Steven Wanyee Macharia
Steve has been in the health industry for over 20 years. He is a sought-after digital health specialist and has been a panelist and speaker at major health summits discussing development, implementation, support, maintenance and use of digital health technology solutions across more than a dozen countries in sub-saharan Africa. In this recent interview with Google Health, Steve shared a particular message with the world:
I think a lot about how I can use technology to change people’s lives.
As a Biomedical Informatics Specialist by profession, Steve has a wealth of training, work experience and an exceptional grasp of the local and international health sectors. He is the face of IntelliSOFT and is a respected liaison between our company and health sector-based clients and all our partners. Steve sits on a number of boards such as the OpenMRS Community. He is also a core Founder and current Secretary General of the Kenya Health Informatics Association (KeHIA), and the Health Informatics In Africa (HELINA).
In his free time, he likes to play with his kids, take long walks and exercise. Steve is also a former Kenya Harlequins rugby player.
Ken joined IntelliSOFT five years ago as a Software Engineer. He is our lead software developer and oversees the team of developers who work on various projects, ensuring that our products meet the highest international standards.
In 10 years’ time, Ken’s work experience in Health Informatics and Open Source Health-related technologies has taken him to Mozambique, Haiti, and Uganda where he has developed the countries’ National OpenMRS-Based Electronic Medical Records System. Closer home, Ken was instrumental in customizing, adapting and scaling the vanilla OpenMRS for use at a large referral hospital in Western Kenya.
“My motivation as a software engineer in Kenya stems from the transformative power of open-source digital health solutions, which have revolutionised the African health landscape. Witnessing these tools influence policy, save lives, and enhance public health outcomes has reinforced my commitment to this work. I envision a future where digital health in Africa is not just a concept, but a deeply ingrained practice, cascading across the continent and fostering an era of accessible, efficient, and life-changing healthcare.”
When he steps away from his professional commitments, he relishes the quality moments spent with his children. Whether they’re sharing the excitement of a football match, losing themselves in the adventure of a movie, or simply indulging in some playful tomfoolery, these moments are precious to him. “A personal passion of mine is board games — chess and Scrabble being my favourites. My most cherished competitor? That would be my youngest daughter, my worthy adversary in chess. These shared moments of joy and friendly competition make my leisure time truly enriching.”
Chess & strategy
“Yes, I am an ardent chess fan,” he says, “not the master per-se. I haven’t been to any tournaments lately. The last tournament I attended was when I was in college. I am hoping my youngest daughter can pick up from where I left from. She is already competing in national tournaments,” he happily responds.
Dr. Nelly Nyaga
Dr. Nelly joined IntelliSOFT in 2022 as a data scientist and is rapidly emerging as a thought leader on data science in Africa.
She is a published researcher whose contributions have been featured in international peer-reviewed journals. She is also a board-certified pharmacist and a medical physiologist and combines these skills to influence our company’s strategic thinking, technical writing, data analysis, change management and strategy development.
As a woman in health tech, what drives her?
I am a dreamer with a wild imagination of infinite possibilities. I am driven by the question, “What if?” What if every hospital had the technology to detect the antimicrobial resistance that caused the 9‑year-old kid I encountered as an intern to have diarrhea for 5 months? What if any Kenyan could go to whichever hospital and get quality care because their doctor had complete visibility into their health records from birth? What if I could be one of the change agents that play a part in making this happen in my country and beyond? This last question gets me through the challenging times (which are not a few, ha!)
While the health tech field is still very male-dominated, Nelly was introduced to tech by a male mentor who challenged her to learn Python for data analytics. Her first and current boss in health tech is a man who has also been extremely supportive and empowering so she has never really felt “out of place” and that has helped a lot. “I have been in rooms where I was the only female but the confidence in knowing that I am good at what I do and that I can learn what I do not know has helped in making me feel that I am exactly where I belong.”
How does she balance being female and not compromising on her feminine self?
For Nelly, this has been a tough balancing act with the increasing schools of thought contending that embracing femininity, particularly in matters of love, relationships, and marriage, inevitably weighs women down. She was exposed to this school of thought during her formative years, and its influence seeped into the early days of her career. Yet, as time has progressed, she has come to realize that these elements are not mutually exclusive. The realization that we can indeed have it all, albeit to varying degrees and at different points in our lives, has transformed her perspective. “Now, embracing every facet of my identity as a woman in tech striving for excellence in my career, in life, and in love has become my credo,” she says.