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Medical Devices as a Service Gets Operational in Africa

Published : 07/10/2017 11:38:46
Categories : Medical Supplies , Mobi Medical Articles

More than 30 years ago, Oluwasoga Oni’s father, a doctor, delivered him at Inland Hospital in Ondo State, Nigeria. Today, Oni, a graduate of MIT’s System Design and Management program, has decided he wanted to give back to his home hospital. In order to do this, Oni created a unique startup, Medical Devices as a Service or MDaaS. Through this startup, he with the help of his team will  deliver new and refurbished medical equipment to the same hospital he was born.

As an MIT student, Oni recognized that he could find a solution to one of the biggest problems many Nigerian hospitals may face. These hospitals are in desperate need of basic medical devices. According to Oni, “One of the biggest challenges in Nigeria happens to be the extreme cost of medical supplies, the harsh reality that there is little to no financing accessible for medical supplies, and the shortage of skilled biomedical technicians to repair the equipment all help add to the lack of proper working medical equipment.”

I know that most of you may be thinking that there are a lot of charities already out there that donate this type of equipment to Africa. However, the sad reality is that a huge portion of these donations are not functional. There are many factors these charities overlook such as the high temperatures or the unreliable electric grid. They may also leave the donations at the clinic or hospital without thoroughly explaining how to set up or properly use the machine, and this typically leads to a broken or unused machine.

Genevieve Barnard, co-founder of MDaaS, stated that there is a huge inventory of medical equipment that goes unused in the US and a serious shortage of quality medical equipment and maintenance services in places like Nigeria. MDaaS was created to help bridge this gap. Occasionally, MDaaS will come across new equipment; however, their main focus will be finding those top quality refurbished medical devices for those hospitals in need. Their team will work closely with the hospital and doctors to find out what they need and what kind of price tag they can afford prior to searching for the equipment.

MDaaS will also take the extra steps needed to ensure their equipment is the right fit. They will look into every condition these hospitals may face such as humidity levels, local temperatures and even power fluctuations. Their team is also their to provide support when any type of service or maintenance is necessary. The company handles the shipping and installation of each piece, and then they ensure that the hospital staff is properly trained to handle the equipment.

MDaaS is still in the initial pilot phase. However, they are looking forward to late 2017, when they will formally move from pilot phase to their fully operational stage.

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