access.mobile International addresses the imbalance between the supply and demand of healthcare in the African context using practical, affordable and usable technology to reduce the scarcity of providers and a high and growing demand for quality healthcare. We are excited about the growth and progress of our company in 2016. In January, we set up an office in Nairobi, Kenya and our global team has grown with many talented new members.
Our founder and CEO, Kaakpema Yelpaala, affirms that access.mobile saw an increase in regional market validation and a growing understanding for digital health and patient engagement in Africa, stating,
“In 2016, we saw a stronger affinity towards our value proposition – intelligent patient engagement - within East African countries and across other markets.” -Yelpaala
“The opening of the Kenya office was definitely an indicator of our growing regional footprint,” he says. “Our new team members recognize the great opportunities and believe in the company vision. They also have vast experiences and skills in leadership, healthcare, finance and operations which will support and amplify our scaling efforts.”
Developing a secure and practical provider technology
Originally launched in 2014 in Uganda as ClinicCommunicator, our health facility technology was primarily a SMS-based engagement solution. Based on our positive market feedback, we rebuilt the platform in the second half of 2015 in order to handle regional and global growth.
Leveraging Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, ClinicCommunicator was relaunched in January 2016 as amHealth; an affordable, secure, and easy-to-use patient engagement and practice management technology for Africa.
"Based on feedback, we made enhancements to improve patient engagement and add features around practice management for clinics that want to modernize and go digital." –Yelpaala.
In terms of health information management and security, we aimed for a rigorous and internationally recognized framework and built amHealth to be HIPAA compliant. HIPAA is a US legislation that includes provisions on data privacy and security for medical information. amHealth is also now easier to on-board and doesn’t require much training to use.
“Making sure patients have the right information at the right time regarding their care goes a long way towards improving access and quality. With people seeing that our solution is built to a high standard and is highly relevant in the market, the response is: we want more.”-Yelpaala.
amHealth is currently being used by facilities in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria and is gaining positive traction across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Hospitals and clinics using this solution support nearly 1,000 health providers and there are over one million patient profiles on the platform.
Engaging patients on local health care options and issues
Patient engagement is optimally multi-directional with participation not only from the provider but the patient too. Both parties can play a role in improving the patient experience and efficiency of care. With the growing usage of mobile phones in Africa and increased understanding of personal health needs, people are becoming more proactive about their healthcare.
With this understanding, we created Gozee a website for health consumers. Still in a Beta in Kenya and Uganda, Gozee is available as a web application that allows consumers to better understand their healthcare options. They can search and review verified information on thousands of hospitals, clinics, health centers and pharmacies. In 2017, the site will expand to include a variety of features that promote localized information and improve the ease and efficiency of health services. As Dr. Katumba Ssentongo, the Registrar of the Uganda Medical & Dental Practitioners Council said,
"Gozee will improve access to information on health facilities throughout the country. It has the potential to change the way people understand and seek healthcare.”
Yelpaala adds, “Across Africa, many industries are undergoing seismic transitions with digital innovations. Mobile money and solar power innovation developed in and for Africa, have changed Fintech and Energy sectors in Africa and globally.
We can debate the relevance offline technology or the availability of smartphones, but the fact remains: if you haven’t embraced the use of technology, you are lagging behind. Join us as we innovate to improve health care access!” –Yelpaala.
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