Merck acquires Kenya’s telehealth startup ConnectMed to improve primary healthcare access for the underserved


Merck KGaA, a German multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company headquartered in Darmstadt has acquired ConnectMed Ltd to leverage ConnectMed ś platform in connection with CURAFATM points of care in Kenya for novel independent services.

The details of the transaction were not revealed. Merck will take over
the ConnectMed’s telehealth applications and related management systems and will shut it down.

“We are excited that Merck will be utilizing our telehealth solution to apply it to their CURAFATM platform,” said Melissa McCoy, ConnectMed’s CEO.

Until December 2018 ConnectMed offered telehealth services for acute and chronic primary health conditions in Kenya and South Africa. With the CURAFATM initiative, Merck aims to improve primary healthcare access for the underserved population, while strengthening the local healthcare system.

The CURAFATM points of care are run by local independent pharmaceutical technologists, clinical officers and nurses, who provide pharmaceutical and clinical services, medicine, disease awareness, digital health solutions and rapid diagnostic test, supported by a modern facility experience.

Starting in 2017, ConnectMed developed telehealth kiosks to provide its services within Kenyan pharmacies. It operated in over 30 locations including branches of the largest Kenyan pharmacy chains, as well as Merck ś CURAFATM points of care. This is how both companies got in contact.

ConnectMed launched three direct- to-consumer digital health products in Kenya & South Africa and served over 8000 patients, along with corporate clients. It raised over $300,000 in investment and was supported by University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre, University of Oxford’s Skoll Centre, Entrepreneur First and Katapult Accelerator.