[Made in océan Indien] Who is this Mauritian startup that wants to digitize the African medical sector?
AfriDoctor / MauriDoc is an innovative Mauritian company active in Africa and Indian Ocean for two years. Its mission: to offer an online platform to improve the management of appointments, patient histories and administration of practices for doctors, medical secretaries and clinics in Mauritius and Africa. Also, the company helps patients find a nearby doctor and book an appointment online. An initiative more relevant than ever in times of pandemic. Meeting with the heads of the Mauritius AfriDoctor team (MauriDoc).
MauriDoc brings a whole new concept to Mauritius. Where did the idea to launch this platform come from?
MauriDoc: Even if the company is Mauritian, we immediately launched our activities throughout Africa starting from a simple observation: the African medical sector is not sufficiently digitalized. The resulting problems are numerous: lack of organization, waste of time in the management of patient and administrative data which are on paper, dissemination of archaic information between actors in the health sector… Our innovative solutions to respond to all these issues make life easier for doctors, clinic administrators, secretaries and patients. We are deeply convinced that the medical sector must also accelerate its digital transformation for the good of all!
A first for Mauritius, tell us about the evolution of MauriDoc, from its launch a year ago to today
When MauriDoc began its activities, we first met hundreds of doctors, but also clinic managers in order to understand how they work and adapt our solutions to the realities of Mauritius. Indeed, during the launch in Mauritius, our technology had already been tested and validated by hundreds of Ivorian and Senegalese doctors. Nevertheless, the Mauritian particularities are numerous and in particular the fact that many doctors work in several places and for many still work on paper agendas. We have therefore made our platform more ergonomic in order to allow optimal use in different localities and adapted our training courses to go completely from paper to digital.
With the arrival of the pandemic, were more Mauritians requesting medical services online?
Definitely, the pandemic has had an impact on our business. Online appointment booking has increased and so has teleconsultation. In addition, we had set up initiatives with our partners to contribute at our level to Mauritians in difficulty. Thus, with the help of many partners, we communicated throughout the confinement period a list of doctors from many specialties who offered free teleconsultations.
Also, with the SPP (Society of Professionals in Psychology) and the APACP (Association of Practitioners with a Person-Centered Approach), we took care of all the technological part and the coordination of a free listening hotline for people in distress and needing to speak to psychologists. These actions demonstrate the relevance of new technologies to meet the health needs of Mauritians by offering platforms for exchanges between patients and professionals.
What was the biggest challenge to launch a platform like MauriDoc in Mauritius?
As with every innovation, the market is fragmented between several types of users. The “early adopters” (doctors, secretaries and patients interested in new technologies) were very interested from the start. The early mass of physicians are starting to follow the early adopters of our technology. These two categories of doctors will be followed by the late majority and the laggards as in each innovation. Our role is to convince, train and demonstrate the usefulness of digital technology to doctors or patients!
What is the next step?
We are a young company therefore very flexible and like any startup we have international ambitions. So we have plenty of steps ahead of us! We already want to solidify our positions in all the countries where we are and in particular on the Mauritian market. In addition to asserting our leadership positions or gaining market share in certain countries where we have competition, MauriDoc (AfriDoctor on the continent) will continue its development in Benin and Gabon this year. Also, of course, we are constantly innovating in order to offer new functionalities which are closely linked to feedback from our physician partners with whom we work on a daily basis.
Some numbers :
- 3rd fundraising in progress
- More than 1000 clinical partners, health centers, doctors and medical chains
- A presence in 8 countries in Africa