A leading science and technology company, Merck, and entrepreneurial advisory company, Intellecap, recently hosted the first of a series of eHealth meetups focussing on scaling eHealth innovations in Kenya.

The monthly meetups will feature panel discussions with industry experts and provide a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and public organisations in the healthcare sector to get inspired, exchange ideas and network.

The event was hosted at the Nairobi Garage, where Merck is currently running its eHealth accelerator programme. Speakers at the event included Founder and CEO of SevenSeas Technologies, Mike Macharia; Founder and Director of Microclinics, Moka Lantum; and East African Director at Acumen Fund, Duncan Onyango.

Earlier this year Merck launched its equity-free eHealth accelerator programme supporting three Kenyan start-ups: Flare, an Uber-like transportation network company that makes ambulances more readily accessible in Nairobi; the Miti Health platform, which aims to improve the supply chain of medication; and Totohealth, which uses messaging and voice technology to help reduce maternal mortality, child mortality and detect developmental abnormalities in early stages.

The startups were provided working space at the Nairobi Garage, an equity-free funding of $15,000 as well as access to Merck’s global network of experts for ongoing coaching and mentoring.

“With our accelerator programme in Nairobi we not only want to be part of but also contribute to the local startup ecosystem. This meetup is the first step to bring the ecosystem together and create value for its members,” said Head of Merck Innovation Centre, Michael Gamber, in a statement.

Merck also launched the Diabetes Online Risk Assessment (DORA) programme, a diabetes awareness initiative which covers 12 African countries, including South Africa.

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