30 March 2021

Alumni Twin Brothers Make Global Health a Personal Issue

“Our healthcare delivery models are failing us”. This realisation came to both Basem and Baher Higazy after completing their Dual MA with the University of Geneva’s Institute of Global Health in 2020, right in the midst of the first wave of the COVID pandemic. They wanted to make a positive change.

The twin brothers came from Egypt to the Institute after completing their studies in medicine at the University of Cairo, their training as medical doctors gave them a first-hand glimpse at how health systems and the policies that shape them can fail patients’ needs. The desire to learn more about how health policies are made and make an impact led them to the epicentre of where global health policies are formulated – Geneva. 

“We started the joint-degree programme with the eagerness to learn about the most pressing challenges to our health, and the hope to find our way to making a personal difference on people’s health and well-being”, explained Basem and Baher. “Upon finishing the programme, we found our answer in social entrepreneurship”.

A stone’s throw from the Graduate Institute, the pair were able to find room for their start-up, Consulto, in the heart of Geneva’s “Health Valley”, at the Campus Biotech Innovation Park. 

“We hope, with this proximity, to remain connected to the rich ecosystem of the institute and the dynamic bridges it maintains between academia, international organisations and the innovation scene in Geneva”, said the brothers.

Their vision for Consulto is to break current care delivery models out of their silos for a more holistic way of helping people. In their own words: “We aim to accelerate our progress towards a future where the human body is a whole; a future where the organs of our healthcare are as integrated and as synergistic as the organs of our bodies, which it aims to heal”.

At Consulto, Basem and Baher are currently focusing their efforts on enabling multidisciplinary, team-based care for people suffering long-term effects of COVID. This approach includes the expertise of all relevant healthcare professionals in diagnosing and treating patients suffering with long-term symptoms in a timely and accurate manner. 

“Addressing the complex health needs of long COVID is an end in itself, and the start of a larger transformation we hope to bring to our health systems”, added the alumni. “We aim to revolutionise how healthcare is delivered globally by leading progress towards this type of multidisciplinary team-based care”.

Bolstered by support from the State of Geneva and their recent acceptation to Geneus, an innovation initiator for life sciences entrepreneurs, Baher and Basem are now looking to accelerate their product-to-market fit in Switzerland.    

“The Graduate Institute and the Institute of Global Health’s dual degree programme has been catalytic to our start-up”, stated the two. “The Institute’s expertise, geo-location, and network are invaluable. Moreover, the programme’s multidisciplinary nature enabled us to see the way and to go the way. We hope to continue showing the way for a future where health is more human-centered and value-based”.


Photo Credit: Christopher Agbajogu