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Q&A with Betacare: A Pioneering Telehealth and Healthcare Platform

By Henry Duah

On a continent where access to quality healthcare remains a challenge for millions, Betacare is a pioneering telehealth and healthcare education platform on a mission to revolutionise healthcare access across Africa. Founded in 2020 by a team driven by a profound personal experience, Betacare represents more than just a healthcare startup—it embodies a commitment to bridging the gap in healthcare access and empowering communities through education. By prioritising regulatory compliance, forging strategic partnerships, and leveraging cutting-edge technologies like AI-driven chatbots, Betacare is shaping the future of healthcare delivery in Africa. 

In today’s Q&A, we interview Rosslyn Baya, CEO of Betacare, on their commitment to bridging the gap in healthcare access and empowering communities.

What inspired the creation of BetaCare, and what gap in the healthcare industry does it aim to address?

The inspiration behind the creation of BetaCare is deeply personal and rooted in a poignant experience. In 2020, one of our founders tragically lost her mother, revealing the stark realities of healthcare challenges fueled by ignorance and limited access in Africa. This pivotal moment ignited our mission at BetaCare: to bridge the gap in healthcare by not only providing easy access but also empowering the African community through education. We are committed to transforming lives by fostering awareness and breaking down barriers to healthcare, ensuring a healthier and more informed future for all.

What challenges did BetaCare face during its beta testing phase, and how were they addressed before the official launch?

During BetaCare’s beta testing phase, challenges included technical glitches, usability concerns, security issues, and regulatory compliance. BetaCare focused on technical improvements, user interface enhancements, and security and regulatory compliance measures to overcome these challenges before the official launch. These proactive steps ensured a smoother and more successful platform launch, addressing key concerns and enhancing user experience, security, and regulatory compliance.

Can you share insights into BetaCare’s user base and how user feedback has evolved the platform?

Our user base is diverse, from individuals seeking health information to those needing immediate medical assistance. User feedback is our compass, steering the evolution of BetaCare. The invaluable insights from our users shape our services, improve features, and ensure that BetaCare meets the community’s dynamic needs.

Can you walk us through the user journey on the BetaCare platform, highlighting key design elements that enhance engagement and satisfaction?

BetaCare offers a streamlined user journey featuring a quick sign-up process, clear navigation through a well-organized dashboard, and simple appointment scheduling. Users enjoy seamless video calls with healthcare providers, secure messaging, and easy feedback submission for improvement. Personalised recommendations and inclusive features also cater to individual needs, ensuring a positive and efficient experience for all users.

Can you elaborate on the technology infrastructure behind BetaCare’s platform and how it enables seamless interactions between patients and healthcare providers? 

BetaCare’s platform is underpinned by a resilient technology infrastructure, with a development team dedicated to ensuring uptime and scalability using modern technology. Leveraging React for the front end and Java Springbot for the back end, we prioritise reliability and efficiency in our architecture. In line with our commitment to innovation, we are exploring cutting-edge technologies such as Med-Palm by Google and Hugging Face to enhance our AI-driven platform for healthcare.

What measures does BetaCare have to ensure compliance with regulatory standards, such as data protection regulations and telemedicine guidelines?

BetaCare ensures that it adheres to the provisions of the Nigerian Data Protection Act in collecting and handling patient data. Nigeria does not, however, have any specific guidelines relating to Telemedicine. So, BetaCare ensures that the appropriate medical body licenses all its doctors and partners, and we are actively exploring partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health. 

Conscious of our intention to offer services across other countries and jurisdictions, our lawyer ensures that our practices comply with local laws. At the same time, we actively pursue government endorsement as one of our first steps.

What differentiates BetaCare from other telehealth startups?

Betacare stands out among telehealth startups through its holistic approach. Beyond traditional telehealth services, we seamlessly integrate health services, health educational tips, and learning, all on a single platform. Our commitment to community engagement, driven by AI-powered chatbots and telehealth features, truly sets us apart.

Users who embark on the BetaCare journey encounter a user-friendly interface for easy navigation across health services, health educational tips, and learning modules. Our key design principles prioritise simplicity, clear information presentation, and interactive features to ensure engaging and satisfying user experiences. Additionally, our services are deliberately crafted to be more accessible to grassroots communities, facilitated by the use of USSD technology. 

How does BetaCare plan to expand its services or reach more underserved communities in Nigeria in the future?

BetaCare envisions an expansion strategy rooted in strategic partnerships with local healthcare providers and the establishment of mini-clinics. Additionally, our Community Health Promoters (CHPs) will be vital in spreading awareness and providing training on utilising BetaCare’s applications. By collaborating with community leaders, we aim to penetrate remote and underserved areas, ensuring that our mission of extending healthcare access reaches every corner of Nigeria. Betacare aims to integrate into every mobile money platform in the country to serve the underbanked users.

What partnerships or collaborations has BetaCare established to enhance its service offerings or improve its technological capabilities?

BetaCare has strategically partnered with industry leaders to augment our service offerings and elevate our technological capabilities. We have established collaborations with key entities such as Healthplus, Famasi, MTN, Airtel, and MPESA. Our ongoing discussions extend to additional Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), hospitals, and pharmacies as we aim to scale our impact.

While these partnerships have significantly contributed to our growth, it’s important to note that our journey to scale is ongoing, and we continue to explore opportunities with other reputable organisations. The collective synergy with our current partners and the potential alliances on the horizon is integral to our commitment to making quality healthcare accessible to all.

In what ways is BetaCare leveraging data analytics or artificial intelligence to enhance patient care or optimise its operations?

We utilise data by ensuring that we thoroughly analyse the information provided by our users to support health research and generate health tips and health warnings based on observed trends. We utilise artificial intelligence in the analysis and stratification of our data sets. We will also use AI for our initial patient contact. 

What is your ask?

Betacare seeks investors to support our mission of expanding our services across Africa. To accelerate our progress, we are seeking funds to onboard skilled developers who can contribute to the advancement of our platform and drive innovation in healthcare technology. Also, Betacare is actively seeking health provider partners and payment processing platforms across all African nations to integrate and expand into new markets.

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