Technological advancements in the medical industries are allowing people to build businesses, while simultaniously helping people around the world. Tobias Reiter, Co-founder and CEO of VIEBEG Technologies Inc., a health tech company based in San Jose, U.S.A., that expands access to affordable health care all over Central and East Africa, has utilized his experience in the medical field to bring about advancements in the medical supply chain.
Tobias – thank you for being here. Tell us about your background:
My name is Tobias Reiter and I was born in Austria. I founded my first startup (an AI-powered trading algorithm) when I was still in college in Austria. While doing my Masters degree in Business Administration in the Netherlands, I came to Rwanda to conduct research on entrepreneurship for my Masters Thesis. I immediately fell in love with Rwanda in East Africa and after my Kenyan friend Alex (who is now also my Co-Founder) showed me how broken the medical supply chain in Africa is and how it negatively affects healthcare, we decided to use technology (Machine Learning) to solve the problem.
What caused you to get into your industry?
In developing countries, every minute five people die because of limited capacity of medical care. Our Co-Founder Alex – growing up in a slum – saw his loved ones die due to limited access to affordable medical supply. People in remote areas have to move long distances to access proper health services and often die because they cannot even afford the journey. Medical supply shortage due to weak infrastructure and poor inventory management / procurement are the biggest culprits. We set out to fix this by applying cutting edge AI to the problem; and a modern solution came into sight.
What trends are you seeing in your industry?
COVID-19 has shown how broken the medical supply chain is, especially in Africa. I am seeing a trend towards inventory management and procurement optimisation. Demand forecasting, pattern recognition and anomaly detection for early warning systems (outbreaks of disease or climate events) and innovation in logistics (f.e. drones or robots for last mile delivery (Zipline)).
What is one action Item for our listeners and viewers to take away from this conversation?
That startups do not solely rely on VCs for funding and that they can come up with very innovative funding solutions, such as our ON-DEMAND CROWD SUPPLY, linking suppliers directly to the end-users (hospitals). If you can engage the crowd, especially for impact driven startups, you do not depend on outside funding from VCs (which can be really difficult to get during times like these).
What is a fun fact about you?
I have 4 dogs (2 twins in Austria and 2 twins in Rwanda)
Where do you see your industry ten years from now?
I see the medical supply chain much more automated and efficient. Manufacturers will supply directly to hospitals through platforms and with drones and self-driving vehicles/robots. Middlemen/ trading companies will no longer be needed, thereby making healthcare even more accessible and more affordable.
Going Green wants to thank Tobias for taking the time to share his knowledge of advancements in the medical supply chain.
Our goal on Going Green is to bring you the latest in green technology advancements, while also giving you action items to takeaway and apply to your life. We focus a lot on energy, transportation, finance, and media. Tobias is an upcoming guest on the Going Green podcast. Going Green interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts.