From over 144 applications, mHealth start-up Diepsloot Kasi Hive has been chosen as one of the 50 finalists in the #Hack.Jozi Challenge where they stand a chance of winning R5 million worth of start-up support.

The #Hack.Jozi Challenge, which is an initiative between the City of Johannesburg and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University, is a competition that has set out to award the best digital ideas aimed at finding solutions to problems affecting Johannesburg.

Diepsloot Kasi Hive is a registered Co-operative from the Diepsloot Township located in the north of Johannesburg that aims to create employment opportunities through innovative technology, skills development and youth empowerment.

“Our vision is to improve our communities through technology. So we are building and developing digital solutions based on challenges we have in our communities – especially in townships,” said Diepsloot Kasi Hive Chairperson, Jessey Nkale.

Diepsloot Kasi Hive developed the idea for their health app, called Phila, which translates to “Live”, after witnessing long queues outside their local healthcare clinic; which they realised is a common issue in other townships as well. “Our app is basically a new booking system that will allow patients to make bookings prior to seeing the doctor or nurse –for a specific time that is convenient for them,” said Nkale. “It will also assist the DoH and clinics by providing them with a clear number of patients who are being admitted or assisted daily, as well as allowing them to measure services being offered at the clinics.”

According to Diepsloot Kasi Hive, the app will include an info pack called Life Care to educate people about social issues; and an info pack called Cancer Care that will educate people about different cancer types and related issues. “The app will also have a calendar for mobile health services that are coming to communities organised by the DoH, and schedule daily appointments available in a configured clinic,” said Nkale. “It will also have a notification/reminder feature for check-ups and medication collections, as well as an alert to notify the patient’s next of kin when they are transferred to a certain hospital.”

On the Diepsloot Kasi Hive’s involvement in the #Hack.Jozi Challenge, Nkale said: “It’s been a wonderful experience so far as it has given us great exposure on the work we are doing and our commitment to tackle this major health issue in our communities.”

Other teams taking part in the #Hack.Jozi Challenge include digital entrepreneurs who are working on mobile banking applications and social interactive applications to online game applications promoting South African culture.

The #Hack.Jozi Challenge winners will be hosted and mentored in Jozi’s new digital innovation hub in Braamfontein, where they will have access to various resources, mentors, advisors as well as partners to make their vision of helping their community a reality.

Entrepreneurs selected for the challenge will participate in a month long process, run by Seed Academy, consisting of intensive business training, technical hackathons and a demo day where the winners will be required to demonstrate their business value proposition.

Once selected, award winners will receive membership to the digital innovation hub as well as technical support and mentorship. The final award winners will also receive one year free hosting credit for their business applications from IBM.

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