MTN Group and Hello Doctor, subsidiary of Metropolitan Health, have partnered to offer m-health solutions in MTN’s territories across Africa, ensuring consumers receive the right information before seeing a doctor.
The solution is designed to work with local general practitioners (GPs), where consumers will get in-depth medical information combined with professional insights and advice from registered medical doctors across multiple platforms.
“MTN is continually looking at ways to brighten the lives of customers through innovative and relevant mobile solutions,” said Pieter Verkade, MTN Group chief commercial officer. “We are thus excited by the partnership with Hello Doctor as the service brings essential healthcare information to our customers’ fingertips.”
Hello Doctor will offer access to medical advice through the Hello Doctor TV show in South Africa, which is produced and anchored by Dr Michael Mol on SABC 2, and doctors via the Hello Doctor mobile apps.
“Technology has made a huge impact on how the industry delivers healthcare,” said Craig Townsend, director of Hello Doctor. “Hello Doctor believes that its innovative offering across multiple technological platforms and its partnership with MTN, will allow us to work towards affordable and accessible healthcare for all.”
The Hello Doctor app is free to download and works on smart (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and HTML5) and selected feature phones.
The app provides free content that is updated daily, providing consumers with access to healthcare advice, answers to health-related questions in live group chat forums, confidential one-on-one text-a-doctor Q&As and the ability to receive a call back from a doctor within 60 minutes.
A USSD service will also be launched as part of the solution.
The paid-for services that will be available to MTN subscribers via the Hello Doctor mobile app include Digital Doctor and House Call.
These services will provide subscribers with instant confidential access to over 100 registered doctors in South Africa who will be able to give medical guidance and advice.
The House Call service allows consumers telephonic access to a doctor anytime of the day and night, as well as additional services on the mobile app and website.
The Digital Doctor service means customers can send a confidential text message through the Hello Doctor app and one of their doctors will respond with personal confidential advice within two hours.
The rollout to MTN markets will take place over the next 18 months, starting with South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon and Rwanda.
With each new territory being rolled out, Hello Doctor will partner with local doctor networks to ensure that users get access to doctors for advice and guidance in their own language.
The service will also be integrated with existing healthcare services that MTN already offers such the “midwife” programme in Ghana.