Sector analysis of South Africa’s HealthTech sector

This report was created to provide an overview of the healthcare industry in South Africa, tailored to both local and global start-ups that wish to understand the market and need for HealthTech products and solutions. The sector analysis report and infographic provide an overview of the key institutions, individuals, and stakeholders in the South African healthcare ecosystem. It introduces government departments, such as the National Department of Health and the Western Cape Department of Health, along with key figures like the Minister of Health and the Health Director-General. It also indicates some key statistics such as government expenditure on health, the number of HealthTech start-ups operating in this space, as well as the amount of funding provided to start-ups in the sector.  Our research highlights the differences between the private and public health services and looks at the top five medical aid schemes in the country, whether open to any paying member or restricted to specific government or company employees or specific professions. The report presents the critical outcomes desired by South Africa’s National Digital Health Policy and new government initiatives for 2023-2024, outlining critical challenges for HealthTech companies to solve, while shedding light on the initiatives and opportunities in the country’s digital health landscape.

Sector analysis into HealthTech in South Africa – Summary of the report

This report emphasises the importance of collaboration and engagement between start-ups, corporations, and the government in South Africa’s healthcare sector. It provides a snapshot of the HealthTech industry, looking at the number of start-ups, government spending on healthcare, funding for start-ups and the projected value of the market. Our research provides an overview of:

  • Key institutions, individuals, and stakeholders in the South African healthcare ecosystem and how they are related, including the National Department of Health and the Western Cape Department of Health.
  • The critical outcomes for South Africa’s National Digital Health Policy, including improving life expectancy, reducing the burden of disease, achieving universal health coverage, and addressing the social determinants of disease.
  • The proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) programme, which aims to establish a single national health system and explores the opportunities and challenges associated with its implementation.
  • Public and private healthcare, including the top five medical aid schemes.
  • Challenges faced by HealthTech companies in South Africa, including regulatory constraints, bureaucratic decision-making, infrastructure challenges, and limited funding and investment.
  • Social factors that affect healthcare, such as the different between private and public healthcare and unequal access to services, poverty, and lack of digital literacy.
  • Strategic opportunities such as the increased adoption of digital health technologies, driven by government initiatives and a growing HealthTech market, as well as trends such as digital insurance channels, virtual healthcare, advancements in R&D, digital wallets and AI-based decision-making.
  • The drivers of healthcare innovation in South Africa, such as attractive financial returns, increased focus on value-based healthcare, low-cost testing and development and easy entry into neighbouring countries.
  • The need to address challenges in healthcare accessibility, infrastructure, and workforce through public-private partnerships, creating an enabling environment for HealthTech implementation, and privatising medical training.
  • HealthTech companies operating in South Africa, including 3×4 Genetics, 5nines Technologies, EMGuidance, EnvisionIt Deep AI, HearXGroup, iNNOHEALTH, and LocumBase. These companies offer a range of innovative solutions, from at-home DNA tests to AI-powered medical imaging diagnosis.

In summary, our research shows that HealthTech start-ups have vast potential and significant opportunity to scale across South Africa and into Africa. This analysis provides a glimpse into the healthcare system, the government’s focus on digital health, and the exciting possibilities for transforming healthcare. It uncovers numerous chances for collaboration and innovation in the industry, encouraging HealthTech start-ups to establish or grow their businesses in South Africa and tap into the thriving healthcare market in Africa.


Download the report here.


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