INSEAD Participant Interview
Strengthen your business knowledge and rethink healthcare
CEO and Founder
"What the programme did, and what I took away, were strengthened pillars. I had conceptual knowledge of business models and canvases, but what I was missing was how to implement these."
Firstly, can you start by explaining what MEDx eHealthCenter is and what you do?
MEDx eHealthCenter is a community based platform connecting healthcare providers, healthcare seekers and families in an innovative (or digital) environment that enables access, acquisition and payment of healthcare services and healthcare resources globally.
Being a global IT SAAS (Software As A Service) solution, we are a multiservice digital Hospital platform, targeting the needs of HealthCare Seekers and HealthCare Providers in growth markets. We help balance demand and supply of healthcare services, through an efficient and streamlined self care, ePrimary, eSecondary & eTertiary care powered by CASH TO HEALTH for those markets.
Our vision is to be the first digital hospital offering data driven care to the communities in emerging countries.
Why did you decide to enrol on the Innovating Health for Tomorrow programme?
I applied in 2014 at a time when I had a couple of ideas for healthcare businesses. My background was in the corporate world (Philips and Office Depot), but I knew I wanted to launch my own company.
The first idea was to find key innovators around the globe and make them available for corporations. This was because I found Philips and Office Depot struggled to do just that.
The second idea was in the world of health tech. There was lots of talk about this and I wanted to connect the two, especially in emerging countries.
INSEAD had always been at the back of my mind and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to attend. I had always wanted to study there and so I arrived on the programme with big eyes and an open mind.
What were some of your key takeaways from the programme?
I came into the programme from a different angle compared to the others in the class. This was thanks to my commercial experience in the companies I had been working in.
What the programme did, and what I took away, were strengthened pillars. I had conceptual knowledge of business models and canvases, but what I was missing was how to implement these. I had one piece of the puzzle before attending. The programme gave me the missing piece and the confidence to implement business models myself.
Has the programme had a ripple effect within your organisation?
Absolutely. Every time I come back from a programme I share the course materials with my teams. I take the time to explain what I’ve learned and take the time to explain what he have learned.
What I realised after completing the Innovating Health for Tomorrow programme is that we needed to look at things differently. We needed to change direction based on what I learned on the programme.
As a result of this, we are going from strength to strength. I took on board the programme learnings to improve my organisation.
What was the direct impact of attending the programme?
The direct impact was getting us to review our business model canvas. We realised we needed to approach it differently. When I joined the programme I was focused on one angle: the customer or the end user. What the programme made me realise was that I needed to think holistically and consider all of our stakeholders (I.e. hospitals, institutions, care providers, patients etc). We went back to the drawing board with new design thinking. We needed to build an ecosystem of healthcare resources. Not just fixing finance for healthcare. In emerging countries, this is what they need. So, we optimised the business model for better management. V2. The programme was critical in helping us do this.
Did the programme change the way you look at the customer experience?
When we launched V1 of the organisation, 300 doctors subscribed. This version was focused on healthcare financing. However, during the programme I realised we need to think bigger and more holistically about healthcare. It took some time to make the switch from concept to reality. We needed to build processes around the new service and implement everything smoothly. However, what we have found is that patients and customers were very excited about the new direction which involves more of a hospital model. We bring many services together for a better customer experience. All of this new thinking helps facilitate what we call institutional care.
We have moved from a B2C model to a B2B2C one which focuses on both the patient and B2B level. As well as the patient, our model focuses on building relations directly with hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories. We have found that these institutions responded faster to our business model than patients themselves.
The Western Cape government is one of our customers. They need to optimise resources from all angles and that is exactly what we can help them with. We are also currently looking at a project in Namibia and one in Burkina Faso. These organisations, and many others, are looking to provide the best coverage and they see us a solution to help make that happen.
How did you find the programme networking?
It was great. Amazing. Everyone presents and ask questions based on the perspective they come with. We learnt tremendously from each other.
When someone needs helps, they know they can ask within the group.
How important is lifelong learning?
I love learning. When I see things that are new, it excites me. I believe that educating yourself is critical, but it’s important to understand what and when to learn. You enrol on a programme such as Innovating Health for Tomorrow because you want to equip yourself with knowledge at a certain stage of your career.
The programme has helped me tremendously.
How important is it to be a healthcare innovator?
Innovation is the future moneymaking environment in healthcare. You need to be there. You need to innovate. We need to shake up the healthcare sector.
Interested in INSEAD's Innovating Health for Tomorrow programme? Have a look at the Innovating Health for Tomorrow web page.
Innovating Health for Tomorrow is the result of the Trust’s longstanding partnership with INSEAD to provide management education for healthcare professionals. INSEAD is a Flagship Partner within the Trust’s 2020 strategy and a key component of the Trust’s goal to advance knowledge and innovation in seeking to transform health care systems. The Trust works across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region in making a difference in human health through multiple social impact interventions. Currently within the Trust’s partnership portfolio there are over 70 active programmes run with partner organisations. For more information about the Trust and its activities, please visit www.jjcct.org