Kenya's Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has partnered with local mobile firm Safaricom to offer more than 30 million Kenyans medical consultation services on their phones.
Under the partnership launched Tuesday in Nairobi by Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, the M-Health service provider Hello Doctor, will act as an assistant to local general practitioners when consumers want a quick healthcare reference.
Dubbed Sema-Doc (Hello Doctor), the new healthcare solution enables patients to consult directly with doctors and other health providers, be diagnosed quickly and prescriptions made without necessarily visiting the hospital on the part of the patient. The Hello Doctor app works on both smart and selected feature (basic) phones.
"The main focus of the Hello Doctor initiative is to reduce the incidence of preventable health problems, improve efficiency, and ultimately save more lives. Mobile Health platforms can provide access and reach that other channels cannot match," Kenyatta said.
The first laday said the new telemedicine progam would help improve the delivery of primary healthcare, including the most remote parts.
The new healthcare solution will also offer health tip through public education to contain such diseases as diabetes and cancer.
Telemedicine uses a growing variety of wireless tools and applications including smartphones, two-way video systems, emails, and other forms of telecommunications technology. Besides convenience, affordability and accessibility where time and travelling costs for patients are completely removed, telemedicine solutions are available for almost everybody, everywhere, anytime.
In Kenya where some 30 million subscribers have access to mobile telephones, telemedicine is billed as an ingenious, cost-effective solution that is likely to transform the delivery of healthcare and impact ordinary people's lives.
Mobile Health or M-Health is the practice of medicine and public health, supported by mobile devices. M-Health will free-up general practitioners, clinics and other healthcare institutions from dealing with non-life-threatening conditions to allow them more time to provide an in-depth examination.
Kenyatta said the new technology will also address the multiple challenges that often prevent the efficient delivery of adequate healthcare interventions. These include chronic staff shortages, and limited budgets.