Leading pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka, a global organisation that identifies and invests in leading innovative and practical ideas to solve social challenges, have launched a subscription-free mHealth app in Kenya that aims to connect patients with medical practitioners.
The app, known as iSikCure, was developed under Boehringer Ingelheim’s Corporate Social Responsibility global health initiative, Making More Health, in partnership with Ashoka that aims at driving social and economic impact across the healthcare sector.
iSikCure aims to improve access to quality care and safe medicine as it will help patients or households to conveniently find qualified doctors, laboratory services and original medicines when in need of care.
For health providers the app promises increased traffic to facilities, ability to manage their schedules and wait-timing, and receive pre-payments by patients or their family members.
“Our work is directed towards enhancing the level of healthcare in Kenya, and support in developing the right infrastructure,” said Country Head of Boehringer Ingelheim in Saudi Arabia and iSikCure Project Manager, Dr Mohamed Bayoumy.
“We are committed to driving stronger health outcomes across the continuum of care in Kenya to address a broad range of challenges,” continued Dr Bayoumy.
According to the 2013 Kenya Household Health Expenditure & Utilisation survey, 1.7 million households report an illness every four weeks. Additionally, approximately six million adult Kenyans with diabetes and hypertension need follow-up care every four weeks. Yet, access to information on where, when and how to seek quality care, diagnostics and medicines is a challenge for households in Kenya and in Africa as a whole.
“Access has always been an ongoing issue, coupled with the affordability of care which is reflected in the $ 5.3 billion in unmet demand for medicines in East Africa. This is due to multiple complications such as unsafe medicines, counterfeit and variable drug costs,” said Founder of iSikCure and Ashoka Fellow, Dr Moka Lantum.
The app is expected to address a broad range of challenges that include general lack of awareness around chronic diseases and risk factors, poor infrastructure for care of acute and chronic diseases, along with the emergency of priority disease areas such as hypertension, diabetes and stroke.
Through the app, users earn loyalty MedPoints that can be redeemed when purchasing medicines from distributors and receive a preferred access to select brands and generic medicines from participating distributors at whole sale price.
“The iSikCure app effectively addresses the many challenges patients and healthcare providers face, from having direct access to available services, to having patient record on-line securely. It further provides a real added value service to all players in the healthcare sector in Kenya and across Africa,” concluded Dr Lantum.