I remember the look. The look on my mum’s face any time I was sick and she had to walk up and down the hospital. It was always a mix of worry and tiredness. The times when she had to stand in line just to get my medication from the pharmacy, were the worst. She was always complaining, with her very angry Yoruba mom face.
Fast forward to present day… many Nigerian startups have created solutions in medical tech but one can’t exactly assert that any has gone main or up stream. Find a list of 20 existing Nigerian medtech startups here.
Kenyans, on the other hand are playing catchup with Livia. An app that connects patients with pharmacies/chemists nearby. Uber style! B-)
Livia app wants to be the ‘Uber’ of Chemists
With Livia, users in Kenya are able to order over the counter (OTC) drugs as well as prescription medication. When ordering prescription medication, the user is required to upload a photo of the prescription and the pharmacist verifies the prescription as they would a physical copy. Then the buyer can either collect the drugs at the nearest pharmacy or have it delivered at their doorsteps.
While a small fee is charged on every transaction over the platform, the Livia app also offers real time consultation with a pharmacist. This feature is similar to Nigerian developed Kangpe, a medtech app that allows you get advice from real doctors about your health issues.
Livia is licensed by the Pharmacy Poisons Board (PPB) and according to its founder (developer?), Dr Muravvej, so far, 740 orders have been processed and delivered through the app. Concerning the authenticity of chemists, Muravvej, says he and his field team vet a chemist before signing them up as Livia Partner Chemists. The vetting includes ascertaining that, among other documents, the chemist has a valid licence from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, and the pharmacist in charge has a practicing certificate.
Although Livia app is only available in Kenya for now, it will be rolled out to Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia in the next six months, Dr Muravvej assures.
FUN FACT: Livia is also the name of an Israeli-based wearable device that "switches off" menstrual cramps for women. Yup!