Expert health advice in Africa’s pocket
hours: the time it can take community members to walk to their local clinic
of patient visits to our partner clinics that are unnecessary
minutes available for patient consultation at clinics
Similarly, decision makers passionately working to improve their people’s health are making the best decisions they can, but are left frustrated and saddened by needing to do it in the dark, without the information those in the developed world have such easy access to.
Providing individuals control
Evidence based national policy
Better clinical decisions
Blantyre District Health Office
Zingwangwa Clinic, Blantyre
Gateway Clinic, Blantyre
HOW IT WORKS
There are two primary issues the Health project aims to address. The first is the lack of decision making power that individuals in communities have, and subsequently inevitable poor health decisions. This is because clinics are as far as three hours of walking away, and this is the closest place individuals can access the expertise they need. However, the Malawian healthcare system heavily uses Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs). These individuals work tirelessly within communities, conducting rudimentary triage, sanitation checks and basic vaccinations. With the 12 weeks of medical training they receive, they are unable to make high impact decisions, and so, despite their prevalence and presence within communities, they are underutilised. To better utilise this passionate group of people, the Health Consulting project is working with top medical professionals and academics developing an app, accessible through a basic mobile phone, whereby HSAs can enter patients’ symptoms and receive highly accurate triage information, informed by artificial intelligence and data analysis. This information can then be passed to the patient’s clinician at the closest medical facility, meaning the clinician doesn’t have to waste part of their valuable 3-5 minute consultation asking questions that the HSA has already asked.
The second is the inadequacy of data available at every level of health decision making. Currently, HSAs pass paper forms up to clinicians, who pass further paper to lower level government offices (District Health Offices). Only here is it entered into a proper database (called the DHIS2). This database and its precious (but unreliable and incomplete) data can only be used by government offices. The data, as it is currently processed, is frequently lost and massively inaccurate. To address this, the data from the app outlined above will be passed into the database, to be used in decision making around district and national health decisions. Further, the app will access the data in the database to make triage decisions as accurate as possible. This will enable vastly more powerful, accurate decisions at every level.
The business model
The service will be provided to governments on a scaled subscription service. People’s use of the system will save government bodies money in the short and long term, and so every payment for the system will create a lot of value, socially and economically. The project is at a stage where test rollouts are being planned with Blantyre’s District Health Office (DHO), which will validate this value, and prove the need for the service. Once this value has been proven at this smaller scale, it can be scaled to any number of districts.
After this expansion, a massive amount of data will be created, which will be used to provide tools for decision making at a national level. Revenue from this will be used to generalise the service for use in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, to which it can then be scaled.
This business model is elegant and effective – its cost scale linearly with usage and therefore with revenue, creating sustainability. It is also massively scalable, as it’s an entirely digital platform with value in Malawi as well as its surrounding countries.
KEy Value Proposition
Empowering communities with better health decisions
Increasing the efficacy of clinicians
Empowering Governments to create better health strategy
WANT TO INTERN ON THIS PROJECT?