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This American-Egyptian Startup Found a Solution to the Shortage of Doctors

After scoring their seed round and launching in Egypt, these founders are hoping to make your healthcare journey a lot simpler.

There are only .8 physicians per every 1000 people in Egypt, according to the World Bank. If you’ve ever waited weeks to see a specialist or hours in an emergency room, you’re already familiar with the consequences of this reality—Egypt, and many parts of the greater MENA region, are in the midst of a significant physician shortage. With the rise of smartphone adoption and 5G, however, tech is rising to the occasion to supply a unique solution to the issue. 

EMBER Medical, an American-Egyptian company with roots in Cairo and San Francisco, is addressing the physician shortage by making healthcare more accessible for patients, no matter where they are. With a dual mobile-app platform and a comprehensive suite of tele-health software, EMBER connects users to its wide network of general healthcare doctors and specialists via video call or live text. EMBER saves patients the inconvenience and cost of face-to-face visits and allows doctors to connect with patients who would otherwise struggle to receive healthcare. 

“It’s about time we built a platform that uses cutting-edge ubiquitous technologies to make health healthcare delivery seamless for both patients and physicians,” said Shadi Wahba, Co-Founder and CEO of EMBER Medical. “There is no reason why a patient in this era can’t connect to a doctor anytime and anywhere, and there is no reason why doctors can’t get paid fairly for this service.” 

“The demand for EMBER’s services was obvious from the beginning,” said Mo Elshazly, co-founder, Chief Medical Officer of EMBER Medical who is also a cardiologist. Following their recent launch on November 11 of last year, EMBER now counts 5000 users and over 200 active doctors in less than three months of operation. 

In line with EMBER’s commitment to breaking down barriers to healthcare, users have been most impressed by the platform’s mental health services. EMBER’s network of psychiatry providers have helped hundreds of users break the stigma around depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. 

In the first few months of 2020, EMBER is expanding its services to include tele-health connection with a specialist (cardiologist, dentist, pediatrician, etc) of the user’s choosing. Other services on track for an early 2020 release are home visits, medical imaging, and a customisable web portal for patient to physician communication within clinic and hospital settings. 

After the recent close of their $1 million seed round, EMBER is looking forward to partnering with national hospital systems across Egypt and preparing to expand its reach internationally, starting first in the United States. In the face of challenges and successes, EMBER remains committed to its mission to provide better access to healthcare in underserved areas.

“Knowing that people who would otherwise struggle to get healthcare are now able to identify and treat their symptoms at the tap of a button—that is the most rewarding part of our work here at EMBER," says Israa Said, General Practitioner and EMBER Medical Doctor. “That’s why we do what we do.”

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