Digital healthcare startup Vezeeta launches app in Kenya
One of Africa and the Middle East's leading digital healthcare firms is expanding its operations with a platform that will allow people in Kenya to access doctors online via their smart phones.
Users can download the app, available for Android and IOS, sign up to the type of consultation they need, and add a region and type of insurance cover. They can then search for and select a doctor. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The app offers patients 30 specialty areas to choose from, including dentistry, respiratory, dermatology and orthopedics. Doctors are all registered under the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council.
Research has found shortages in Kenya's healthcare system, particularly in chest specialists, hospital physicians and emergency care nurses. These are especially pronounced in rural areas, where 70% of Kenyan's live, who largely rely on community health volunteers and nurses who provide primary health care services like vaccinations.
The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified these challenges. In a press release, Vezeeta Africa Vice President Nana Frimpong said that the app will allow people in Kenya to access expert medical advice from the safety of their homes, as well as receive guidance on identifying and dealing with the virus, without risking exposure.
“As the Covid-19 outbreak continues to present complex healthcare challenges to the public, we see our role and responsibility as a health-tech leader and trusted partner to ensure that the well-being and health of our patients remains uninterrupted" he said.
“We believe that through this initiative, we are supporting not only the Government of Kenya but also empowering Kenyans to make more informed decisions on their healthcare choices and improve access to doctors in general."
Vezeeta was originally founded in Egypt, with the aim of supporting the country's ambulance service with an online service. It's since expanded to include online bookings in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Lebanon and Jordan.
On the rise: Jack Nathan Health
Canadian healthcare company Jack Nathan Medical Corp has announced a major expansion in Mexico, with the opening of 153 new medical clinics in Walmart stores under the brand name Jack Nathan Health.
The company say these will be located in areas that would benefit from increased medical services, which will include telemedicine options and family health.
This is the company's largest expansion since it was founded in 2006, and will give Jack Nathan Health a significant presence as a healthcare provider in Mexico, bringing the company's total clinics to the Central American country to 203.
Leading healthcare in Canada
Jack Nathan Medical Corp is one of Canada’s largest healthcare networks, providing primary, dental and urgent care. Thanks to its partnership with Walmart Canada, it operates clinics in 76 Walmart stores across the country.
A key part of the company's strategy is the use of technology to drive patient and practitioner engagement. Its online platform offers e-prescribing, patient scheduling and a virtual consultation service, which was developed quickly to enable access to healthcare professionals during the pandemic, as well as COVID-19 screening.
In November 2020 the company appointed digital health expert Serge Cinelli as its new Chief Technology Officer, to help roll out Jack Nathan's proprietary technology. Following this, in January this year it acquired Writi, a software firm.
Revolutionising healthcare with technology
Writi's Virtual Healthcare solution is a cloud-based medication-management platform aimed at elderly care providers, and is available on mobile devices and web platforms. It is used by TELUS Health among others, the health division of one of Canada's largest telecommunications companies.
The acquisition of Writi formed part of Jack Nathan Health's technology roadmap, which includes bringing hospital-quality care to the home.
As well as trading on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange, earlier this year Jack Nathan began trading shares on the OTCQB, a leading American market for early stage and developing companies.
Commenting on the recent expansion throughout Mexico, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George Barakat said: "Jack Nathan Health, in partnership with Walmart, is now positioning itself to become the largest physician serviced healthcare network in Mexico.
"We believe that we are going to revolutionise healthcare as we embark on this historic growth phase.”