Washington, DC, January 7, 2020— As
part of the World Bank Group (WBG) Global Tech Challenge launched today,
IFC, the private sector arm of the WBG, called on health tech innovators
from around the world to bring their solutions to the East African market
to meet the needs of patients and health care providers in the region.
New technologies and innovative business practices can play a key role
in addressing some of the most pressing health care challenges in sub-Saharan
Africa, including shortages of skilled doctors and nurses, limited health
infrastructure and high cost of care. At the same time, the region
faces longstanding challenges from infectious diseases, and the rapidly
growing burden of non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes,
“We are mobilizing global tech for good by bringing health care innovations
that transform lives to the markets with greatest need,” said William
Sonneborn, Senior Director of IFC’s Disruptive Technologies and Funds.
“Bringing together tech innovators with health care providers improves
access, affordability, quality and efficiency for underserved populations”.
The TechEmerge Health program will match innovators with more than 20 leading
private health care systems in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia that have already
signed up to the program. The greatest demand lies in new technologies
related to patient engagement, clinical records and data analytics, point
of care diagnostic tools and quality management, among others.
The open application launched today invites health technology innovators
from around the world to apply to the program. Innovators selected through
a competitive process will be invited to meet participating TechEmerge
health care providers in East Africa to discuss opportunities to pilot
their solutions and commercialize their technology in this market. Applications
can be submitted at www.techemerge.org/health
through February 25, 2020.
IFC will provide support to health tech innovators during the market-entry
and tech transfer process– mitigating financial and operational risks
associated with market entry and reducing adoption risks for local health
care providers. Selected innovators will receive support and grant funding
from the TechEmerge team to pilot their innovations in the East African
market, with the ultimate goal of wider commercial deployment of the technology
to improve health care delivery.
The TechEmerge Health program is part of IFC’s approach to support entrepreneurship
and innovation in emerging markets and leverage the private sector to increase
and improve access to quality health services. The program has already
been implemented successfully in India where innovators were matched with
leading healthcare providers to implement pilot projects reaching more
than 18,000 patients. These initial pilots have led to commercial contracts
worth $1 million for broader deployment of health care innovations in India
that are expected to benefit more than 300,000 people each year.
The program is being implemented in partnership with the Finnish Ministry
of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Israeli Ministry of Economy
and Industry. IFC has a global investment portfolio of more than $2 billion
in the health care sector.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than
$19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.