Announcing our Investment in InstantRad 🎉🎉
InstantRad offers an on-demand Teleradiology-Platform-As-A-Service (TPaas) and a marketplace for thousands of healthcare centers across the world.
- Seth Quansah, CEO and Co-founder: Seth served as the Ghana Director for RAD-AID International, one of the world’s largest NGOs focused on radiology. He also previously founded Alchemy Alternative Energy, a company that converted plastic waste into fuel.
- Ernest Appiah, Co-founder: Ernest has 10+ years of experience as a Senior Software Engineer building and scaling health, restaurant, farming, and fintech products and working with companies like Farmlogs in the US and Sidra Medicine in Qatar. He is a technology enthusiast with a rigorous technical background in computer software, embedded systems, distributed systems, and information systems.
Millions of individuals worldwide lack access to proper radiology services, including reporting from qualified radiologists. In Ghana alone, the ratio of radiologists to the population averages around 1:500,000. These stats are worse in Nigeria. The current process is expensive, has delayed Report-Turn-Around (RTA) of between 3 and 30 days, and often leads to misdiagnosis and death in cases where unqualified personnel attempt to interpret medical images for patients.
InstantRad has built an all-in-one solution that allows hospitals and teleradiologists to upload, view, and store millions of medical images from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), ultrasound, X-rays, mammogram scans, etc., and have remote radiologists review and produce reports on them. The product gives referring physicians access to their patient's images and reports after analysis by the radiologists, allowing further examination of the patient.
InstantRad’s centralized workflow is designed with the end-users in mind, providing features and customization abilities that are more attuned to the reality of the peculiar African market.
“InstantRad’s scalability and adaptability is seamless and significantly low-cost. We are passionate about collaborating with other health technology companies and springboarding the African healthcare ecosystem into the future. The dawn of interactive and mobile modern healthcare is here, extending healthcare past brick and mortar health delivery systems.”
Seth Quansah, CEO and Co-Founder, InstantRad
How it works
The best way to get on InstantRad is through its website. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can be set up in 15 minutes or less. Once set up is complete, users are able to login with their secure credentials and radiologists can receive medical images within seconds.
First uploads are categorized as “New.” The platform is able to take on detailed client and imaging information such as first and last name, gender, date of birth and age, MRN, type of study and the affected body part, and 3 very specific dates — date of upload, date of receipt and date of the study. Users are also able to see the exact institution and branch that made changes to an upload.
InstantRad has been intentionally made simple so that any authorized member of staff can correctly use the platform. The platform aids staff accountability and department performance management, affirming or disproving that scans were taken on time, uploaded on time, and reported within agreed timelines.
InstantRad gives upload study history in granular detail. Information such as who marked the upload as read/unread, who received notification emails, who added CT scans, who retrieved Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) data from cloud storage etc, are readily available, eliminating blame games and aiding the institution’s quality control and assurance efforts.
Another feature of note is the second opinion option. Users on the platform are able to access specific radiologists locally and abroad using InstantRad, getting advanced reviews of their diagnosis.
Radiologists can also build their own teleradiology/part-time consulting practice on InstantRad. The platform provides a centralized system that allows the medical imaging professional to receive thousands of images from all the hospitals they work with, giving them a bird’s eye view of their patients.
“As a radiologist, I’m able to report quickly for several hospitals within a few minutes using InstantRad. I can easily retrieve medical images and communicate with the hospitals on cases in real-time. The platform is compatible with mobile devices so I can use my tablet when I’m in transit. It makes our service provision significantly easier and gives me the opportunity to become a ubiquitous radiologist for many hospitals all at once.” -- Dr. Ewurama Idun, Current Faculty Chair, Faculty of Radiology, Ghana College of Physicians & Surgeons; Immediate Past President, Ghana Association of Radiology
In addition to these, uploaders and attending physicians at the hospital are able to add priority statuses to patients. This helps fast-track surgeries as surgeons rely on radiologists and their reports before operating on their patients.
