In Nigeria, it is not unusual to spend nine hours or more waiting to see a doctor – only to be told at the end of the day that you were not one of the fortunate ones who got to be seen. “It’s not always a matter of money,” says Ifeanyi Ossai, co-founder and CEO of CribMD, which provides affordable, subscription-based telemedicine and doctors who make house calls on-demand to patients in Nigeria. “Yes, the bottom 10% cannot afford to see a doctor, but the sad reality is that there is only one doctor for every 4,500 patients. Even the rich cannot always receive care.” The result is a crisis in Nigeria’s healthcare system that Ifeanyi is determined to solve through CribMD.
CribMD’s mission is personal for Ifeanyi. He lost his aunt because she could not see a doctor even though she had money. “That was incredibly painful,” he says, sighing. “It should never have happened. I also know that our investor, Joe, nearly lost his son while Joe was working as a diplomat in Nigeria. His son could not see a doctor despite Joe having the ability to pay. Joe had to call a doctor in America to get advice on what to do, and his son is alive and well today, studying medicine at school. Nigerian hospitals are simply so overwhelmed with patients that they cannot see everyone, and this is resulting in needless deaths and heartache.”
CribMD’s solution to this problem has evolved over time. “We started with physical clinics, but those do not scale fast enough. On any given day, we could only see 10% of the patients that lined up under the hot sun to get help. The rest were usually turned away despite having money because we were at capacity, and some tried to bribe their way in. That is why we launched CribMD. We chose our platform because we were inspired by the way Airbnb turned homes into hotels. At CribMD, your home is the clinic, and the doctor will come to you, not the other way around.”
CribMD offers low-cost health insurance that enables access to health services and doctors with verified credentials across Nigeria. Patients can book telemedicine visits and doctor house calls at will with generalists and specialists and have any prescribed medications shipped directly to their door. CribMD patients have all their medical care expenses covered, including ambulance and hospital care.
Ifeanyi says that the company’s efforts are already impacting the healthcare system. “Patients no longer have to tell their entire medical history to each new doctor they see. They don’t have to queue up in front of a clinic all day for a small chance to see a doctor or risk getting COVID-19 while they wait. CribMD’s technology enables our doctors to see more patients on their schedules and in the comfort of their own homes. Our use of electronic medical records enables doctors to get a better view of the patient’s history in a shorter amount of time, treat them more efficiently, and prescribe medications that appear at their door like magic the next day. We believe that this is the future of healthcare – more efficient treatment, less uncertainty, better health.”
CribMD has found broad support for its mission and is already experiencing success. “We have raised over $2.6M in venture funding, generate $120K+ in monthly recurring revenue, and have over 4K subscribers and a waitlist. We have delivered hundreds of house calls and over a thousand tele-sessions to date and have healed thousands of Africans who would otherwise be without care if not for CribMD.”
CribMD has done well in part because its leaders are not afraid to pivot when they encounter problems. “CribMD spun out of the WeCare clinics, which have a solid business model, because we couldn’t treat all our patients,” Ifeanyi says. “Now, we’re growing 10 times week over week. We think there’s incredible promise.”
CribMD also invests in their employees, another key to its success. “They are our biggest asset. We treat them well and keep them healthy. On a side note, we support other startups and small businesses and offer a 30% discount to those that want to provide health plans to their employees to help them live better and be more productive.”
Ifeanyi pauses, picturing where he wants CribMD to go. “As frustrating as the work can be, I am deeply hopeful about the impact we will have. Women will have competent care when they are pregnant. People will be able to see a doctor when they need to. Counterfeit drugs will be eradicated. This is all what CribMD will accomplish for Nigeria.”Visit www.CribMD.com or find us on your app store (Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1534919330, Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cribmd.com.CribMD ).