At the recently concluded World Economic Forum, (WEF), held in Capetown, South Africa, six African start-ups, bagged a shared prize of US$300,000 from the Johnson & Johnson innovation challenge.

These start-ups are, health-based and it appears that they have proven their capacity, in finding solutions, to major health challenges in African communities.

The health start-ups are LifeBank and Crib A’glow, (Nigeria); Uganics and M-Scan, (Uganda); Hope Initiative, (Rwanda); and Dreet, (Botswana)

This article’s focus is, on the two Nigerian health start-ups that, made the cut to the Johnson innovation challenge:



Asides from being a healthcare start-up, LifeBank, also, deploys its technology in the logistics area, to ensure live-saving.

LifeBank believes that no African’s death should come, as a result of inadequate medical products, at the hospitals.

The health start-up is, addressing the blood shortage challenge, through the connection among hospitals, blood banks and blood donors.

This is achieved, by hosting blood drives and getting blood delivered, in not more than an hour. The blood gets delivered, in a WHO and EU Blood Transfusion Safety compliant recommended cold chain.

According to its site, the start-up works around the clock, with hospitals, to find life-saving medical products that are delivered, in the right conditions.

The medical products delivered include blood, blood products, oxygen, as well as, vaccines across African hospitals.

LifeBank introduced the SmartBag, an essential medical product, powered by blockchain technology, to ensure the universal safety of blood.

Another product from LifeBank is, the AirBank, designed to reduce Nigeria’s child mortality rate, caused by limited access to oxygen.

Crib A’glow


“Being the mother of an affected child, I saw these lapses and sought for solutions, by coupling/manufacturing The Crib A’glow solar phototherapy units, for use in health centres and homes”, Virtue Oboro explained.

Oboro is, the innovator of the “Crib A’glow” Phototherapy Unit, of the Tiny Hearts Technology, owing to a sad experience that she had when her son got diagnosed with severe neonatal jaundice.

She founded the health tech company, in 2016 and has since extended her goodwill, to women within the childbearing age, on sensitisation, about childcare.

According to its website, tiny hearts technology, sets to give infants the chance to live and be healthy, as well as, improving access of infants and mothers, to a more affordable and quality lifestyle.

The start-up has its focus, on saving infants, from curable conditions and avoidable deaths, like neonatal jaundice.
Tiny Hearts produces the Crib A’glow Phototherapy Units.

These are, then, distributed to hospitals and health care centres. Phototherapy units are devices, used to treat jaundice, in newborn babies.

Tiny hearts, also, offer hiring services, for the Crib A’glow Units, to health facilities that cannot afford, to buy and for mothers to, also, use at home.