Umkhathi Wethu, in partnership with Allan Gray, takes in Healthcent to revolutionise patient care in South Africa


Umkhathi Wethu, in partnership with Allan Gray, takes in Healthcent to revolutionise patient care in South Africa


Published Date: 2019-08-01 | Source: INCE|Community | Author: Roxanne Segers

Umkhathi Wethu, in partnership with Allan Gray, takes in Healthcent to revolutionise patient care in South Africa

Johannesburg July 30th, 2019 - Umkhathi Wethu Ventures, in partnership with leading investment firm Allan Gray, has taken a stake in local healthtech company, Healthcent, to boost healthcare delivery among medical providers in South Africa.

At a time when costs and skills scarcity feature prominently among South Africa's medical profession, Healthcent has developed a revolutionary mobile messaging system, called Signapps™, which facilitates collaboration and rapid response to patient needs by medical providers.

"We are particularly excited by the potential of the Signapps™ platform to transform healthcare delivery in South Africa across the spectrum of public and private care" said Sabelo Sithebe-Marishane, co-founder and Director of Umkhathi Wethu.

"Our internal ventures team is looking to fund the development of new businesses that can make a significant difference to society. Healthcent is the first company in South Africa to offer a secure mobile messaging application designed specifically for the healthcare sector. This allows medical professionals to avoid the inaccuracies, delays and risks of paper-based record systems, without resorting to social networks to co-ordinate care, which are inappropriate for many reasons," said Rob Dower, Director of Allan Gray.

"Collaborative healthcare delivery is a new buzz-word internationally and the investment by Umkhathi Wethu, together with Allan Gray, is a vote of confidence in our vision for Signapps™ and traction of the Signapps™ product in South Africa," said Andrew Davies, CEO of Healthcent.

"Their investment will enable us to expand our reach into the wider South African healthcare environment and to further develop the capabilities of the product."

A mobile first cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform, Signapps™ is already being used within 30 customers comprising hospitals (public and private) and hospital groups, practices, associations and funders of care. There are over 2000 users registered on the platform.

"As part of our due diligence we spent considerable time with Andrew's team at Healthcent and several of their customers, and we were very impressed with what we saw." Dower said.

Costs of poor communication

Poor communication in healthcare is a massive problem both locally and globally. International studies show that 70% of all preventable mishaps occur as a result of miscommunication or no communication, at a cost estimated to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Often, healthcare professionals work in 'silos', each looking at their particular piece of the patient puzzle. Ideally, they need to see the full picture, in real-time, by communicating and sharing their unique perspectives, making decisions as a team and putting the patient front and centre of the conversation.

Using Signapps™, multi-disciplinary teams can conduct conversations, share medical files and updates easily and confidentially, from any mobile device. This cuts down on costly consultation time and ultimately drives better outcomes for patients.

Users of Signapps™ are health care practitioners, administrative personnel and healthcare organisations, who use the product to stay engaged with their teams, drive cost efficiencies through digitisation and improve the quality of patient care through better communication.

"Our purpose is to transform how patients are cared for in South Africa. Our objective with Signapps™ is to be the simplest, most effective, care co-ordination platform for people and organisations in the healthcare ecosystem, and to ensure that the patient remains firmly at the centre of the treatment universe," Davies concluded.