Maternal & Newborn Health


Democratizing Ultrasounds Across Africa

Scaling portable, telemedicine-enabled, ultrasound devices for pregnant women in peri-urban Kenya to decrease maternal and infant mortality.

Team Lead

Emilian Popa

Solution Pitch

The Problem

Africa accounts for two-thirds of all preventable maternal deaths. In Kenya, maternal mortality has remained stubbornly high, particularly in rural and peri-urban areas where access to obstetric ultrasound services and trained specialists is very limited.

The Solution

Ilara Health seeks to deploy the Butterfly iQ, a cutting-edge, newly-developed, handheld ultrasound device, to areas where imaging services are currently unavailable. Ilara improves asset affordability for providers by offering flexible asset financing packages so small facilities can access technological advancements at low up-front cost. This probe provides 80 percent of the functionality of a traditional machine at 25 percent cost, and seamlessly connects to a smartphone. 

The Butterfly iQ is the world’s first single-probe whole-body ultrasound device, powered by a semiconductor chip, and can be used in areas with intermittent power supply. The device also has built-in telemedicine features and can remotely connect healthcare practitioners to patients anywhere in the world through the iQ app.


By 2025, Ilara Health aims to have equipped 10,000 facilities across Sub-Saharan Africa with the Butterfly IQ, reaching 30 million women per year

Market Opportunity

There are 200,000 peri-urban clinics across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Facilities of this type can generate $500 per month in diagnostic revenue representing a $1 billion market in these 5 countries alone. Current solutions for maternal health rely on legacy diagnostics that cost upwards of $30,000 for an obstetric ultrasound, out of reach of the small peri-urban facilities that we serve. These services only exist in urban centres that require financial resources and travel time for patients to access. ILARA sees an immense opportunity to leverage next generation point of care diagnostics to build a network of decentralized diagnostic services, operating within existing medical infrastructure and catering to the largest population segment across Africa.

Organization Highlights

  • Featured on CNBC, Disrupt Africa, Africa Business Magazine, and more 

Partnership Goals

Ilara Health currently seeks:

  • Experts who can provide advice on capturing, improving, and monetizing health data

  • Experts who can support scaling into new markets across Sub-Saharan Africa

  • New diagnostic partners that can support a complete antenatal care package which can be deployed across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

  • Philanthropic partners to pilot new diagnostic tools and models designed to reach low-income clients

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Nairobi, Kenya


Working in:



Solution Team:

  • Emilian Popa CEO, Ilara Health

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