For the People, By the People: Technology Innovation
By Angie Gallagher
(3 min 24 sec reading time) At BurstIQ, we have the honor to work with many astounding people, and we want to share their inspiring stories, which increase our motive to keep doing the work we set out to do: make the world a healthier, happier place.
One of our most heartfelt encounters is with a Nigerian medical student, Ochoche Ubenyi, who launched an app to serve the rural areas of his country and assist their lack of resources countrywide. Using blockchain, he will overcome the intense health care challenges.
One of the things that become apparent when you meet Ochoche, he always has a smile on his face. He is a very joyful person. However, as I learned more about his back story, my respect for him continued to grow. During his formative years, Ochoche endured many heart-breaking experiences. First, his father died, his brother also passed away, and then, his uncle and wife (guardians) who adopted him also died, and in a single day, he witnessed over twenty children perish in his town due to lack of medical care. His country has only 30,000 doctors to serve its population of 200 million. And with the population growth rate, 70,000,000 doctors will be needed by 2030. With inadequate healthcare, his father’s death was preventable, but their circumstance creates deathly situations.
Ochoche decided to pursue medical school, so another person would not have to endure the loss of his family in this way. He passed the exam with a perfect score, but that did not guarantee he would be accepted. In a single year, 1 to 2 million people take the medical exam. 25,000 individuals applied to the institution he wanted to attend, competing for only 50 positions.
Ochoche channeled his personal experiences into a commitment to help others avoid the tragedy he experienced. Through one of his classes, Ochoche met a software developer who shares his passion for improving healthcare, and the two of them created NiMEDix.
Ochoche said getting into medical school requires either networking with someone at the school, a government official to sponsor you, or “you can go to the church and pray every day.” (We had a good chuckle at this.) He diligently prayed, and eventually, Ochoche’s next-door neighbor became a commissioner of water resources and his sponsor. After seven years of taking the exam, he finally received an appointment. Unfortunately, his friend and sponsor died one year later and was unable to witness his incredible journey. He remains grateful for his patronage to this day and will always be appreciative of his support.
It has taken a bit longer to get through medical school than usual due to circumstances outside of his control. However, Ochoche will graduate in May 2020, completing a seventeen-year journey. Ochoche will become a surgeon, and with the Malaria epidemic, with children being affected the most, his surgery skills will be advantageous. While completing his degree, Ochoche met a software developer who shares his passion for improving healthcare, and through this friendship, he created NiMEDix.
THE STARTUP SOLUTION:
NiMEDix is a way-finder app to help navigate citizens to limited facilities for their particular medical problems. For example, only two hospitals in their city can handle deadly sneak bites. Often, an inflicted person will wait in the E.R. for hours only to find out they do not treat their condition, and while en route to another facility, that person faces a high risk of dying.
THE BLOCKCHAIN BENEFIT:
From childhood, Ochoche has been self-sufficient and is not the type to ask for money; he believes that free money makes people lazy. So, to help pay for med school, four years ago, he started to trade cryptocurrencies. His skills and ability provide the financial support for him to continue his medical training and to provide the base funding for NiMMEdix.
Meanwhile, to expand NiMEDix, Ochoche plans to go on a tour to other medical schools to raise funds through IEOs and get a loan investment in the crypto exchange. The investment can buy needed medical equipment for Nigerians.
BurstIQ’s partnerships with startups allow them to use a free license while they are pre-revenue. Once it flips to a commercial one, the fees are minimal. Licenses with similar technology are $200k to $80k, and that is cost-prohibitive. When we told Ochoche he can use our free option, he cried. (And we did too!)
Our platform helps startups go to market rapidly, and our community has entrepreneurs who share values for global healthcare reform. We are more than software, we are an alliance, and it is beautiful to see them helping each other.
Ochoche said our blockchain brings reliability, credibility and solves healthcare data-related issues, allowing people to have full transparency. And our platform will save NiMEDix a year of development time and costs.
Meeting Ochoche is deeply encouraging for all of us at BurstIQ. It is humbling that our work can make a real impact. We set out to change lives — one person, one startup at a time. Our hearts feel complete and motivated to find more amazing, inspirational people like Ochoche.