To help encourage and improve the application of technology in the Nigeria healthcare sector, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria announced a health innovation challenge to encourage developers and innovators to turn their attention and help develop productsand services that will positively impact the lives of the average Nigerian. Many incubation and innovation platforms in Nigeria target information technology for finance, agriculture and e-commerce, but very few platforms focusing on health
innovation/technology in healthcare delivery. While groups in African countries like Malawi, Uganda and Ethiopia have developed locally appropriate health technologies and
innovations such as m-Health apps to improve health outcomes, the low application of innovation and technology in healthcare remains a missed opportunity in transforming healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
In an attempt to galvanize Nigerians into action in this space, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria‘s Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace is calling on innovators, techies, academic institutions, private sector companies, businesses, civil society, clinicians, researchers, NGOs and individuals to apply in the $1million Health Innovation Challenge.
The Health Innovation Challenge (HIC), is a multi-stage competition whose primary focus is to spur a broader range of innovations (process, technology, market, service delivery) to respond to specific health sector challenges that will have both a social impact [progress in health indices] and/or commercial viability and scalability.
Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance, says that “the Health Innovation Challenge seeks to improve health outcomes and mitigate health market failures through deploying technology and process solutions to the health sector”. In order to find out what problems Nigerians are facing in the health sector, the Alliance engaged with people in all six geopolitical zones and developed health systems problem statements that summarized these challenges. Problem statements ranged from service delivery around newborn care to the development of forecasting models for infectious diseases. These are some of the challenges that the HIC hopes to confront with the solutions that will be developed.