◎ Company overview
Intron is Africa's first speech-powered electronic medical record (EMR).
Using clinical speech-to-text developed for 240+ African accents, we eliminate a massive barrier to EMR adoption, helping overworked clinicians overcome the fear and productivity drop when moving from pen to keyboard. Doctors can now complete documentation 6x faster using speech creating more time for patient care. Our customers are large and small hospitals across Africa where digitization efforts have failed previously or current efforts are challenging.
Transitioning Hospitals from paper to electronic systems
Intron was built to make paper records history, eliminating the frustration with lost or soiled records, manual result retrieval, and painful research. Intron helps large public hospitals transition from paper to electronic systems unlocking decades of invaluable data.
- Frontier tech validated: Speech module (now V3) has been built, tested (on 240+ African accents) & clinically validated , 1.1m audio samples
- Revenue model meets market context: Hardware: financed, almost zero upfront cost so no barriers. Subscription model - unit price: $0.5/patient/month. Double revenue approach with hospitals: EMR system + Speech module. B2B SaaS in on the decline in Africa
- Market potential: 100k hospitals in Africa, market size $4.6bn
- Proven sales track record: 26 active hospital clients, 16 paying monthly, 32 in pipeline, 11 in pilot mode.
- Great founder-market-fit: Tobi is an MD and experience (AWS) in ML Research Scientist and Health AI
- Why now? Healthcare is the only sector recording a positive YoY growth (7%), moving up to 3rd from 8th for deals over $100k.
- ◎ Company overview
- 🚀 Current traction
- 🖥 Product & Platform
- 💸 Investment opportunity
- 📊 Financial overview
- 🌍 Market size
- 🧲 Team
- 🥷🏽 Competitors
- 💬 Testimonials
🚀 Current traction
Intron aims to have 200 private and public hospital active across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa by end 2024, with the aim to be active in 350 hospitals by 2025. Hospitals are charged on a per-patient or per user basis.
- 4 Engineers, 8 Sales/Support, 1 ML Scientist Intern, 1 Speed Data/Project Lead
- There are 6 active team members focusing on contacting and onboarding hospitals. Average sales-cycle takes 2.5 months
- 44 hospitals and 18 active, Active hospitals in Nigeria now cover, 10+ states.
- Payments are on a pay-user basis (Speech) and subscription (EMR)
- ~$8500 total revenue since Oct 2022
- Speech - 493 active speech users doing 0.81 hours of speech recording per day with 90% accuracy
- EMR - 20% revenue boost by preventing revenue leaks through real-time tracking labs, pharmacy, radiology, and procedures.
- Users (hosp) - Avg orders per user per month: 30, most used orders: Add patient, Add vitals, Add clerking, Add drugs
- Time saving: On average, we see 5-6x speed up, which translates to about 2-3hrs per day. We typically say that “on a team of 10 doctors, that’s about 400hrs per month”
- Judicial and legislative proceedings
- Judges currently transcribe by hand
- 30+ proceedings per judge per day
- Broadcast and streaming
- Subtitles/captions for African-original content on Netflix, BBC and Amazon Prime
- Call centres (high volume)
- focussing on banks, airlines, telcos and insurance
- Signed on Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH) in Johannesburg, South Africa, the third largest hospital in the world (speech module)
- Signed on West Africa's largest teaching hospital (University College Hospital, Ibadan) as a customer as well as 3 other large hospitals (Federal Medical Centres) in Northern and Southern Nigeria.
- 4 large public hospitals currently doing Speech-to-text pilot.
- Confirmed partnership with NVIDIA to advance African accented speech recognition, especially for the clinical domain.
Current Sales Status Intron currently has 322 hospitals in the pipeline (44 in pipeline, 21 signed up and 18 actively paying).
Currently closing 3 hugely significant speech-to-text integration deals with some of Africa's largest EMR providers
ClinicMaster: Uganda's largest EMR provider with 200+ sites
Health-in-a-Box: Nigeria's largest EMR by provider by patient and provider volume. 48 of Nigeria's largest federal public hospitals
Netcare: South Africa's largest private hospital network, 50+ sites with 10k beds.
The recent Commonwealth partnership may be the largest of these deals as well as other similar conversations with the leading EMR providers in Kenya (Medbook), Ghana (LHIMS), and Nigeria (Global Care), a total of over 500 hospitals.
🖥 Product & Platform
Intron’s platform accelerates clinician adoption across the developing world by replacing the keyboard with voice input (Speech-to-text), and provide reliable and affordable tech infrastructure (EMR). Engagement with hospitals is provide the following services:
- EMR system: to replace current bulky systems with a paperless medical record system that caters for a range of daily activities that clinicians need
- EMR + Hardware: for rural/remote hospitals with sub-standard power supply, Intron provides affordable tech and power infrastructure to ensure constant up-time
- Speech-to-text: save clinicians up to 45-50% of work-day by switch from keyboard to voice
- Payments: enable patients to pay hospital bills online
What problems is Intron addressing?
Overworked and inefficient clinicians
Largely paper-based healthcare in Africa
- It is one of the top obstacles to healthcare digitization at scale in Africa.