Every second counts.
InstantRad’s primary aim is to make radiology workflows smarter. Competing software solutions are quite limited with their features and customization abilities. As a result, without any marketing, high-profile hospitals have approached InstantRad to deploy their software.
A few things make InstantRad stand out from competing products, many of which were developed based on Western healthcare models. Nigeria, Ghana, and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have long had issues with the creation and maintenance of healthcare records and infrastructure.
For the average West African, visiting a different hospital means having no past patient records for new healthcare professionals to review. For the hospitals, initial software setup costs are usually prohibitive. In the US for example, setup can cost up to $15,000 per center, apart from an estimated $5,000–$9,000 data storage cost per month.
The global diagnostic imaging market is expected to reach $35B by 2026, up from $26.6B in 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2021 to 2026. Densely populated economies like Nigeria which have lower life expectancies and a high occurrence of chronic diseases such as stroke and heart-related conditions exhibit a high growth potential for the medical imaging market.
“Sub-Saharan Africa constitutes nearly a quarter of the global disease burden but less than 1% of health expenditure. The region is plagued by a severe shortage of trained medical personnel and chronic underinvestment in its health delivery systems. InstantRad is at the forefront of the telemedicine revolution in Africa, leveraging its path-breaking platform to pioneer the adoption of technology in the provision of diagnostic services, and ultimately to improve clinical outcomes.” -- Temi Marcella Awogboro, Executive Director, Evercare Hospital
Seth and Ernest have significant experience in both the radiology and technology spaces. Seth has spent 12 years in health tech and social entrepreneurship while Ernest has been a software engineer for the past 10+ years and has held many tech consulting positions for fast-growing companies on three continents.
Ernest honed his experience in the healthcare space at Sidra Hospital in Doha, Qatar. While there, he developed and integrated Cerner into existing hospital systems. Seth in collaboration with IBM, introduced the first digital radiology medical imaging system at Ghana’s largest hospital, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
InstantRad’s team has strong relationships with African radiologists both locally and in the diaspora, enabling effective customer feedback. Leveraging this relationship into other disciplines of medicine will be advantageous for the company’s organic growth. Through their work, both founders have built connections to >40,000 radiologists and radiographers worldwide.
At the time of our investment, InstantRad had a presence in 20 hospitals and was processing ~100 cases per day with 30 radiologists verified. The company successfully reduced RTA from 3–30 days to 30 minutes-4 hours.
InstantRad experienced a 233% increase in reported cases and a 100% increase in radiologists between launch in 2019 and the first quarter of 2021. More than 6 million medical images are on its servers.
InstantRad charges for initial image scans uploaded to the platform and second opinion requests by patients. This happens for about 10–15% of total reports. There is also a charge per gigabyte (GB) of storage.
In the coming years, InstantRad expects to diversify into related fields such as Pathology, Cardiology, and Dermatology.
InstantRad is our second Ghanaian and fifth non-Nigerian investment, driving us closer to our Pan-African investment goal. So far, the platform has recorded a strong rate of adoption by radiologists, with many of the onboarded hospitals discovering the platform through word of mouth in the radiology community.
The teleradiology industry has recently gained interest due to the delivery of remote services, closing the gap between patients and service providers. InstantRad understands that the traditional plug-and-play approach does not appeal to user preferences and has built what remains the first custom-built teleradiology company with a unique business model empowering all members of the value chain from start to finish.
InstantRad’s play is global, allowing radiologists from anywhere in the world to read films from African hospitals. Seth and Ernest’s past technical experience in providing support for more than 50M users of other products has provided InstantRad the confidence to scale easily, further bolstering our belief in the team’s ability to execute.
At Microtraction, our long-term mission is to accelerate Africa’s transition to a sustainable and developed economy. We do this by investing in entrepreneurs who leverage technology, capital, and innovation to try and solve some of the largest problems on the continent. If you are working on solving one of these problems, we should talk!
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