Despite various reforms, access to quality healthcare in Nigeria remains below par. Over 100 million Nigerians are still unable to access satisfactory medical services, especially those living in rural areas.
Over 70% of the 206 million people in Nigeria live in the semi-urban and rural areas where affordability and access to proper healthcare is a major challenge.
Although improved medical care is largely available in urban regions, the introduction of telemedicine platforms has sought to solve the access gap suffered by rural dwellers.
Kaduna-based medtech, DigiHealth has set out with the goal of providing prompt and quality health services to patients at the comfort of their homes – regardless of their location.
DigiHealth was founded in 2019 by Emmanuel Bala Musa and Andrew Thomas Kantiok. Emmanuel runs the company as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while his co-founder, Andrew is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
In a phone chat with Technext, Emmanuel explained that the startup is working to speed up access to healthcare and medical personnel across Nigeria.
Access to quality healthcare service in Nigeria is very poor and can be frustrating. Sometimes people spend several hours just trying to consult medical personnel. We came up with DigiHealth so people can quickly access quality healthcare from the comfort of their homes through video/audio calls and the chat service.Emmanuel Bala, CEO DigiHealth
Emmanuel revealed that the company is currently negotiating with the Nigerian Medical Association as part of its plans to bring more trusted and certified medical doctors on its platform.
“We want our patients to be satisfied and comfortable with the assurance that they are communicating with a certified medical doctor,” he said.
The DigiHealth CEO disclosed that the platform has catered to about 100 clients so far and onboarded up to fifteen (15) medical doctors on its web app platform. He added that the plan is to onboard more medical personnel when the DigiHealth mobile app is fully developed.
While speaking on funding, Emmanuel mentioned that the company has been largely bootstrapped since it began operations last year. However, he said that DigiHealth secured a $1,500 grant in 2018 after finishing runners-up in the Nigeria edition of the West Africa Health Hackathon.
According to him, the startup is working to raise funds to scale its capital intensive healthtech solution.
DigiHealth Web App Lets You “Order” a Doctor
DigiHealth offers a unique healthcare service through its web app whereby users can hail the medical doctor closest to where they are located. This Uber-esque service is what sets the startup apart from other telemedicine platforms in Nigeria, according to Emmanuel.
By booking an appointment, clients are able to call up a doctor to attend to their health needs in like manner to how riders hail an Uber driver to take a trip.
The closest medical doctor to your location will attend to you just like the way you order for Uber and the driver comes up. You can call up a doctor to offer quality healthcare in person especially in times of an emergency.Emmanuel Bala, CEO DigiHealth
DigiHealth charges users N1,000 for its telemedicine service and patients pay N5,000 to hail a medical doctor.
The healthtech also offers a verification service for users to find out fact-based truth on infections, diseases or outbreaks as well as precautionary and control measures.
Verifying health information is key to limiting the spread of fake medical news and erroneous drug prescriptions which could lead to high fatality rates among patients as is common in the northern part of the country, Emmanuel noted.
On the whole, he believes that it is the prerogative of all Nigerians to remain healthy and free from any disease or infection.
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