Seeing a doctor in Nigeria is far from the simple affair experienced in other countries. For those who live outside a major city, they must set aside an entire day to go. The day usually begins before dawn, when patients travel to the nearest town with a clinic. Once there, they join hundreds of others who are all hoping to be seen. After hours of waiting outside in the hot sun, 90% receive the dispiriting news that they cannot see a doctor after all and must leave without receiving help. This inability of Nigerians to receive medical care when they need it is the problem that Ifeanyi Ossai and the company he co-founded, CribMD, are working to solve.
The problem is especially personal for Ifeanyi, who lost his aunt because she could not see a doctor even though she had money. “It was insane,” Ifeanyi says, thinking back. “Here you had this woman who was able to afford healthcare, yet when she needed it most, she couldn’t get it. Even our investor, Joe, has experienced this. When he was working as a diplomat in Nigeria, his son got sick and could not see a doctor because the hospital was too backed up. Joe was only able to save him because he called a doctor-connection in the States and got advice on what to do. This shouldn’t be happening today.”
CribMD’s solution to Nigeria’s overburdened healthcare system has evolved over time. “We started with physical clinics, but those do not scale fast enough. On any given day, we could only see 10% of the patients that lined up under the hot sun to get help. The rest were usually turned away despite having money because we were at capacity, and some tried to bribe their way in. That is why we launched CribMD. We chose our platform because we were inspired by the way Airbnb turned homes into hotels. At CribMD, your home is the clinic, and the doctor will come to you, not the other way around.”
CribMD offers low-cost health insurance that enables access to health services and doctors with verified credentials across Nigeria. Patients can book telemedicine visits and doctor house calls at will with generalists and specialists and have any prescribed medications shipped directly to their door. CribMD patients have all their medical care expenses covered, including ambulance and hospital care.
Ifeanyi says that the company’s efforts are already impacting the healthcare system. “Patients no longer have to tell their entire medical history to each new doctor they see. They don’t have to queue up in front of a clinic all day for a small chance to see a doctor or risk getting COVID-19 while they wait. CribMD’s technology enables our doctors to see more patients on their schedules and in the comfort of their own homes. Our use of electronic medical records enables doctors to get a better view of the patient’s history in a shorter amount of time, treat them more efficiently, and prescribe medications that appear at their door like magic the next day. We believe that this is the future of healthcare – more efficient treatment, less uncertainty, better health.”
CribMD has found broad support for its mission and is already experiencing success. “We have raised over $450k in venture funding, generate $20K+ in monthly recurring revenue, and have over 1K subscribers and a waitlist with over 25K patients. We have delivered hundreds of house calls and over a thousand tele-sessions to date and have healed thousands of Africans who would otherwise be without care if not for CribMD.”
CribMD is growing ten times week over week. “Nigerians are very enthusiastic about what we provide,” Ifeanyi says. “The old ways just don’t work anymore, so they are open to this new approach to medicine.”
With success come the inevitable challenges, of course, but CribMD and its employees continue to revolutionize Nigeria’s healthcare system despite them. “We have grit,” Ifeanyi says, “that so important quality necessary for getting something like this done. We also have divine help, and the two combined will make CribMD unstoppable.”
Visit www.CribMD.com or find us on your app store (Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1534919330, Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cribmd.com.CribMD ).
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