- Typing long notes contributes to burnout and longer wait-times
- 43% to 58%* of work-day is spent on documentation (*link)
- The average clinician in a very busy African public hospital experiences a 3-5x productivity drop when switching from pen to keyboard
- Clinicians seeing 30+ patients per day CANNOT afford the extra time to type long notes even when software and infrastructure are available.
- Over 95% of hospitals in Africa still use paper, Clinical transcription does not exist for Africa
- EMR penetration is <1%. Leads to inefficiency and higher hospital costs
- The most frequently reported major factors that limit EMR adoption are High initial/ongoing maintenance costs, poor electricity supply and lack of internet connectivity.
Product and utilisation insights?
Electronic Medical Records platform
- Clinician Average Typing Speed was 20.1 words per minute (wpm), about half the average US adult typing speed (40 wpm) BUT the Average Speech Speed was 88.8 wpm.
- 493 users from 13 countries (Repeat usage mostly comes from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana & South Africa - where we have hospital engagements)
- 0.81 hours of speech recording per day
- 20.5 hours of transcripts have been recorded
- 90% average accuracy per speech user
- most used functionality - Add patient, Add vitals, Add clerking, Add drugs
- Average hospital client does average of 32 orders per user per month
- 10% overhead reduction from printing paper files, forms, and folders
- Save 2 hrs per day per clinician using 1-click rapid orders for lab tests, prescriptions, procedures, and radiology requests. No more form filling
- Recover 10%+ revenue with Patient debt tracking & other accounting / reporting features
- Block revenue leaks through real-time tracking labs, pharmacy, radiology, and procedures (20% revenue boost)
💸 Investment opportunity
The purpose of this seed round is to ramp up on the sales to reach 200 hospitals and $1m ARR by end of 2024. To date, $300k has been secured using a SAFE, of which $98k was used to do product development and build the team. The founders have been using person contributions to cover existing OPEX.
This round will give a 18 -20 month runway to focus on scaling up the sales team and its activities and improving on the product. The traction thus far has given a foundation for the company to double-down on their engagement with the hospitals and fine-tune the sales cycles.
18-month runway boost to $1m ARR and reach 50 large hospitals, 150 small-mid sized hospitals
- Reach break-even (38 hospitals) in 2023
- Reach $1m Annual Recurring Revenue milestone in time for Series A: 50 large hospitals, 150 small-mid sized hospitals
- First 10 international sites (Ghana, Kenya, South Africa)
- Multi-GPU cloud instances for speech recognition model training & inference
- Payroll for Engineers, Research, PMs, Support, Sales
Next possible round: Q2 2024
📊 Financial overview
Intron Health offers hospitals access to its products/platform on a SaaS model. There are 3 main products (see products ) and a charges based on usage (either patient or clinicians).
- EMR: $0.50/patient/mo prepaid credits, hospital pays us and recoups from patients each month
- EMR+Hardware: $500/$1000 one-time hardware consultation fee
- Speech to text: $10/clinician/mo prepaid subscription
Average ARR per hospital type
- M1 (small): 250 patients/mo = $750/yr
- M2 (medium) 750 patients/mo = $4,500/yr
- M3 (large) - 12,500 patients/mo = $750,000/yr
M1 - Small
M2 - Medium
M3 - Large
🌍 Market size
Intron is focussing on the public and private health care centres (approximately 100k) in Africa and has been engaging with the hospitals’ pain-points since 2017.
After 100+ hours of interviews with hospital representatives, the main barriers to technology adoptions are:
- Prohibitive cost worsened by contract Inflation by middlemen
- Ill-informed procurement choices undercut quality
- Poor maintenance culture
- Incompatible components
- Complicated Retrofitted software
- Sharp drop in productivity when clinicians need to type long notes. Longer queues.
- Frequent power outages
🎯 Go-to-market plan
Commercialisation plan: 2025 goal > 500+ hospitals active
The next 18 months will be dedicated to ramping up the sales team and activities in order to have 200 active hospitals by the end of 2024 and 350 at the end of 2025
- Direct sales (B2B)
- Clinician Referral Program: 1700 clinicians active
- Target Hospital Network: sister/group hospitals referred
- Channel partners: existing EMR platforms integrating the speech module
Medium to Large Multi-speciality Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers with 100 to 5000 staff. 100 to 1000 patients per day in over 10 concurrent clinics. Multiple failed attempts at digital transition. Overworked clinicians: typing increases burnout, wait-times, and churn.
Intron leadership team have been driving the growth since the firs product pilot. The entire staff compliment is made up of 4 Engineers, 8 Sales/Support, 1 ML Scientist Intern, 1 Speed Data/Project Lead
Intron has a core working team of 10 FTEs who form part of the Tech & Dev and Sales teams. They are all based in Nigeria and most have been working at Intron for the passed 2 years.
The competitors analysis looked at companies providing medical transcription (Speech-to-text) and EMR services. Then based those according to the geographies in which they are active. There is no Africa-based company focussing on speech-to-text for the healthcare space. There are some larger corporates (AWS, Nuance (acq by Microsoft)) provide speech-to-text service for multiple industries but not healthcare specifically.
Intron is Africa’s first speech powered medical record.
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