Shimba Technologies Limited in partnership with Mobile handsets manufacturer, Nokia have launched a mobile application service that seeks to provide medical information to about 26 million Kenyans.
The service, MedAfrica, will leverage on Nokia phones , where the Government, private sector,academia and health practitioners will provide contents for the platform. The application seeks to improve access to health care services to communities in the country and and Africa.
Information and Communication technology (ICT) board chairperson, Catherine Ngahu, and The founder of Shimba Technologies limited Steve Mutinda, Termed good health as a universal need affecting the productivity of communities in the socioeconomic standing. They said the service will amplify efforts of disseminating health information to the general growth of population in the country supported by increased countrywide mobile phone penetration.
“As the main objective of Technologies, the plartform will facilitate access of health information and build communities around the different issues and conditions, while at the same time converge all stakeholders and amplify their contributions to healthcare service delivery,” they said .
Kenya’s population is recorded at 40 million with 7,000 registered medical practitioners. It also has 25 million mobile users out of which 12 million are connected to the internet.
On his part, the minister for medical services, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o attributed the growing technological innovations in the medical sector to the growing reforms by the government. He is however calling on innovators to focus on innovations that medical practitioners can be able to operate.
“The innovation is a provision to provide better healthcare to the people. However the Technologies should not be too complex for doctors to operate,” said Nyong’o.
Noting the limitation of infrustructure in the country and the African continent, he said the government is working to address ICT infrastructure development to enhance more innovations in the ministry.
Head of EDX for Nokia East and Southern Africa, Agatha Gikunda, termed the app as a revolutionary solution to consumers seeking one stop access to health services, information, doctors, hospital directories and medical alerts.
She added : “ The development demonstrates Nokia’s role in working with local partners to create solutions that are important and relevant to consumers. The service aims at providing access to affordable and accessible healthcare.”
The platform will be accessible through mobile applications such as (Java, Nokia, and Android), mobile web, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), web and short message service (SMS).
MedAfrica team leader, Jackline Cheruiyot said the launch in Kenya marks the beginning of reaching millions of households in Africa to increase access to health related content and services.
“Being a Start-up project ,we have a road map in place where we launch the product in Kenya then scale it to other African Countries,”she said.