Cape Town, South Africa. 19.10.2016

Wednesday Evening, 19 October, saw the finalization of the first DEMOLA season in Africa when DEMOLA Cape Town, along with stakeholders from the DST and CSIR, hosted a world class demo day at Workshop17 in Cape Town.

3 Months ago DEMOLA and its industry partners from South Africa and the Netherlands kicked off the first DEMOLA challenges in South Africa. Talented multidisciplinary students from several universities in Cape Town partnered up with Industry representatives to solve some difficult and industry relevant challenges over the 3 month facilitated co-creation programme and the Demo evening provided them all a spotlight lit and music rocking stage to show off their IP.

It was also during these 3 months that the reHealthAfrica brand was born out of the partnership between the DST, CSIR and mLab Southern Africa and we were there to celebrate not only the amazing innovations, one very cool one for our own challenge, but also the official launch of our mHealth & Wellness Community.

If you are new to our mission you should follow us on twitter @reHealthAfrica but in short we are working towards unlocking the mHealth & Wellness opportunities in Africa, for Africa and by Africans. An estimated $2.4 Billion have been invested in digital health businesses by VC’s and Private Equity in just the 3rd Quarter of 2016 and that provides a massive opportunity for local innovators and our economies.

When we first embarked on this mission we engaged with a number of Health & Wellness brands within the local market to help identify possible challenges that could be worked on during the co-creation season it very quickly became evident that while they had many challenges, they grappled with understanding the role of and how technology, especially mobile and wearables, could solve them.

With this in mind we we challenged our young and talented DEMOLA students during the first season to explore the latest technologies available, both within the health sector and commercially available to us all, and develop some possible innovations within the mHealth & Wellness space. It was a hard and crazy, but mostly fun journey of discovery and creation for us all. One of the best learnings were about the importance of user involvement in the innovation process and while playing with all the gadgets helped the real breakthroughs happen when speaking to Doctors and relevant users about the actual experiences during the visit to the hospital or clinic. It added so much insight about the small but important things, including sound, feeling and sometimes sharing it with a loved one.

rehealthAfrica Demola TeamUltimately this all lead to the team combining VR, sensors and mobile to produce an incredible and potentially high impact experience for patients and they will now be working on formalizing and commercializing their IP. We are very excited to see this team establish a game changing startup from a simple but validated idea.

We are looking forward to the next season starting early 2017.