peers, has also begun to chase such prospects in Nigeria and Cameroon and has short-term expansion plans to other African big cities such as Nairobi, Kenya, and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nteff says long-term plans to establish in Dubai, Europe, and the US are also afoot.
Lincoln Saiki, an in-house physician at Healthlane, says partnerships have been formed with health insurance companies including Leadway and Reliance to spread end users’ access to the services.
“The actual healthcare check is the first step on your health journey. In the long run, from the comfort of your home, your mobile app will constantly educate you on what you need to do, based on your unique health needs,” Saiki states.