Nigerian-based diagnostic startup MDaaS Global secured a $2.3 million seed extension funding and announced the launch of its new product, SentinelX.
SentinelX is a digital health membership that champions preventive, personalized, and continuous care using proprietary technology. In 2019, MDaaS raised a million-dollar seed round. In addition to the other investments secured over the last five years, the health tech startup has raised a total of $3.7 million.
The investors in the round include lead Newtown Partners, who invested via its Imperial Venture Fund, CRI Foundation and return investors FINCA Ventures, Techstars and Future Africa.
MDaaS, an abbreviation for medical devices as a service, was founded in 2016 by CEO Oluwasoga Oni, Opeyemi Ologun, Genevieve Barnard Oni and Joseph McCord. MDaaS is on a mission to create easy access to diagnostic and preventive care for Nigerians.
Alongside the launch of SentinelX, this new funding will see the company rapidly scale its physical footprint across Nigeria to become the largest diagnostic chain in the country.
Since its founding, MDaaS Global has focused on increasing access to critical diagnostic services for underserved and geographically challenged communities. SentinelX builds on that mission by democratizing access not only to technology-enabled primary care but also to comprehensive preventive care that helps members identify and address health risks before they become problems. SentinelX operates as an annual subscription-based membership starting at just N35,000 [approx. $7 a month].
Over the past two decades, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also referred to as lifestyle diseases, have risen dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa, driven by a growing incidence of cardiovascular risk factors like unhealthy diets, reduced physical activity, hypertension, and diabetes. And by 2030, NCDs are set to become the leading cause of mortality on the continent. SentinelX is poised to tackle this challenge head-on and empower members to take control of their long-term health.
To do this, the SentinelX membership includes:
- A comprehensive diagnostic screening to give members a 360-degree view of their current health status and identify potential health issues early.
- A customized Care Plan designed to address each member’s specific risk factors and personal health goals, from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease to improving energy levels.
- 24/7 ongoing support from the Care Team for primary as well as urgent care (via the SentinelX mobile app, phone-based support, and in-person visits).
- Access to dieticians and fitness coaches to support members with lifestyle changes.
- Help navigating the Nigerian healthcare ecosystem, from specialist referrals to answering questions about health insurance.
Currently in private beta and with a speedily growing waitlist, SentinelX is set to launch publicly in September 2021. Prospective members can register via the website to schedule their diagnostic screening which looks at more than 65 unique biomarkers to assess individual risk for a wide range of diseases, including cancers, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart diseases. Clinical and family history, as well as demographic data, are also taken into consideration as part of the comprehensive analysis.
Screenings are carried out at MDaaS-owned facilities, expediting a cost-efficient medical process for patients and effectively allowing the company to manage the full lifecycle and health journey of its customers. Members receive monthly check-in calls from their dedicated Care Team to monitor progress, make adjustments to their Care Plans, and supply answers to questions that may arise – providing patients with a holistic and proactive approach to their healthcare.
Speaking on the announcement, Oluwasoga Oni, MDaaS Global’s CEO and Co-Founder said, “Unrestricted access to quality healthcare has always been our principal objective and the pandemic has compelled us to consider innovative ways of offering more proactive care. This additional funding will propel our growth as we look to serve more people and in more ways.” He continues, “SentinelX combines a human touch – which is still needed, with advanced technology to provide faster, easier healthcare solutions for Nigerians. But importantly, it makes preventive care more accessible and affordable. This will pave the way for lowering overall medical costs for patients as well as improving their health outcomes in the long run.”
Llew Claasen, Managing Partner at Newtown Partners believes, “Most consumers in sub-Saharan Africa receive suboptimal medical care because of infrastructure gaps, low physician density, delays in diagnostics, and a lack of health data visibility. We think the physical diagnostic infrastructure that MDaaS is building out, coupled with the means to collect data and deliver value-added software services, has the potential to completely change the way that physicians, clinicians and pharmacists do their jobs and lead to better health outcomes for a huge number of previously underserved consumers.”
Founded in 2017 by Oluwasoga Oni, Opeyemi Ologun, Genevieve Barnard Oni, and Joseph McCord, MDaaS Global has launched 7 centers in Ibadan, Ilorin, Osogbo, Lagos, and Abuja, with plans to expand to 6 new cities in 2021. To date, the healthcare company has provided diagnostic services to over 40,000 patients in underserved communities, and following its seed round in 2019, has grown its staff capacity to over 70. The company has also performed over 80,000 diagnostics tests across cardiology, radiology, neurology, laboratory, and general health checks. MDaaS has expanded its referral network to include over 750 clinicians and has partnered with over 500 health facilities and 10 HMO networks. By 2025, the company aims to operate 100 centers across the continent and serve 1 million patients per year.
To conclude, Oluwasoga said, “For many years, healthcare in Nigeria and across Africa has been focused almost exclusively on treating diseases rather than preventing them in the first place. Access to diagnostics and preventive care is key to addressing the burgeoning NCD crisis; through SentinelX, we aim to leverage our expertise in affordable diagnostics and put the ‘health’ back in healthcare for Africa’s next billion.”