As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. This is particularly true for two Kyambogo university graduates; Hannington Naamara and Shaban Mandela, who have used their rough experience to develop an online medical platform, EdoctorUg that is bringing doctors closer to patients anytime, anywhere.
We caught up with Mr. Hannington Naamara in a brief phone interview to explore more on their inventions. This is what he had to say;
Who is Hannington Naamara and Shaban Mandela?
Hannington Naamara is 28 years from Kabale Bugongi and a last born of seven, now residing in Kireka Kampala, and Shaban Mandela is 29 years, from Gulu, the second born of three children.
What compelled you to develop EdoctorUg?
In 2014, while pursuing my degree in Information Technology and Computing at Kyambogo University, my friend Shaban fell sick and access to a doctor sooner was almost futile. It was on the fourth day that we saw a doctor who would tell us that we had delayed to reach him adding that the only way Shaban could survive was to undergo surgery.
After, that experience, I sat down with Shaban and thought of a solution that could solve similar challenges that patients face out there. And, since childhood, I have always had passion for medicine but my family capacity could not support me through medical school. So I opted for ICT. So that is how EdoctorUg comes in.
Briefly how does the system work?
Through the EdoctorUg Website a patient starts by creating an account and thereafter, s/he can have consultations with doctors, request prescriptions for medicines, laboratory tests, and even order for an ambulance. All done online with just a click.
The system has majorly four modules; Doctor Consultation, Medicine Order, Lab Test Order, and Ambulance Order. All this is done online without the need of going to the hospital.
With medical consultation, the patient pays UGX4,500 by mobile money and then from the list of doctors selects one to chat with. After the chat and treatment, doctor(s) do a follow-up for five days inquiring if the medicine you took worked or not. If it didn’t, they come to your home and treat you from there. So we are solving a problem of moving down the streets looking for doctors and reaching the hospital.
With medicine order, one feeds in his name, contact number, his address and the medicine he wants, if you are not sure of the medicine you have to first consult the doctor. Depending on your location, a nearby hospital will easily send the ordered medicine direct to your home.
With a lab test, you select the test the hospital in your locality offers and submit the form, the lab technician will come to your home with diagnostic equipment ready to take samples and then avail you results from the system.
And finally Ambulance order, feed in the location where you are and then select an Ambulance van at an affordable price, Prices are all attached after selecting your location.
How many developers are you working on this system with?
So far, it is only the two of us, Mandela Shaban and myself.
How many doctors/health facilities are you working with?
For now we are only working with privately owned health centers/hospitals. We have not yet penetrated the government hospitals systems yet.
What else should we know about your invention?
We have a vision as the proprietors and developers of EdoctorUg to grow countrywide and regional, as the best online medical access system for all.
Health-tech sector is suddenly emerging as one of real value from an economic perspective, while the potential impact on ventures in this space is undeniable. Startups are innovating in various areas to solve very real challenges associated with the delivery of healthcare.
The number of startups active in the health-tech space in Africa has grown by 56.5% over the last three years, with 180 ventures currently in operation — reaching record levels in the first half of 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This is according to a Disrupt Africa report they realized early this year, “The High Tech Health: Exploring the E-health Startup Ecosystem Report 2020”.