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Top Health Care Apps Made By Africans

Izunna Okpala

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Leading academics, CIOs, regulators, NGOs, service providers, and EduTech entrepreneurs will convene at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on the 17th of March 2016 for the upcoming 2016 Education Innovation Summit.

Healthcare and technology executives will convene at the Protea Fire & Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, today for the African Innovator Healthcare Summit. The Summit will address the theme – “Transforming Healthcare with Technology.”

Africa is constantly evolving, and with it so is the healthcare and technology sector.

From location based mobile applications that allow users to find the closest health center… to identifying counterfeit medication, We’ve has highlighted some of the top healthcare apps for Africa below.

Top Health Care Apps

Find-A-Med
Featured in the IT News Africa top mobile apps made in Africa feature, Find-A-Med is a location based mobile application that allows users to find the closest health center. Additionally, the app also stores your basic health information in case of an emergency. The app aims to make all healthcare facilities across Nigeria accessible and searchable from a mobile device.

Kids First Aid
As Africa is a connected continent, first aid tips are at the tap of an app. The Kids First Aid app gives emergency information to parents and teachers when they need it- an indispensable app for when you are travelling in a place where perhaps you don’t speak the language or when help is not easily reachable. The app was built in South Africa and won the 2013 MTN Business App award for best windows app.

Hello Doctor
Hello Doctor provides free essential healthcare information that is updated on a daily basis. The app also provide access to healthcare advice, answers to health-related questions in live group chat forums, confidential one-on-one text conversation with a doctor, and the ability to receive a call back from a doctor within 60 minutes.

The app is currently available in 10 African countries and features various language options. Additionally, Hello Doctor has been designed  to work with most mobile phone models. Download Hello Doctor from the official website

MomConnect
MomConnect is a National Department of Health (NDoH) initiative to use cellphone SMS technology to register every pregnant woman in South Africa. The app is essentially managed by the Department of Health with funds provided by the United States government and Johnson & Johnson. Once registered ,the system will send each mother messages to support her and her baby during the course of her pregnancy, childbirth and up to the child’s first birthday.

According to the NDoH, MomConnect aims to strengthen demand and accountability of Maternal and Child Health services in order to improve access, coverage and quality of care for mothers and their children in the community. Visit the official website here.

Smart Health App
The Smart Health App focuses on providing accurate baseline information resource on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The app is currently available in Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Angola, Ghana, and Senegal.

Additionally, future releases will include information on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Nutrition, Hygiene, Non-communicable diseases. The app also features a range of language options, which includes: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. Download the Smart Health App here.

Matibabu
Developed in Uganda by team Code8, Matibabu is a smartphone app that assists patients to diagnose malaria without providing a blood sample. Using a custom-made piece of hardware (matiscope), custom made piece of hardware which consists of a red LED and a light sensor. A finger is inserted into the device to diagnose and the results are viewed via a smartphone. Visit the official website here.

MedAfrica
MedAfrica was launched by Kenyan developers, Shimba Technologies. According to the developers, MedAfrica essentially acts as a clinic in your pocket. The app can be used to diagnose and monitor symptoms caused by diseases.

Additionally, the app also provides the user with a directory of doctors and hospitals close by as well as provides information on potential treatment for diseases. To add to the features the app can also be used to identify counterfeit medication and a direct a user to the nearest doctor or hospital. Download the app here.

DrBridge
Residents in Egypt can use the DrBridge in order to make appointments with a doctor online via Vezeeta. Alternatively, doctors can use the very same app to obtain a patients’ medical records. The records are stored online, for easy access by the doctor. Visit the official website here.

Ubenwa
Charles Onu is the principal innovator behind Ubenwa, a digital health initiative which applies machine learning and mobile technology to provide portable, affordable, and reliable diagnosis of birth asphyxia.

mPedigree
As mentioned by Zuby Onwuta who is the CEO ThinkandZoom, mPedigree is a phone-based anti-counterfeit ICT software application – which allows users to verify the authenticity of medication. According to the app developer, this is done for free by text-messaging a unique code found on the product to a universal number. The system helps to tackle the problem of counterfeit medicine by partnering with different pharmaceutical to create a short code on the package of products.

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A conference on blockchain and health is scheduled to be held at the Africa Blockchain Developers Call.

Izunna Okpala

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The Africa Blockchain Developers Call (ABDC) Pan-African Bootcamp on blockchain technology has declared its intention to hold a weekend conference on incorporating blockchain technology into Africa’s health sector.

In an attempt to execute comprehensive blockchain training sessions and promote the implementation of specially designed applications for different sectors in Africa, the Bootcamp, officially launched on 5 September, has taken on a host of African developers.

The Bootcamp also features virtual weekend conferences on many use-cases for blockchain. These conferences are aimed at encouraging creative and comprehensive discussions on the implementation of blockchain technology in Africa, including platform presentations by businesses and panel sessions on many Blockchain issues. The first meeting, focusing on Blockchain in Finance, took place on September 5. It featured a keynote speech given by Professor Anicia Peters, University of Namibia Pro-Vice Chancellor for Science, Innovation and Development.

