A partnership between MTN and Hello Doctor (a subsidiary of Metropolitan Health within MMI) will provide a technology-based solution designed to work with the local general practitioners (GPs), to ensure that consumers receive the right information before seeing a doctor.
The Hello Doctor app is free to download and works off both smart (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia & HTML5) and selected feature phones (approximately 85% of all phones in Africa), effectively providing consumers with 'a doctor in their pocket'.
The app provides free content that is updated daily, providing consumers with access to healthcare advice, answers to health-related questions in live group chat forums, confidential one-on-one text-a-doctor Q&As, and the ability to receive a call back from doctor within 60 minutes. A USSD service will also be launched as part of this solution.
The roll out to MTN markets will take place over the next 18 months, starting with South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon and Rwanda.
In-depth medical information
Hello Doctor allows consumers access to trusted, in-depth medical information combined with professional insights and advice from registered medical doctors across multiple platforms. Apart from the Hello Doctor TV show in South Africa, which is produced and anchored by Dr Michael Mol on SABC 2, it offers access to medical advice and doctors via the mobile apps.
"Technology has made a huge impact on how the industry delivers healthcare. The company believes that its innovative offering across multiple technological platforms and its partnership with MTN, will allow it to work towards affordable and accessible healthcare for all. Underpinning the success of this goal is creating a link between technology and first-world clinical protocols, facilitated by medical professionals committed to making a difference that is both affordable and simple," says Craig Townsend, director, Hello Doctor.
Paid for services for subscribers
The paid-for services that will be available to MTN subscribers via the mobile app include Digital Doctor and House Call. These services will provide subscribers with instant confidential access to over 100 registered doctors in South Africa who will be able to give medical guidance and advice.
The House Call service allows consumers telephonic access to a doctor any time of the day and night, as well as additional services on the mobile app and website that are aimed at helping people achieve and maintain their health and wellness goals. The Digital Doctor service allows subscribers to send a confidential text message through the app and one of its doctors will respond with personal confidential advice within two hours.
With each new territory being rolled out, Hello Doctor will partner with local doctor networks to ensure that users get access to doctors for advice and guidance in their own language. The service will also be integrated with existing healthcare services that MTN already offers, such the midwife programme in Ghana.