“The COVID pandemic has exposed risks embedded throughout the health system,” reflects Michael Moreland, co-founder and CEO of Field Intelligence, a tech-focused pharmaceutical supply chain company operating in Nigeria and Kenya. As the COVID-19 pandemic caused an increase in essential drug prices across Africa, Michael and his team took fast action, doing “everything [he] could to help [customers] keep [their] business open and working safely.” In an uplifting seventh episode of VentureKast: Rebuild, Michael explains how critically important Field Intelligence’s data-driven Shelf Life product has been to mitigate volatility in the price and supply of essential drugs, and how the COVID-19 pandemic poses a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to solve challenges within public health systems. In the wake of the pandemic, “health-seeking behavior [has changed] broadly as more and more patients avoid the clinical setting… and instead go to that pharmacy on the corner.” As people turn to community-based health care solutions for their basic care, Field has leveraged their reach with local pharmacies and distributed hundreds of hand washing stations and educational posters to protect against the spread of the virus at a local level.
“The urgency of [improving the lives of vulnerable populations] has never been more clear” as drug price volatility, coupled with lockdown measures and a collapse of household income, leaves many in a desperate situation. Michael reckons that investors and entrepreneurs alike will respond with solutions to problems that have become apparent. While “[Investors] will naturally turn to those essential critical services like community-based health care as the kinds of place where there is a tremendous opportunity to improve, create value, [and] participate in that value chain,” the pandemic “provides new problems for entrepreneurs to think about solving” — an opportunity which Michael believes will change the future of the health care supply industry.