According to data from the World Factbook, an encyclopedia compiled by the US government, South Africa has fewer than one medical doctor for every 1,000 of its citizens. This healthcare disparity is exacerbated by a study from BMC Health Services Research, revealing that 15% of impoverished rural households in South Africa are located more than an hour away from the nearest clinic, and 20% are more than an hour away from the nearest hospital.
Compounding these challenges is South Africa’s distinction of having the highest Gini coefficient in the world, indicating an alarming wealth inequality gap. These statistics paint a bleak picture of healthcare accessibility, suggesting that quality healthcare is accessible only to a privileged few.
In response to this critical issue, Eagle Intelligent Health, a telehealth innovator, has joined forces with Mobicel, a prominent South African smartphone manufacturer, to transform healthcare accessibility across Africa. Arvind Raichur, CEO and Co-founder of Eagle Intelligent Health, emphasized the belief that access to quality healthcare is a fundamental human right. He stated, “Our technology makes care attainable and affordable. Joining forces with Mobicel puts us in a position to truly revolutionize healthcare across Africa.”
The partnership entails pre-loading the Eagle Intelligent Health app onto Mobicel phones as a utility app. This app is a telehealth service that enables users to consult skilled doctors without incurring high transportation costs or risking illness while waiting in a physician’s office. Already, over 100,000 Mobicel phones have the Eagle Intelligent Health app pre-installed, and all new Mobicel phones will include this app for users.
Ridwan Khan, CEO and Founder of Mobicel, expressed the significance of this partnership, stating that partnering with Eagle Intelligent Health in this way puts them in the unique position of being able to literally put millions of people’s health back into their own hands.
The collaboration also involves the BüddyCentral Group and MediBüddy, with MediBüddy’s network of doctors ready to assist users of the Eagle Intelligent Health app under a licensing agreement with Eagle Intelligent Health for the technology platform.
How It Works
Eagle Intelligent Health operates as a healthcare counterpart to Airbnb. Utilizing patented technology, the app, available for free download on Apple and Google Play app stores, connects patients with skilled South African doctors. Users can consult with qualified medical professionals who, with consent, have access to their up-to-date medical records. These physicians can issue prescriptions, generate digital and shareable sick notes, or refer patients to specialists. Through this partnership, hundreds of thousands of people who may have struggled to physically visit a doctor in person will now be able to receive the treatment they need via their Mobicel devices.
Dr. Zaheer Kader, Chief Medical Officer and principal of MediBüddy, highlighted the significance of addressing the geographical disparity between doctors and those in need of medical care. He said that The Eagle Intelligent Health platform, combined with the reach of millions of Mobicel devices, will offer them a chance to fulfil their commitment as doctors and bring care to as many people, in as many places as possible.
“We are on the brink of a significant transformation in the South African healthcare sector. In five years, we could witness an entirely different healthcare landscape, one where South Africans are healthier and better informed about their medical conditions. Being part of a partnership that makes this possible is a compelling reason to wake up in the morning.” concluded Lodewyk Spies, Chairman and Co-founder of the BüddyCentral Group.