Hear the Pitch
Every year in African hospitals, thousands of people die because essential medical supplies could not be found on time and in the right condition. In Nigeria, the unavailability of blood is a major contributor to this issue.
Nigeria’s blood shortage results from a combination of supply and logistics issues. Not enough Nigerians donate blood. When blood is available, there is limited information about its quantity, type, and quality; and it is often transported without proper cold chain refrigeration, leaving it vulnerable to bacterial proliferation.
By combining data, smart logistics, and technology, LifeBank more efficiently links blood suppliers with hospitals and health centers—reducing inventory waste, increasing timeliness of blood delivery to patients, while maintaining quality control standards.
LifeBank’s donor app makes it easy for people to donate blood, and it is currently the largest known digital database of voluntary blood donors in Nigeria. Once requested, LifeBank’s smart logistics system delivers blood to hospitals in less than 45 minutes in a WHO Blood Transfusion Safety compliant cold chain, so it arrives in the right condition.
LifeBank has also developed a blockchain-powered product, SmartBag, that records and preserves manufacturing, supply, and safety information of cold chain-dependent medical products like blood.
- Nigeria’s estimated blood demand is 1.8 million pints annually.
- 3.2 million Nigerians are infected with HIV, and 14 percent of newly infected people contract the disease from bad blood transfusions.
- LifeBank currently sells to 240 public and private health centers, and has operations in Lagos and Abuja, with plans to expand to two other regions of the country in 2019 which comprise the majority of Nigeria’s 23,640 public and private health centers.
- Few solutions address blood shortages in sub-Saharan Africa; by targeting both logistics and supply, LifeBank’s solution is proactive and sustainable.
- Awards: Merck Global Accelerator program
- Featured speaker: VivaTech 2018, Disrupt 2018
- Media: BBC, CNN, TechCrunch, CNBC Africa, Spiegel
LifeBank’s major funders have been Co-Creation Hub, an innovation center in Lagos, and Echo VC, a local venture capital firm. Additional partners include:
- Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service
- Lagos University Teaching Hospital
- Lagos State University Teaching Hospital
LifeBank will continue to expand its capabilities to safely supply critical medical products beyond blood, like oxygen and vaccines. To continue to scale, LifeBank will:
- Generate revenue from logistics fees on a sliding scale that averages $8 per unit of blood
- Garner sales from their SmartBag Tag, an essential medical product integrity solution
- Implement subscription fees for an inventory management application
- Effect service fees for digitizing donor records of health ministries
To reach the goals mentioned above, LifeBank seeks partnerships to:
- Expand its product suite to include oxygen and vaccines
- Improve AI platform to better predict medical needs
- Partner with pharmaceutical companies to pilot the use their SmartBag innovation to store manufacturing, distribution and safety information of cold chain dependent medicines
LifeBank has saved over 3,500 lives, delivered over 13,000 pints of blood to rural communities in Nigeria, and served over 340 hospitals.
- Temie Giwa-Tubosun Founder and CEO, LifeBank Technology and Logistics Services