AU-Startups Watchlist: 12 Innovative Health Tech Startups Enhancing Healthcare Accessibility and Delivery in Southern Africa

Healthcare in the southern region of Africa has had its fair share of challenges ranging from limited accessibility to disparities in healthcare delivery. However, a new wave of revolutionary technology startups is transforming the landscape of healthcare in the region.

These companies are leveraging the power of innovation and digital advancements to improve healthcare accessibility, enhance service delivery, and empower individuals to take control of their well-being.

Here we have identified 12 of innovative health tech startups that are transforming the healthcare landscape in Southern Africa and making a positive impact on the lives of millions.

3×4 Genetics

Year Founded: 2018

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

3×4 Genetics is a pioneering biotechnology company dedicated to advancing genetic research and healthcare solutions with a particular interest in Africa. The startup is utilizing human genetic data and nutrigenomic education to revolutionize healthcare practices and improve medical services for Africans.

3×4 Genetics delivers home-based diagnostic kits for users to test genetic biomarkers from a DNA sample. The company also operates a digital genomics infrastructure, which it uses primarily for storing and analyzing genetic test results as well as clinical and phenotypic data.

By analyzing genetic information at its disposal, 3×4 Genetics generates valuable insights for driving better health and fitness management. Healthcare specialists can use the insights to give accurate wellness recommendations to their patients. By implication, 3×4 genetics is providing Africans with seamless access to more personalized, DNA-data-driven recommendations for nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle.

Ollie Health

Year Founded: 2020

Location: Capetown, South Africa

Ollie Health is a telehealth company dedicated to promoting mindfulness and mental health wellness for Africans, particularly corporate employees. The startup enables companies to set up their employees with qualified therapists and mental health experts to help them maintain a healthy state of mind. 

Ollie Health operates a digital platform where people can connect with mental health specialists and undergo virtual therapy sessions. To participate in therapy sessions, users must purchase mental credits from the company’s website. These tokens serve as prepaid subscription tickets for virtual calls with mental health specialists.  

Ollie Health aims to help companies build healthy teams by creating avenues for employers to enroll their employees for quality mental health examinations and treatment as necessary. But its services also extend to individuals, enabling them to instantly get their own remote therapist.

In terms of impact, Ollie Health is helping people access premium mental health treatment conveniently. All conversations are virtual, and the company’s mental health credit system is designed to reduce consultation fees and make it more affordable for clients. Of course, confidentiality is another added perk.


Year Founded: 2020

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Strove is a physical fitness and wellness-focused startup helping employers build psychologically safe workplaces and a healthy employee force. The company aims to inspire sedentary workers to live healthier and more active lifestyles, and it’s leveraging technology to do it.

Strove operates a digital infrastructure designed where it provides wellness and physical fitness services to users. The platform uses activity tracking with gamification features to incentivize users to work out. Users can also sync their activity-tracking wearables and apps, such as smartwatches, with their profile on the platform.

Strove’s platform has a point algorithm feature that works based on metrics like distance covered, duration of exercise, calories, heart rate, and age of the user to assign points accordingly. Users may then use their accrued points to claim rewards from any of the merchant partners featured in the company’s app.

Strove primarily offers its products to organizations, providing them with its feature-rich wellness solution to engage their employees in mindfulness and physical fitness. They provide quality fitness coaching, counseling, and other non-intrusive healthcare services that support all-round well-being.

Kena Health

Year Founded: 2021

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kena Health is a telehealth company improving access to remote medical services across South Africa. The startup aims to enable users to receive healthcare at their convenience and at more affordable rates.

Kena Health operates a digital infrastructure that connects users with medical services professionals. The platform facilitates conversations between health service consumers and healthcare specialists through voice, text, or video. Kena Health’s range of services includes medical advice, prescription, referrals, and mental therapy sessions.

Kena Health aims to help patients connect with the most suitable professionals for their unique healthcare needs. It operates a business model designed to improve personalized healthcare accessibility, convenience, and affordability for Africans. 


Year Founded: 2015

Location: Pretoria, South Africa

HearX is a medtech company deploying innovative solutions to tackle hearing disabilities and improve hearing health. The startup develops cutting-edge hearing assessment tools and digital interventions that cater to individuals with hearing impairments.

The company’s tech solutions include multiple tech-enabled hearing-aid digital tools. HearX’s solutions incorporate smart tech, AI, and big data to improve its capacity to detect, diagnose and treat hearing impairment. By leveraging innovative technology, HearX offers convenient and cost-effective solutions to manage hearing loss.

HearX operates two company divisions – a b2b business-facing side that offers hearing health solutions for healthcare professionals enabling them to offer better service to their clients, and a consumer-facing side that offers medical-grade hearing aid tools to consumers at more affordable cost than traditional hearing aids.

Through their community-focused efforts, HearX is actively working towards reducing the social and economic barriers associated with hearing health, ultimately transforming lives for the better.


Year Founded: 2014

Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa

LifeQ is a biometric and med-tech company pioneering personalized health monitoring and digital health solutions. It aims to revolutionize the way people understand and optimize human health by harnessing the power of biometrics and advanced analytics.

