Interswitch expands presence in health-tech via eClat acquisition


Interswitch Limited, a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other African countries has announced the acquisition of eClat Healthcare Limited, a Nigeria-based health technology company that aims to improve healthcare delivery in Africa.

The deal was completed on September 30, 2019, and it involves Interswitch acquiring a 60 per cent stake in eClat through the purchase of shares from current shareholders and subscription to new shares issued by the company.

Founded in 2012, eClat Healthcare Limited specialises in assisting healthcare service providers in planning, designing and operating their unique practices through the deployment of its bespoke healthcare technology platform, designed specifically for the healthcare environment in Africa.

eClat’s healthcare technology platform consists of a core e-Clinic software (including electronic billing, immunisation, ante-natal and care pathway functions), as well as a variety of additional specialist modules.

Prior to the acquisition, eClat’s platform had become a leading Electronic Health Record (EHR), platform used in over 250 public and private healthcare facilities in Nigeria.

According to Interswitch, Nigeria’s healthcare system currently lacks adequate funding and a national framework, leading to operational inefficiencies.

Interswitch’s strategic investment in healthcare technology aims to address these challenges by modernising the healthcare sector in Nigeria and eventually in Africa through its innovative products and services.

The combined product offerings of Interswitch and eClat are expected to, amongst other things, enable operators in the healthcare sector to develop new capabilities, improve the efficiency of their core operations and facilitate seamlessly payments.

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Due to the growing adoption of Interswitch’s healthcare product offerings by the operators, Interswitch’s healthcare technology platform aims to be one of the top industry platforms in Nigeria, which can be utilised as a major data source by healthcare policymakers for planning and efficiency improvements in the sector.

As a result of this acquisition, the combined healthcare technology solutions are expected to position the Interswitch group as a health-tech solution and payments provider of choice to the healthcare industry going forward.

Commenting on the transaction, Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, said: “We are a technology company that is innovating to deliver value across sectors that are critical to Africa’s social and economic development, our acquisition of eClat demonstrates strong progress along with this strategy and alignment with our corporate vision.

“Healthcare is rapidly evolving towards new, integrated and scalable models of care delivery that put the consumer at the centre.

At the core of Interswitch’s expansion into healthcare is our ambition to provide customers with greater access to healthcare across different interaction points beyond hospitals, such as at pharmacies and primary health care facilities, providing much needed services to patients across Nigeria and, in the future, in Africa.

“It also represents an opportunity to introduce a number of Interswitch’s products, such as our Verve Health cards, as well as our payment collection & disbursement solutions (Quickteller for business), that will drive much-needed efficiency in payments for health services across the value chain.”

Also remarking on the acquisition, Dr Wallace Ogufere, co-founder/CEO of eClat Healthcare Limited stated: “The growing adoption of value-based care, combined with the increasing level of usage of patient portals across the industry has made it critical to take a new approach to patient engagement solution design in Nigeria.

We expect to tightly integrate the eClat capabilities into the Interswitch platform, adding functionality that would enable providers to reach their entire patient populations by leveraging existing patient contact information.”

This new acquisition by Interswitch represents the latest of several strategic investments executed by the company to enhance Interswitch’s product and service offering and expand its reach into new markets as the payments technology sector in Africa expands rapidly.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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