I particularly picked this idea due to my personal experience seeking primary health care in Nigeria as a child. Imagine visiting a primary health center to see a CHW because of an ongoing fever for 2 days, just to arrive and wait for hours due to lack of appropriate staff and medical equipment. Then, travelling further outside of your town to seek the same level of care at a secondary or tertiary medical facility experiencing longer wait times and paying double the price for primary care services. With a population of 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy. But despite having these accolades, Nigeria has a huge health infrastructure problem. 10% of Nigeria’s population currently have health insurance and are still expected to cover 70% of the medical expenses. Now imagine the burden imposed on the other 90% who have to pay out of pocket for health care services. There are 30,000 primary health centers in Nigeria but only 20% are operational. There are approximately 700,000 registered CHWs and 75% of them are underutilized due to lack of employment opportunities. During my customer discovery (3,486 respondents), 72% expressed high cost and understaffed facilities as the number one barrier of accessing primary health care in Nigeria, followed by long commute times, and lastly long wait times at healthcare facilities.
What it does
Our product is a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) application that does the following: For Patients: With a short USSD code (which is available on any cell phone and doesn’t require internet connectivity to function), patients can register, pay, and request the nearest registered CHW to administer home-based primary care services. Health Workers: Are directly connected to people who need their services. They generate an income for themselves for each patient they visit – promoting social entrepreneurship. The platform leverages AI to enable disease surveillance and last mile communication of community health alerts to patients in remote areas.
How I built it
I built it using Postman Client for Chrome Running web server Sublime text editor
Challenges I ran into
A challenge I ran into was testing the application in real time in Nigeria. Of course I can simulate it but its extremely beneficial to test in real time. Being based in Washington DC, and learning how to navigate real time testing during the COVID-19 pandemic
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
being able to build something that caters to Africans in their context with maximum impact.
What I learned
Having a solid team goes a long way
What's next for HealthCare Mobile
Launching in Nigeria with partnerships with public health institutions.
To test, enter your phone number and dial *384*79741#