The next conference, scheduled to take place on October 3rd, will focus on the theme: Blockchain in Health. The keynote speech will be given by Arnab Paul, President of the Kolkata Chapter in India. Several organizations and startups will also give platform presentations via their representatives based on medical use cases for blockchain technology.

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HealthPlus is experiencing a power struggle 2 years after obtaining $18 m from Alta Semper Capital

Izunna Okpala

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A press release apparently released on September 25 by the Board of HealthPlus, one of the largest integrated pharmacy chains in West Africa, confirmed that the company no longer needed the services of its founder, Bukky George, as CEO.

The decision to terminate the appointment of George came with the announcement of Chidi Okoro, the interim leader.

Okoro, a renowned pharmacist and management executive, is to take on the position of Chief Officer of Transformation. Okoro, akin to the position of a CEO, can simplify day-to-day management, help the company scale, and achieve profitability.

And a letter that appears to be from the board of HealthPlus to the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) states that George “remains a shareholder of the company, a member of the board of the company, and may engage at board level in the company’s decision-making process.”

Afsane Jetha and Zachary Fond, Managing Partner & CEO, and Director of Alta Semper Capital, respectively, have signed it off.

From investment and partnership to a fight for power

Alta Semper Capital LLP is a private equity (PE) company that invests in Africa-wide healthcare and consumer businesses. In 2017, the PE company invested in Macro Pharma, a medicated cosmetics company in Egypt.

It made deals with HealthPlus and the Moroccan oncology and radiology clinic, Oncologie et Radiologie du Maroc (ODM), the following year.

The letter from Alta Semper Capital to the PCN

Source Techpoint

The HealthPlus investment was $18 million.

HealthPlus, founded by George in 1999, has expanded to more than 90 retail outlets, employing over 850 employees, including more than 150 pharmacists. In Nigeria, the company claims to be present in 11 of the 36 states in the world.

Operating branches in strategically placed suburban areas, airports, and shopping malls are also recognized.

Alta Semper Capital ‘s investment was to help HealthPlus grow its store footprint. In addition, to attract more talent, grow fulfillment centers and pursue initiatives in eCommerce.

The cash inflow, however, is said to have given the PE firm a majority stake in the company, which is one of the reasons why the company is facing problems at the moment.

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Coronavirus: The Covid Tracker software from Ireland is out

Izunna Okpala

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Ireland’s just-released contact-tracing app this morning, where it joined Germany’s Corona Warn-App, which was released three weeks ago.

Gibraltar recently released its Beat Covid Gibraltar app, based on the Irish code.

The Republic’s Covid Tracker software is also the foundation of an app. Northern Ireland is promising to release within weeks. And now there’s a hint Wales could go the same way.

The focus henceforth would be on building a “decentralised” app with the toolkit offered by Apple and Google, which is also being used by Germany and Ireland among a growing list of others.

On Monday, Baroness Harding gave evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee alongside Simon Thompson, the Ocado executive she drafted in to take responsibility for the app.

Mr Thompson started by saying how urgent it was to get the job done. He went on to stress that collaboration with other countries and with Google and Apple meant that “we have growing confidence that we will have a product that will be good, so that the citizens can trust it in terms of its basic functionality”.

Bluetooth doubts

Now it is true that there is very little evidence that Bluetooth-based apps have so far been successful in tracking down people who came close to someone diagnosed with the virus.

People who point to the success of countries like South Korea ignore the fact that its efforts have been based not on Bluetooth but on the use of mass surveillance data, which would almost certainly prove unacceptable here.

Scientists at Trinity College in Dublin who advised the Irish app development team have produced a number of studies showing Bluetooth can be a very unreliable way to log contacts.

After tests on a bus they warned “the signal strength can be higher between phones that are far apart than phones close together, making reliable proximity detection based on signal strength hard or perhaps even impossible”.

‘Good enough’

Germany has celebrated the fact that in three weeks its app has been downloaded by 15 million people out of a population of 83 million. But there is little or no information about whether it is performing well in its core mission of contact tracing.

Then again, countries like Germany, Ireland and Switzerland have taken the view that an app does not have to be technically perfect, and that if there is any chance of it making even a small contribution to the battle against the virus, it’s worth a go.

Countries like Germany might be tempted to point out that they have had that “cake” in the form of an effective manual tracing programme all along. Incidentally, if public trust is vital to the app’s rollout, the people of the Isle of Wight may have something to say about that.

Following the trial of the original, scrapped NHSX app on the island, some residents have been asking what will happen to their data. We’ve asked too – and have yet to receive an answer.

While the Covid Tracker app has been launched by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the Republic of Ireland, people living across the border in Northern Ireland are able to download it and use it.

Its terms and conditions state that it is intended to be used by anyone living in or visiting the island of Ireland.

They also state that its availability for people living or visiting in Northern Ireland “is intended to help us to inform people living in border areas and to trace cases in those areas”.

Anyone using the app in NI is able to activate the contact tracing facility and can also self-report symptoms using the “Covid Check-In section”.

However, in the section which asks users to enter personal details, including gender and age-range, those living in Northern Ireland can’t add their county of residence. Only counties in the Republic of Ireland are listed – not the six in NI.

It isn’t yet clear what impact this has on the functionality of the app for NI users.

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