How One Company Is Transforming Healthcare in Nigeria
It's about getting doctors the resources they need.
This article was contributed by Joseph McCord on behalf of Medical Devices as a Service (MDaaS).
Imagine you are a medical doctor with a mid-sized practice in a rural American town. You're looking to expand and improve your antenatal services by purchasing a new diagnostic device, an ultrasound machine. Your budget is limited and purchasing a brand new machine is far out of reach, so you head to a secondary medical equipment marketplace. In the United States, this marketplace will offer you slightly older models of brand name equipment, financing or leasing options should you require them, in addition to service maintenance contracts and access to experienced biomedical engineers to keep the equipment fully functioning. In the end, you will have saved anywhere between 40 to 70 percent of the funds that would have gone toward the price of the new equipment from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). That is the power of the secondary market when it functions properly.
Many doctors in Nigeria and other African countries face the same challenges as our hypothetical US doctor when they seek to grow their clinic’s service offerings. However, without a robust, formalized secondary market in the healthcare sector, their equipment options are limited. The secondary market for medical devices in Nigeria is highly fragmented, mostly informal, and lacks the technical expertise to make refurbished equipment a reliable option for doctors. Many pieces of equipment in the marketplace are sold used and have not been properly refurbished and tested. Because of this, banks are extremely hesitant to offer loans for refurbished equipment. Similarly, many doctors share stories of faulty equipment that breaks down within a few months and of biomedical technicians who actually damage equipment rather than repairing it. This has led to a deep skepticism about refurbished equipment as well as the unfortunate problem of “equipment graveyards” common to many hospitals in developing countries.
The overall result is a market disconnect: patients seek vital diagnostics services from hospitals and clinics but are not able to receive them because tested, functioning equipment is not available at a price accessible to the doctor operating the clinic.
MDaaS (Medical Devices as a Service) is strengthening the Nigerian healthcare ecosystem by creating a scalable, trusted secondary marketplace to better connect medical equipment with the hospitals who need them. We provide high-quality, full-feature equipment at accessible prices and, perhaps most importantly, we share the responsibility of ownership with our customers.
MDaaS makes this happen by connecting the robust secondary equipment market in the US with flexible payment options for Nigerian hospital customers. We work closely with our customers throughout the entire process, from helping doctors identify the equipment that best fits their needs to training hospital staff. Additionally, MDaaS offers one year of included equipment maintenance following delivery, and offers maintenance packages on other equipment. Once hospitals have access to reliable equipment through leases and loans, they can confidently expand their services without heavy capital investments, leading to more critical healthcare provision to Nigerians who need it.