Anass El Hilal is 29 years of age, of Franco-Moroccan nationality and was born in France’s Gard region. The son of Moroccan agricultural workers, he was awarded his diploma in engineering from the Montpelier Polytechnic School in Biomedical and Biotechnologies in 2012.

Origin of the project

“Everything started during a family holiday in the Kenitra region of northern Morocco, where my parents come from. In a small rural railway station, in 2014, we saw an old lady collapse before our eyes. Her companion told me that she was returning from a dialysis session over 100 kilometres away, which had been a long and exhausting journey for her in train and taxi, in extreme heat. From this, the initial idea of MedTrucks was born, to help Moroccan patients living in rural areas far from health facilities to have better lives.”

The project

“Since I’m an engineer, I look for solutions to problems! I wanted to bring the hospital nearer to the patient, by means of mobile units. The innovation of MedTrucks is this new range of services. But, for that, you first need to identify where the patient with renal insufficiency lives. MedTrucks is both a service that maps the location of patients for health providers, as well as a provider of mobile medical units fully equipped for the specific needs”.

The construction of the project

“Like many business projects, it was consolidated with the help of multiple assistance programs. After obtaining the status of student entrepreneur, the project was supported successively by the Espace Bidaya incubator in Casablanca, by the Alès School of Mines for the tech aspect, by the Alter’ Incub incubator for the social innovation angle, by financing from the BPI and, of course, by MEETAfrica”.

What did MEETAfrica give you, specifically?

“It came at a particular point: it enabled us to finance a key phase of the mapping system, the data collection and structuring, and the presentations at shows and exhibitions.   It provided major leverage with the BPI. It enabled us to take our technical solution forward to tangible implementation with a proper prototype or MVP – meaning Minimum Viable Product in startupper language!”

Where are you at now?

“We’ve founded our company and are launching our pilot project, which will provide services to 30 Moroccan patients with renal insufficiency on the waiting list, by means of a 5-bed MedTruck. Based on this, French regional authorities have also expressed their interest in similar deployment projects around sheltered accommodation for dependent senior citizens (EHPADs)”.

What socio-economic impact do you think this will have?

“In terms of job creation, the expected impact is at the level of our local partners. Since we are helping health establishments to launch new off-the-premises services, they are creating new jobs for specialists, care givers and nurses. The other key social impact is obviously the improvement in care services for renal insufficiency sufferers”.