Any pharmacy you go to in Ghana and see a Redbird signage means you can ask for a rapid medical test and the result will be delivered to you under five minutes, and also be saved digitally for you to be able monitor your own health regularly.
This is made possible by thriving Ghanaian-based healthtech company Redbird, and the service is available in over 350 pharmacies across the Greater-Accra and Ashanti Regions with over 35,000 Ghanaians now using the service.
Redbird enables its partner pharmacies to offer instant diagnostics for at least ten medical conditions: including malaria, blood sugar level, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol testing and other chronic diseases very common in Ghana. They also provide pharmacies with the technology tools to be able to store the test results digitally and permanently for easy future reference.
Early this year, the company received some US$1.5million seed funding from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and Newtown Partners through the Imperial Venture Fund to further innovate, expand their operations and break into new markets.
Co-Founder and CEO of Redbird, Patrick Beattie, said that the Redbird package is targeted mainly at pharmacies to enable them do the rapid testing, store the medical data privately for their patients, and then properly advise those who need some medical attention.
Patrick Baettie, CEO-Redbird
So, apart from the rapid testing kit, Redbird also gives the partner pharmacies access to its app, in which the results of patients are kept privately and saved to individuals’ personal Redbird health records. Then, with the consent of the patient, medical professionals and doctors are provided access to the results to provide a complete picture of a patient’s medical health history and the necessary treatment and management.
Patrick Beattie said the company also has a separate app, available on app.redbird.co, that enables individuals to do their own rapid testing at home. But Ghanaians tend to prefer the pharmacies and medical facilities, so Redbird works more with pharmacies to serve the patients.
The app is not on Google Play Store and App Store, for the simple reason that Redbird wants to save customers’ data. The web-based app is automatically updated by Redbird without the user having to download new updates and lose data. And Redbird is even working with MTN to possibly zero-rate the web app, so that users will not even have to spend any data while using it.
“Our goal is to help provide affordable, better healthcare for individuals; and we found that more than one-third of Ghanaians already visit pharmacies regularly for health care. So, we believe one key way to achieve our goal is through the community pharmacies,” he said.
Patrick Beattie believes Ghana has always been a place where new innovations stand a better chance of growing steadily, then it can be replicated in other markets. That is what they have done with Redbird, and they believe it is time to now take it beyond the shores of Ghana.
Without saying when or where else they will be expanding to, Patrick Beattie said: “Maybe you will soon see us even go beyond Africa to South America, or South East Asia or somewhere else. We have a big ambitions”.
Redbird was founded in 2018 by Patrick Beattie, Edward Grandstaff (Chief Technical Officer) and Andy Quao (Chief Operating Officer). It runs a decentralised business model that ensures healthcare is available to all individuals in Africa, no matter which country they are in.