Figure 1 has announced that its popular, free eHealth photo-sharing platform for healthcare professionals is now available in South Africa.

The app, which is used by more than 150,000 users around the world, enables medical professionals and students across the globe to connect, discuss and share de-identified content. Figure 1’s images are viewed more than 1 million times per day.

South Africa is the seventh market for Figure 1, following successful launches in North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It is, however, a sort of homecoming for the company as three key members of the team have roots here: CEO and co-founder Gregory Levey and Director of Communications and Partnerships Kelly Aizicowitz were both born in South Africa, while Chief Medical Officer and co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy’s father was raised in South Africa.

“We are very excited to be launching in South Africa,” said Dr. Landy, a Critical Care Medicine Specialist who developed the concept while seeing patients in an Intensive Care Unit in Toronto, Canada. “Medicine is a visual field and there’s so much to be learned from medical images. Figure 1 is a privacy-conscious way for healthcare professionals in South Africa to view, share and talk about a wide variety of medical findings.”

Patient privacy is a key priority for Figure 1. The company has worked with South African lawyers to ensure the platform complies with local privacy laws. An automatic facial blocking tool recognises and blocks patients’ faces, while a draw feature enables healthcare professionals to block potentially identifying markers such as tattoos. A South African-specific patient consent form is also built into the app.

Healthcare professionals and students in South Africa have looked forward to Figure 1’s launch for some time now. Dr. David Green of Bedfordview, for example, said, “I’ve been anticipating Figure 1’s South Africa launch. This tool will be useful as a way to connect healthcare professionals in rural areas with city centres.” Figure 1 also has medical student ambassadors at Stellenbosch University, Wits University and the University of Pretoria.

Figure 1 is available on iPhone, Android and the web.

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