MANCOSA alumni set to showcase his talent at Harvard as his innovation takes flight

Rorschach Innovation Services, a company headed up by MANCOSA alumni Niall Naidoo, has won the recently held pan-African Honoris at Harvard Entrepreneurship Competition. Naidoo will be jetting off to Harvard University in the USA on 22 March to participate in the Africa Business Conference 2023.

The Honoris at Harvard Entrepreneurship Competition was undertaken as part of the jubilee anniversary celebrations of the conference and was designed to help celebrate the Honoris mission to encourage innovation in entrepreneurship in Africa and its partnerships. Today, the Africa Business Conference is the largest student-led conference from Harvard Business School and is one of the milestones in the calendars of global development and education specialists with a focus on Africa. The conference welcoming business leaders, academics, students, and NGOs.

Naidoo will have the opportunity to network with students, alumni, funders, and potential partners to further his world-class ventures.

Developing globally competitive products

Naidoo obtained a BSc in dietetics and was looking for a business qualification to add value to this degree facilitating his development as an entrepreneur in the dietetic space. He enrolled at MANCOSA where he obtained an MBA specialising in healthcare.

The MBA curriculum allowed Naidoo to build his team and facilitated the development of the innovative products that will be displayed at Harvard.

Their first product is a technology that aims to predict injuries, and talent in elite athletes. “Sport is a major business worldwide and there are massive financial implications for both teams, and their owners, when elite athletes are side-lined through injury. Our product assesses athletes and their workloads. The product will then predict the likelihood of the athlete picking up an injury. This will help teams responsibly manage their athletes increasing their return on investment,” says Naidoo who adds that this approach also helps to prolong the career of elite athletes so that they can compete at the highest level for the longest time possible.

The second product that Rorschach Innovation Services is currently developing is an innovative patient management system that aims to modernise the healthcare industry. The system is designed to facilitate remote clinical assessments and healthcare management, making it easier for doctors to treat patients regardless of their location. By digitising clinical notes and implementing advanced screening processes, this technology provides doctors with real-time access to patient data, allowing for more efficient and accurate diagnoses. This system has the potential to significantly reduce waiting times for patients in rural areas where access to healthcare expertise is limited. Additionally, by streamlining the patient management process, doctors can focus more on delivering quality care and improving patient outcomes. The digitalisation of clinical notes and screening aligned to the African healthcare system allows for a cost-effective solution for the healthcare industry, enabling access to quality care for patients.

“The primary reason I went to MANCOSA was their specialisation in healthcare and their focus on access. The frameworks and curriculum learned at MANCOSA set the foundations for developing and hopefully rolling out this clinical platform designed to circumvent these issues,” says Naidoo.

The third product developed by Rorschach Innovation Services relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning to track the brand exposure of sponsors at specific sporting events in an attempt to better quantify their return on investment. This technology has applications across various companies looking to understand their return on investment when it comes to marketing.

“Getting an opportunity to go to Harvard University – which consistently places in the Top 10 universities in the world – will be a massive and life-changing experience for me. It shows that South Africa is still a global leader in terms of research, and innovation. Furthermore, it validates our products are globally competitive. Hopefully, we can secure funding to take these products to the next level,” says Naidoo.

An ideal platform

From an early age, Naidoo has been enthusiastic about healthcare and the need to provide world-class healthcare systems to developing countries. MANCOSA allowed Naidoo to develop his passion and produce the tools to have a positive influence in his society.

Naidoo enrolled at MANCOSA in 2015 at a time when there was significant tension at public universities, which resulted in student protests. “I found that the structure at MANCOSA was very beneficial in that I was free to structure my studies the way that I wanted. Further, MANCOSA offered significant support which helped me later on in life. Many of my classmates were older than me and MANCOSA encouraged me to network with my classmates. This has been beneficial to my career,” says Naidoo who added that his time at MANCOSA grounded him in the business side of his degree.

Naidoo’s final year MBA assignment was on telemedicine and social impact. He points out that this was the first time he was ever introduced to the concept, showing him both the potential and pitfalls of this novel technology.

The rise of telemedicine and the digitalisation of medical services has had a profound impact on society, especially in improving access to healthcare for individuals in remote or underserved areas. While the lack of physical interaction can be a challenge for remote patient care, new screening tools are now available to circumvent many of these issues. According to Naidoo, Rorschach Innovation Services is at the forefront of developing innovative tools that will allow clinicians to quickly access a patient’s medical history, reducing consultation time and making telemedicine more accessible. The social impact of telemedicine and the digitalisation of medical services is vast and promising as it offers a more convenient, cost-effective, and efficient way to deliver quality care to patients worldwide.

The value of tertiary education cannot be questioned

South Africa is facing a period where learners are questioning the value of tertiary education especially given its large financial impact in a country where access to financing is limited.

“Furthering your education is a big financial decision. However, the financial repercussions of not furthering your education are far greater. There is value in tertiary education and furthering your knowledge at an institution such as MANCOSA will benefit you as the curriculum is well structured, the support provided by the university is fantastic and added to belonging to the pan-African network Honoris United Universities,” says Naidoo.

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