In 2016, Dr. Vena Arielle Ahouansou was part of a delivery team that successfully delivered two babies. Unfortunately, the delivery caused a haemorrhage in the mother and a blood transfusion was needed immediately. She watched a young mother-to-be die during childbirth because the woman couldn’t remember her blood type. By the time the information was retrieved it was too late to save her.
Vowing to find a solution to improve healthcare in Africa, this experience, spurred her to create KEA Medicals Pharmaceutics and Technologies, a Benin-based startup that uses cutting-edge technology to store and transfer basic medical information that can be accessed in times of emergency, a digital platform that connects health structures through a single database, the Universal Medical Identity (IMU), to facilitate the feedback of the medical history of patients.
As a patient, your medical record can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. People can register themselves via their mobile phones, providing key data such as blood type, allergies, whether they have a chronic disease and who to contact if there is a medical crisis. The information is placed onto a QR code that can be integrated into a bracelet or on a patch that can be added to a watch, mobile phone or personal jewelry. If someone passes out on the street, hemorrhages while giving birth or is hit by a car, for example, not just doctors but anyone nearby can help by easily scanning the information with their mobile phones. To Ahouansou, ” instead of being able to care for maybe a hundred patients a day being in one hospital, she gets to impact billions of patients.
KEA Medicals is one of 10 African startups that French drug maker Sanofi selected to bring to VivaTechnology, a May 24–26 Paris tech conference that connects startups with big corporations. Today, they have over 1,700 health professionals linked on the platform. They currently have on broad a fifteen man professional team including tech engineers, medical doctors, communications and laws specialists.
In the next four years, Dr Vena, plans to connect 500 million Africans to one million medical doctors. Ahouansou is also a Techstars accelerator program alumni, GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator program and Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme fellow.