A mobile app set to link billions to quality health care

In a move expected to promote access to quality medical services in Africa, two Kenyan developers have came up with a new health revolutionary mobile App called MedAfrica that aggregates health information from the Web.

MedAfrica launched late last year features up to date human health information including diseases, symptoms, drug authenticators, hospital listings, medical news, diets, and health or immunisation alerts.

The app has a listing of qualified health professionals within East Africa. It also direct patients to appropriate specialists based on the symptoms. A patient can call a specialist directly from the app.

“MedAfrica began last year in August as MedKenya. At that time, we were brainstorming over what content our Tuvitu platform should have, it’s then that we discovered an inadequacy in the local health content,” Steve Mutinda the CEO Shimba Technologies said.

According to the recent report from the Communications Commission of Kenya, there are 28 million mobile-phone users in Kenya, which Mbugua Njihia, a co-founder, told HumanIPO he hopes would provide enough platform for success.

“MedAfrica also helps patients avoid being conned by quarks as Kenyan law does not allow doctors to advertise their services. Poor health information dissemination in the country opens up the field to many unqualified practitioners,” Njihia said.

Africa has an approximate population of 1 billion with a health workforce of around 2 million, states a recent WHO report. In Kenya, there are only 7000 qualified doctors serving more than 40 million. This makes health service delivery a menace, says Njihia.

The app developed by Shimba Technologies Limited won last year’s Pivot25 competitions. It was selected to participate in 20th annual Demo Conference in Santa Clara, CA. At the moment, the founders hope they would win the US$20,000 grand prize from the May 22 Ericsson Application Awards scheduled for Stockholm, Sweden.

MedAfrica operates in East Africa. The firm expects to be on more than 200 types of mobile phones and to generate over US$2 billion per year in the next five years. It currently works on Android, Symbian S40, USSD, SMS and mobile web.

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