CASSAVA Smartech, an Econet subsidiary, has launched an e-health application for medical practitioners and their patients in an effort to ensure that Zimbabweans have access to good quality health services at affordable costs.
The application, Maisha Medik, is both a digital healthcare network and personal health care assistant that will enable patients to access their medical history and make appointments for consultations online.
Speaking during the Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) annual conference, health economist Denver Phiri said this application which can be downloaded on mobile phones is convenient and will cut down costs for patients who will now have an option to consult doctors of choice through video calls.
"For patients this is a very smart and safe way for you to locate medical practitioners and be able to have a tele-conference with your doctor if you are not able to attend in person. The app also offers health insurance options and Vaya ambulances. When a patient is picked up by an ambulance their data is already uploaded to the application so that when the person reaches a health institution their details are already there," Phiri said.
He added that the application is secure as it requires a password known to patients only and stores information on the Microsoft cloud service data storage platform and not on their phones. "It's going to allow us to secure data on both the patient's and doctor's side. There is no way patients can access bogus doctors as only doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ)," Phiri said.
For health service providers, he said the application will allow them to have a better management system as it comes with "less operational expenditure since doctors will not be using papers anymore".
Doctors will be receiving requests from their patients where they will have to confirm appointments depending on their daily schedules.
They are also able to diagnose and send their patients consultation costs through this platform.
As the country strives to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030 Phiri said partnering with medical practitioners through Maisha Medik will enable them to deliver health care services to over 10 million Zimbabweans who have mobile phones.
This comes as 89 percent of women and 86 percent of men in the country reportedly do not have access to proper health care services.
Representing the Health and Child Care ministry during the launch, Robert Mudyiradima applauded Cassava for coming up with an innovation that make a significant impact through assisting people to readily locate a vast array of health services in time of need.
Mudyiradima said the ministry believes Maisha Medik will empower people to make better decisions for their health care through granting them access to their personal medical history via their mobile phones.
"As recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), e-health innovations such as electronic health record systems are an indispensable tool for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
"Through e-health we can ensure that the right health information is provided in a secure electronic form for the purpose of optimising the quality and efficiency of health care delivery," he said.