Growing up, I dreaded going to the hospital, most especially, public hospitals. Each time I or a member of my family went to the hospital, we would spend hours unending waiting to see a doctor. This problem has been with us for a long time, but I never understood how pervasive it was. Five years ago, I accompanied a friend of mine to the hospital, and we had to wait for over two hours before we could see a doctor. It was painful and I decided to do something about it. While researching this problem, I came across the research work of our co-founder on patient-waiting time and immediately, I knew he was the right person to speak to about it. Unknown to me, he was looking for a way to solve this same problem in his institution and we agreed to work together towards this common goal. The truth is that 70% of the people who come to hospitals do not need to visit the hospital. They can obtain care from their doctor online, adhere to the doctor’s advice and get treated. Visiting the hospital has its risks and should happen only when necessary.
Our Products and Services
Sevenz Healthcare Limited provides telemedicine services through KompleteCare which comprises of audio and video online consultation. KompleteCare provides medical services at the comfort of your home.
On KompleteCare, patients can book hospital appointments with any hospital of their choice; that way, the patient does not have to spend a long time waiting to see the doctor. We also simplify the process of obtaining healthcare overseas. Acting as our patient’s advocate, we leverage our partner network of over 300 hospitals across 16 countries to ensure that the patient is getting the best care from the best physician at the best price and we do this at no cost to the patient.
The biggest challenge that we have faced, and we still face today is finding the right people. As a start-up, it is not easy finding people who believe in solving problems and connect with the vision and mission of the organization. To help handle this challenge, what we have done is to break tasks and assignments into manageable bits and have new people complete short-term assignments or contracts. This gives us an idea of the character and work ethic of the individual. It also allows the individual to decide whether the organization is a fit for him/her culturally. Interestingly, what we have found out is that those who believe in the vision and mission of the organization tend to stay; they surmount the challenges placed at their feet, whereas those who are not committed to the cause move on.
As an entrepreneur, I would not say that we have one biggest accomplishment. What we have are small wins that roll up into big wins over time. We are more focused on the small actions that give us the small wins which in turn position us for the big wins in the future. However, I would say our partnership with the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria is a big win for us. We value our partnerships and so I think that this partnership has helped us serve so many clients that we would not have served.
On Improving Healthcare Systems
We have created quite several solutions. Just at the beginning of the pandemic, we created a self-service symptom checker to help everyone know their risk of contracting the disease. This was used widely in Nigeria and Africa. We also created a way for patients to book appointments with their hospitals to prevent putting doctors and other health workers at risk. This was in response to a request by our partner; Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria. Shortly after doing this, we were elected to provide telemedicine services to hospitals. This way, hospitals can care for their patients and still earn revenue without putting the lives of their health workers and that of the patient in jeopardy.
Plans For The Future
Our utmost goal lies in our mission and vision statements. Our mission is to enable easy access to healthcare for all Africans through technology and strong partnerships. Our vision is to be the number one healthcare partner in Africa. All that we do and think about is how to reach our mission and vision.
Advice To Entrepreneurs
Do not be afraid to start; and start where you are. Take small incremental steps and do not be afraid to start all over if you fail. This is incredibly difficult advice to give in our environment, but it is tenacity, patience, perseverance and grit that all great entrepreneurs share in common.
On The Pandemic
The pandemic has created a new normal and so, do not expect business as usual. Be ready to change your business model many times until you find one that fits the new normal.
Chidi Ohammah is the Co-Founder of Sevenz Healthcare - a health technology start-up based in Abuja. In 2018, the company built the telemedicine platform – KompleteCare™. He earned his degree in Microbiology from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State and have worked as a human resources executive and as a project management consultant. In addition to running Sevenz Healthcare, he is a project management consultant for multinational firms in Minneapolis, USA.