LifeQ has deployed an advanced biosensor technology, which seamlessly integrates into wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers. These biosensors collect an array of physiological data, including accurate heart rate variability, sleep quality, and activity levels, to deliver personalized health assessments and actionable recommendations for users. In addition, LifeQ’s analytics and insights can contribute to more effective preventive care strategies, remote patient monitoring, and chronic disease management.

LifeQ’s solutions enable the early detection and treatment of chronic diseases. LifeQ’s impact extends beyond the individual level, as their innovative solutions also have the potential to revolutionize healthcare systems and population health management across Africa. 

Vertice MedTech

Year Founded: 2018

Location: Gauteng, South Africa

Vertice is a medical technology company mobilizing sustainable healthcare solutions for African communities. Dedicated to helping healthcare professionals provide optimal care for their patients, it develops technological tools to improve healthcare delivery efficiency in Africa.

Vertice’s provision encompasses a wide range of healthcare solutions ranging from mobile healthcare that support remote healthcare delivery to medical supplies manufacturing and delivery facilitation via digital means as well as lab and diagnostics and connected health. The company also provides mainstream medical services such as eye care and wound care services, among others.

All its services and products are accessible via the company’s website. It also partners with leading healthcare equipment distributors such as Ray Safe, 3DISC, and Samsung Healthcare to make medical devices readily available across African communities. 

Inspired by the concept of changing lives through technology, Vertice Medtech is on a mission to implement digital and innovative transformation in the African healthcare sector.

Appy Saúde

Year Founded: 2015

Location: Luanda, Angola

Appy Saúde is an IT company developing digital healthcare solutions for Angolans. The startup operates a mobile app that provides healthcare information and services for users in the country.

Appy Saúde’s app allows users to access healthcare-related services such as booking appointments with doctors, ordering prescription medication, and other related necessities. It also provides users with information about healthcare facilities accessible to them for their needs, as well as educational content about health and wellness.

Appy Saúde is redefining healthcare access in Angola. Its digital app is a valuable resource for people who need healthcare information and services at their fingertips. Plus, the company is making it easier for people to access healthcare resources affordably at their convenience.


Year Founded: 2013

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

RecoMed is a telehealth company providing seamless channels for Africans to access quality remote medical services. RecoMed operates a healthcare marketplace platform for patients to find and book appointments with professionals. It provides ample opportunity for them to schedule consultation correspondence with doctors, dentists, mental health specialists, and other medical specialists.

The marketplace also serves healthcare professionals, giving them a platform to grow their practices while enjoying the convenience and flexibility of a remote work setting. 

In addition, RecoMed partners with pharmacies and enables patients to procure prescription medications from these dispensaries via its digital platform. Plus, RecoMed also provides Corporate health services for businesses, letting organizations coordinate health insurance and wellness screening for their employees on a consolidated platform.

RecoMed is committed to improving the health and well-being of Africans. As such, it is constantly innovating and adding new features to its platform to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for consumers.


Year Founded: 2020

Location: Gauteng, South Africa

HealthDart is a health tech company leveraging technology to improve medical services and product delivery to consumers. The company runs a one-stop shop where Africans can access primary healthcare services. 

HealthDart operates a digital infrastructure where patients get to book appointments and have online medical consultations with doctors, nurses, and pharmacies in their area. The company also offers a variety of other services, including prescription medication delivery and health education.

HealthDart is committed to improving the health and well-being of South Africans. The company’s solution not only improves accessibility but also helps to reduce the cost of healthcare, essentially helping to address the problem of high cost and lack of access to healthcare in rural areas in South Africa.


Year Founded: 2020

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Contro is a telehealth company leveraging technology to improve access to stigmatized healthcare products and services in Africa. The company enables patients to receive sexual health treatment without having to experience the shame and stigma that sometimes accompanies it.

Contro operates a platform through which patients can procure confidence products and receive them at their convenience. Users can also access consultation services with specialists and peruse sexual health educational materials on the platform.

Contro’s services cover primary sex subject areas such as birth control, erectile dysfunction treatment, hair loss treatment, STIs, and UTIs.

Contro hopes to reduce the stigma associated with sexual health conditions by helping patients receive adequate treatment at their convenience and confidence. It also makes sexual health products more affordable by offering them at discounted prices on its platform.

Vitruvian MD

Year Founded: 2020

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Vitruvian MD is a biomedical technology company creating solutions that facilitate access to affordable diagnostics services for Africans. The startup incorporates artificial intelligence in biomedical engineering processes to develop low-cost, high-accuracy diagnostic tools for medical laboratories.

Vitruvian MD has developed and deployed multiple tech-enabled medical solutions. One of them is an AI-powered diagnostics software that can be utilized in any form of microscopy-based diagnostics. Other products from Vitruvian MD include Vision MD; 4k cameras for microscopes, VoiceMD; a medical dictation tool, and V-Lims, a lab information management system.

By combining biomedical engineering and state of the art AI, Vitruvian MD is redefining medical lab diagnostics processes in Africa and making high quality health care accessible to the masses.

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