Medstore Trading Plc, a startup that works in the healthcare sector, has announced the relaunch of its digital platform, Medstore.et. The platform is a one-stop digital shop for buying and selling medical equipment, publishing and subscribing to medical equipment tenders, and connecting medical equipment manufacturers and distributors.
The Medstore.et platform, which was launched at the Grand Eliana Hotel on March 9, 2023, alongside the 1st Digital Disruption in Healthcare Forum, enables hospitals and clinics to easily find and buy the medical equipment they need online and publish their tenders and EOIs to a curated and segmented audience.
Chernet Mequanent, Medstore founder and CEO, who has a background in biomedical engineering, told Shega Medstore had a soft launch in December 2021, after the startup finished a four-month incubation program organized by the Mastercard Foundation and Orbit Innovation Hub.
Following the soft launch, Medstore has been experimenting with the product, the business model, and the user experience. The startup says it has pivoted and has launched an improved platform.
According to Medstore, the medical equipment industry in Ethiopia is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and encompasses small items like thermometers as well as larger equipment such as CT and MRI machines. Almost all medical equipment in the country is imported, resulting in the expenditure of valuable foreign currency, and manufacturing plays a negligible role.
As a result, the key players in the medical equipment space are manufacturers, importers, and wholesale companies. Consumers of medical equipment include hospitals and clinics at different levels, both public and private, covering the entire supply chain.
Medical equipment is sold and bought locally in Ethiopia in two ways: direct purchase, or EOI, for private healthcare institutions, and public procurement (tenders) for public institutions. The second way is between exporters and local import companies trading in hard currencies.
Medstore Trading aims to transform this traditional way of doing business and allows medical equipment sellers like import and wholesaler companies to sell their medical equipment online, creating more accessibility and visibility.