This high-tech SA medical facility is revolutionizing the way patients get diagnosed and treated

South African startup Medicise opened a cutting-edge medical center in Somerset West, Western Cape. The facility can monitor a variety of heart and pulmonary functions and present a complete clinical picture through complicated diagnostic algorithms.

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Medicise is the only facility of its kind in Africa. They use highly-specialized equipment to monitor and measure a wide range heart and lung functions. These data points can then be linked and integrated using sophisticated diagnostic algorithms. They are then evaluated and presented in a clinical “picture”.

Once a baseline has been established supervised exercise, exertion, and resting will detect anomalies or areas of concern. This means that the Medicise process can provide far more meaningful diagnostic insights than other methods.

Johann Els (the company’s executive Director), stated to Disrupt Africa that the science behind this was well-proven over many years. However, technology has now greatly increased its value.

“The technology is an invaluable tool for clinical diagnosis. These assessments can be used to treat and provide medical care for virtually any medical specialty.

Medicise analyzed the literature for the past five decades to determine what information was needed to include physical exercise in its treatment program.

To allow individuals to share their data, the company developed a unique prototype infrastructure.

“This data set must provide a complete overview for medical practitioners to help in optimizing clinical decision-making. Els stated that medical practitioners are specialists in a particular area of healthcare and need additional clinical information.

Els was studying at Stellenbosch University in 2004 when the seed of Medicise was first planted. He concluded, after years of research and clinical application, that there was no comprehensive infrastructure for oxygen restoration in chronic disease management.

He said, “Once a patient becomes trapped in the chronic sick care model and cannot recover their health due to a dependence on pills which causes an unintended result of transferring responsibility from patient behaviour onto molecular biology,”

The literature study was started in 2016 and Medicise was incorporated by El in 2019. El stated that while the global healthcare industry is based on a reactive model of care, his company wanted to provide proactive services.

“The company developed a business model that was applicable to the global market. This allows the company scale quickly and makes the reactive model a proactive one. He said that the market gap is large because other players in the health insurance industry such as insurance providers are in dire need for an intervention to lower healthcare prices since the global COVID-19 epidemic.”

“Diagnostic data is the only available data set that is relevant to the insurance sector. This is a reactive approach. Medicise has also created a new subclinical dataset that includes the clinical dataset. This allows Medicise, to aid the global market in early detection of clinical conditions and prevent expensive reactive interventions that do little to restore health.

Els can think only of the Cooper Aerobic Center, Dallas (US), and European cardiac clinics as competitors. Medicise, with seed funding, has created Africa’s first comprehensive facility that provides sub-clinical information for analytics on chronic diseases.

It was established in May 2020 and has had positive results. Patients have begun to show evidence of their health regaining. Els reports that Stellenbosch University has started using Medicise for pre-operative assessments of transplant patients and living donors.

“Since starting as a startup during a pandemic, and trying to introduce an innovative concept to the globe – asking patients or health insurance providers to cover health services under a proactive model – the uptake has been amazing. Patients are now seeing the clinical results of their care and are asking for referrals from their doctors. “Medicise intervention plans have shown clinical improvement, so patients are seeing that insurance companies cover the services,” he stated.

“Specialist physicians have begun to use clinical and subclinical data from their patients, and are seeing improvements. This leads to more patient referrals, which in turn affects revenue generation.

So far, so good. The startup plans to expand its services into different markets within the Western Cape in the short term, but has longer-term national expansion goals.

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