On the 1st November 2011 in Nairobi,Kenya, Shimba Technologies Ltd in partnership with Nokia launchedMedAfrica – a mobile app offering a ground-breaking, go-to source of information regarding medical solutions at the touch of a button. The service aims to make healthcare information affordable and accessible to Kenyans.
MedAfrica was born out of the health category of Tuvitu (a mobile content platform by Shimba Technologies). It won the Pivot 25 award, a regional competition held in April, 2011 in Nairobi. The team got an opportunity to showcase the product at Demo fall, Silicon Valley in July and also emerged as one of the top 10 apps at Demo.
“MedAfrica, seeks to improve the health of communities and regions in which it operates by increasing access to health care related information and services in Africa. Good health is a universal need that affects the output of communities directly impacting their socioeconomic standing. Shimba Technologies aims to achieve their objective by creating platforms that facilitate dissemination of information and build communities around the different issues and conditions while at the same time converging all stake holders and amplifying their efforts.” said Steve Mutinda, Founder of Shimba Technologies Ltd. The content in the Platform will be provided by the government (Courtesy of Open data), private sector, Academia and the general health practitioners.
Kenya has a population of 40million and 7,000 registered medical practitioners yet it enjoys mobile phone penetration of 26 million. This gives the viability of mobile phones to disseminate the health content in the country. This also applies to other African countries with infrastructural limitations.
“The development demonstrates Nokia’s role in working with local partners to create solutions that are important and relevant to consumers. This app is a truly revolutionary solution to many of consumers who need a one stop access to health services such as symptom checkers, first-aid information, doctor & hospital directories and medical alerts”, said Agatha Gikunda, Head of EDX for Nokia East and Southern Africa.
The platform will be accessible via a number of channels – mobile applications (Java, Nokia, Android), mobile web,Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), web and short message service (SMS). The start-up is seeking out partnerships with government institutions, pharmaceutical companies, medical associations, medical support groups, non-governmental organizations, mobile network operators and general populations in order to amplify their contribution to health-care service delivery.
“Our mission is toIncrease access to health related content and services to save lives and build a healthy population, our target being to reach every house hold in Africa. In this case we have a road map in place where we launch the product in Kenya then scale it to other African Countries” said Jackline Cheruiyot, MedAfrica Team Leader.
MedAfrica promises ease of access to a full spectrum of health info and content Services from the comfort of one’s mobile phone for the Millions of Africans.
”Being a Start-up project, the partnership with Nokia is very critical and as MedAfrica, we appreciate the support.We also appreciate mLab and iHub community for their continued support in different aspects of the product." Cheruiyot added.
Shimba Technologies Ltd has spearheaded the development of solutions such as CDFMonitor, KTraffic, RichMobile, and Sarova. For instance CDFMonitor allows constituents to view information on CDF allocation and use in Kenya. KTraffic shows camera views of Kenyan roads and suggestions of alternate roads thus allowing users to avoid traffic jams.
Shimba Technologies Ltd plans to release an appeal and donations philanthropic platform called Sponsor Kenya that also got shortlisted by the ICT Board’s Tandaa Grant and the second version of the Tuvitu platform come 2012.