Access to healthcare is still one of the biggest challenges in the African continent, together with the huge shortage of trained healthcare professionals. Although this is the case in many parts of the continent, technology is slowly transforming how healthcare is delivered in Africa.
Not only is technology making it easier for people in rural areas to access better healthcare, but it has also allowed health professionals to make decisions on how to improve the system.
Determined to improve access to healthcare across the continent, Rwandan startup Yapili, is set to pilot its online platform that connects users with healthcare professionals around the world in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Nigeria.
The web platform aims to link patients from countries understaffed with healthcare professionals to doctors around the world for remote consultation. It is a facilitation solution that works across borders and captures real-time data in a secured cloud for both patients and organizations promoting global health.
In order to use the service, users simply need to register online and fill out a quick questionnaire. The platform then matches the user with an available doctor who will follow them over time. Users can make requests to doctors which will be responded to within 48 hours, with consultations enabled through chat messages, pictures, videos, and audio calls.
According to the company website, the yapili concept was started in November 2014 by a group of four young entrepreneurs who met in East Africa through the startup incubator, Ampion . Eventually the team grew to include skills ranging from front-end development to public health and policy expertise.
“We are at the early stages of ideation and mobilizing quickly to seek partnerships and push our initial pilot program. Our team is international, dynamic and committed to make yapili happen. We are here to close the medical gap by providing easy access to medical consultations.”
Statistics reveal that access to healthcare services is difficult for the vast majority of Africans. Although Sub-Saharan Africa holds 25% of the world’s disease burden, its people only have access to 3% of the world’s physicians