Number of Kenyans seeking digital health treatment rises, study shows

The number of Kenyans seeking digital health treatment and care grew by 880,000.

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The number of Kenyans seeking digital health treatment and care grew by 880,000, representing a 13.3 percent rise, during the year ending December 2023 to stand at 7.49 million, a fresh report shows.

The Digital 2024 Report for Kenya, published by global digital insights platform Datareportal, also reveals that the total annual value of the digital treatment and care market in the country hit $101.6 million during the year, representing a 9.3 per cent rise from the value recorded the previous year.

According to the report, the average annual value per user stood at $13.56.

“The market is inclusive of digital tools that are used to diagnose, treat and manage medical conditions, including sensors and digital care management," notes Datareportal.

"It, however, does not include smart clothing, smart shoes or smart eyewear.”

During the year, the number of users seeking online doctor consultation services rose by 80,000, representing a 19 per cent jump, to stand at 500,000.

The total annual value of online doctor consultations during the period grew by 18.2 per cent, or $1.5 million in addition, to stand at $9.95 million while the average annual value of online doctor consultations per user stood at $19.79.

The report notes that online doctor consultations include telemedicine and other medical tools that enable patients to consult doctors remotely.

The interest in digital health has been driven by the proliferation of devices like tablets and mobile phones, which in tandem with easily accessible mobile networks means the digital-enabled public has access to healthcare information any time and almost everywhere.

The concept has provided a platform through which digital technology facilitates patients’ participation in healthcare.

Last year, Kenyan health-tech start-ups were the second most attractive to funders on the continent after an undisclosed number of companies raised a combined Sh7.5 billion, according to a report by Salient Advisory. During the period, online pharmacy solutions bagged the majority of investor capital, accounting for 38 per cent of the total raised.

In Kenya, Kasha and MyDawa raised the highest amounts after they secured Sh3 billion and Sh2.9 billion respectively, driven by three Series B rounds.

2023 marked a record-breaking year for the sector in Kenya where at least 180 health-tech start-ups were in operation across the country.

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