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Calgary health tech company secures funds for African expansion

Michael Omidele's experiences building systems in Calgary paved the way for him to help deliver a service in his home country.

Calgary-based health management company Clinify locked up much-needed cash from a local fund to continue with their ambitious African expansion.

The company secured $1.5 million USD in a deal announced Feb. 15 and led by the Calgary-based Thin Air Labs. The Thin Air Labs Fund I invested $1 million in the company, with another $500K from HaloHealth and other strategic angel investors.

Clinify founder Michael Omidele came to Calgary from Nigeria with his family back in 2010. Omidele’s father had sold all their belonging to bring the family to Canada.

It was here that Omidele earned his computer network engineering degree. He put that degree to work with IBM to start, leading the setup of the networking at Calgary’s South Health Campus.  Then, he went to Alberta Health Services and played a key role in the delivery of their Epic electronic medical records system.

“I’d say everything in life has led to this moment because my first experience was to set up South Health Campus, which is the biggest hospital in the province,” Omidele told LiveWire Calgary, from Lagos, Nigeria, where he was working on sealing a national deal.

Now, he’s trying to build a strong electronic records platform in Nigeria. A medical records mix-up led to the death of a close family member. That pushed Omidele towards finding a solution.

The work in Calgary built the foundation for him to deliver his own electronic records system back in his home country of Nigeria. He worked with several different clinicians, doctors, labs workers and unit managers while putting the local systems together.   

“I was able to understand clinical workflows,” Omidele said.

Tying together a fractured private system

The company already works with more than 10 HMOs, 130 providers and delivers records for more than 12,000 people. There are more than 218 million people in Nigeria.

Omidele said he wants to improve healthcare delivery in his home country. Part of the challenge is the system is a patchwork of private providers. He wants to bring all of the providers – doctors, labs, pharmacists, and radiology – together.

“If we go to like 10 facilities, you get registered 10 different times, and medical records in 10 different places,” he said.  

“(The Clinify) system is centralized. So, if you get registered in one facility, the records are accessible in every facility.”

There are also more than 60 different health insurance billing systems in Nigeria. He wants to integrate them all into one place with his platform.   

They’re also looking at adding a telehealth portal for doctors. Right now, too few doctors are staying in the country, he said. Visiting doctors via telehealth could improve access and ease pressure on doctors.

Omidele operates in Calgary with five employees. They’re adding another 10. They need more client support for a 24/7 service. They also need more engineers to help build out their platform for expansion. The funding helps them do this, he said.

“It’s really to build up the team and scale up the infrastructure,” he said.

Omidele wants better healthcare in Nigeria. He has his sights set beyond, too. After establishing himself in Nigeria, he wants to continue through West Africa, then on to Sub-Saharan Africa.

His experience in building networks and rolling out electronic records management systems here is helping push healthcare forward in his home country.

“Data is the smartest way to effect real change,” Omidele said.

“Using data to drive health care efficiency is the best way to improve patient outcomes.”