By Audrey Henkels, Technology Consultant, The Huffington Post
Sitting in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate course, Development Ventures, in the fall of 2014, Oluwasoga Oni was challenged to come up with a scalable solution to a problem affecting more than a billion people. Oluwasoga recalled visiting the hospital his father operates in a small town in Ondo State, Nigeria, just a few months earlier. During the hospital visit, he was surprised to see a pile of broken-down medical equipment rusting in the dust.
His father, like many doctors across sub-Saharan Africa, struggles to afford high-quality medical equipment and instead settles for cheaper, substandard alternatives more prone to breakdowns. Furthermore, lack of trained biomedical technicians available in Nigeria means that when a device breaks down, it’s likely to stay that way. As a result, more than 40% of all medical equipment in developing countries like Nigeria is currently out of service.
Committed to addressing these challenges, Oluwasoga, along with co-founders Genevieve Barnard, Joe McCord, and Opeyemi Ologun, launched MDaaS (Medical Devices as a Service) in early 2015. MDaaS provides a unique combination of high-quality refurbished medical equipment, diverse acquisition options, and maintenance and repair services to hospitals in Nigeria.
By tapping into the secondary equipment marketplace of developed countries, MDaaS is able to reduce the equipment purchase price to as low as 30% of the cost of brand new equipment from top-tier manufacturers. And, by providing a structure for hospitals to obtain, finance, and support this equipment, MDaaS makes it easier for them to afford, and keep operational, the critical lifesaving tools they need to improve the health outcomes of all Nigerians.