As part of the startup Interview series, we are going to interview Mr. Mahmoud Eldefrawy from Rology, a Cairo-based HealthTech startup that offers an AI-assisted teleradiology platform solving the problem of radiologists shortage.
Mahmoud, thanks for taking the time to catch up with us. Can you briefly outline the company’s story? What is Rology’s key goal? Who are the founders, and how did it all become what it is today?
We are solving the shortage and inefficient utilization of radiologists in radiology departments in hospitals which leads to high latency in reporting time and service costs. The number of scans performed in 1 week to date is more than the scans performed over 52 weeks ten years ago!
Rology founders are Mahmoud Fathy, Amr Abodria, Moaaz Hossam, and Bassam Khallaf.
What kind of products and services does your company offer?
Rology is an AI-assisted teleradiology platform that remotely and instantly matches radiologists with cases from hospitals based on availability and subspecialty.
Rology has a unique business model as it generates revenue and positive gross margins from teleradiology and then harnesses the intelligence generated from this diagnosis to increase efficiency, its margins, and generate new revenue streams from licensing. The addressable market of Rology is huge and the problem it is solving is a global problem.
What’s the latest progress in the project, and what are you focusing on right now?
We are working in 8 countries and have more than 120 clients there. With a network of more than 150 radiologists, we report more than 300K scans.
What pain of your customers are you helping solve? What is your company offering, and what kind of customers and partners are you looking for?
What people face is a delay in reporting the radiology scans plus the high cost of the 24-hour service.
We could provide fast and accurate reports at a low cost (Reduce OPEX by >25%). Our customer is any radiology department or radiology center at any place!
What differentiates Rology from its competitors?
Our unique options include zero setup cost, AI productivity tools, and subspecialist utilization.
Do you have any projects related to COVID-19 research? If so, can you explain how your product is contributing to a global fight against coronavirus?
We implement an AI – model to diagnose and detect complications of COVID-19 in CT chest scans, so it provides rapid response for a huge number of scans are being performed during the pandemic and decreases the overload of medical staff.
What is your business model, and how are you planning to get early customers onboard? Have you already raised money for your operations and building the platform?
Rology hires a local sales team (like in Egypt and Kenya) on the ground working on direct sales, knocking on hospitals’ doors.
Some markets (Like in Nigeria) need to cooperate with a local partner as a seller to work on the marketing and sales activities.
What milestones have you had in fundraising, and where are you now?
Rology has raised $860,000 in a Pre-Series A round led by HIMangel. The round was also joined by Dubai Angel Investors (DAI), The Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC) from Japan, and Saudi’s Athaal Group.
What are your company’s plans for the future, your major dream in 2022?
Sales growth in Egypt and the MEA region (KSA, Kenya, and Nigeria). Onboarding a high qualified executive team (CFO, CMO, Business Development Head), building the AI team, and developing robust Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning for gradual diagnosis automation.
To summarize our interview, I would like to ask your opinion about the future of the HealthTech industry, especially considering the impact of the pandemic and all this economic turbulence.
According to Mercom Capital Group, investors pumped $21.6 billion into digital health firms in 2020, more than twice the amount spent the previous year and almost four times the amount invested in 2016.
According to Global Market Insights, the digital health market in 2019 was valued at over $106 billion, and the sector is expected to expand at a 28.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2026.
COVID-19 has definitely boosted the proliferation of emerging health technology and will continue to do so as there are many aspects where technology could support more patients and increase the quality of service.