July 15, 2024


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Rwandan Students at African Leadership University Pioneer VR-Based Medical Training Software As World Leaders Draw Up Future of Healthcare 

Isaac and Gatwaza exhibiting before high scholars with futuristic medical training capabilities

As world leaders gear up for the Africa Digital Health Summit, two Rwandan changemakers at African Leadership University have developed a groundbreaking software that harnesses virtual reality to address the shortage of medical training services in Africa and empower practitioners globally.

African Leadership University (ALU) students Jean Robert Gatwaza and Isaac Rudasingwa from Rwanda – whose cutting-edge startup, MediXR, is helping deliver medical training through virtual reality (VR) technology – have called on policymakers at the Africa Digital Health Summit to support the rising digital healthcare wave in Africa.

Innovators, academics, investors, and policymakers from Africa and around the world will convene at Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria, from 27th to 28th June for the annual Africa Digital Health Summit. These key stakeholders will explore the future of the digital healthcare landscape in Africa, addressing pressing issues such as the mobilisation of patient data, and the potential of telemedicine.

Africa’s healthcare industry has been undergoing a revolutionary change due to the rise of digital health technologies. According to Salient Advisory, African healthtech innovations raised $167 million in investment last year. The Government of Rwanda also recently passed new data laws to support the secure integration of cutting-edge technology, such as artificial intelligence, within the country’s healthcare system.

However, noticing a gap in how digital tools can be used to improve access to medical training, ALU students Jean Robert Gatwaza and Isaac Rudasingwa, alongside fellow ALU peers Eseosa Kay-Uwagboe from Nigeria and Nwalahnjie Akumawah from Cameroon, cofounded their startup, MediXR, in 2022. MediXR is a groundbreaking software that delivers immersive medical training and education services for students and professionals using VR technology. From complex surgeries to routine check-ups, this innovative approach bridges the gap between traditional medical education and real-world application.

MediXR, which currently employs 10 employees, has so far been piloted and tested in Kigali, Rwanda and in Qatar, United Arab Emirates.

Jean Robert Gatwaza and Isaac Rudasingwa, MediXR cofounders and second-year Software Engineering students at ALU, said:

“Our time at ALU has equipped us with the essential skills needed to actively contribute to socioeconomic development.

“It is essential that world leaders invest in high-quality medical education that is cost-efficient and accessible for students and doctors around the globe, regardless of their location, background, or income. As we continue our incredible journey at ALU, we look forward to seeing how MediXR shapes the landscape of medical training.”

With MediXR, software updates are digital, ensuring the latest training modules are available without infrastructural changes. It can be used anytime, and in any location, without requiring large spaces or costly equipment. Additionally, each interactive training model infuses the expertise of top medical professionals, ensuring high-quality guidance. Modules include Anatomy Lab, Surgery Lab, Multi-user Lab, and there are plans to include training in AI Learning system and Surgery Recording Lab in the future.

Veda Sunassee, CEO of ALU, said:

“The MediXR team’s journey is a combination of the knowledge, creative problem-solving skills, and forward-thinking mindset instilled in ALU students. At ALU, we nurture not only academic excellence but also the innovative spirit that propels our students towards impactful change. We are proud of Nwalahnjie, Jean Robert, Eseosa, and Isaac’s innovation and look forward to supporting their journey with MediXR. Africa’s youth is characterised by relentless progress and boundless potential. It’s imperative for the world not only to acknowledge this reality but also to actively support and nurture it.”

ALU, which has a state-of-the-art campus in Kigali, Rwanda, and a college in Pamplemousses, Mauritius, is helping train Africa’s leaders and visionaries of tomorrow, through a mix of mission-led study and work experience. It aims to develop 3 million ethical and entrepreneurial African leaders by 2035. So far, more than a quarter of their alumni have started 140 unique ventures, created more than 44,000 jobs, and raised almost US$6 million.

MediXR has received recognition across Africa. The team won the Pitching Hackathon event, organised in partnership with the Hultz Prize Foundation, which saw more than 200 ALU students showcase their innovations to help solve the UN Sustainable Developments Goals. MediXR were also selected as one of 100 African startups to exhibit at the Web Summit Qatar. While there, the team took part in the Hanga Pitchfest 2023 challenge, and secured a place in the top five, RWF 12.5 million, and access to an exclusive ‘Startup Governance Fellowship’ program. They have also received a $15,000 grant from ALX Africa Ventures to advance their startup.

Gatwaza exhibting MediXR at Innovation Africa 2023 Forum

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