Pharmaceutical firm Sanofi has been pushing for medical innovations in Africa for some time now. A couple of days ago, the company announced the start of three challenges for African startups that will search for innovative solutions to improve access to healthcare, as well as transform the health ecosystem in the continent. Interested startups will then pitch their proposals at VivaTech 2019, a yearly technology conference that pushes for innovation and upcoming tech-based businesses. The 2019 instalment of the fair will be held in Paris, France from May 16th to 18th, 2019.
The staging of the challenges constitutes Sanofi’s programs to support and encourage medical innovation. Sanofi says that the strategy, which includes key industry players such as public authorities, private institutions and startups, is prudent to create]ing a healthy ecosystem that serves patients satisfactorily.
To begin with, the first contest aims to offer solutions that will supplement awareness, diagnosis and disease management of patients suffering from diabetes as it has been established that over two-thirds of diabetes patients in Africa are unaware of their illness.
The second challenge targets to harness access to medicine in rural or underserved areas from supply chain management to alternative payment channels. The program is reported to develop new solutions for improved healthcare even in remote areas.
Lastly, the third challenge aims to develop solutions that support decision-makers in maximizing the use of available healthcare data to identify and predict diseases, for research reasons and overall harnessing of healthcare management.
Successful groups will join Afric@Tech Lab that is part of Viva Tech. At the lab, they will be tasked to defend their proposals under the guidance of a Sanofi jury, among other health professionals.
More application details can be read here.