With technological advances and the development of telephony in Africa, new habits have emerged for taking care of one's health. This is the case with medical applications that can be downloaded onto mobile devices and computers. Dedicated to well-being and health, they allow users to follow a treatment or make an appointment with their doctor. In Benin, GoMedical is one of these digital interfaces designed to simplify access to healthcare. Created by Gilles Kounou, this healthtech solution brings a touch of innovation to the medical field. We introduce you to it in this Fanaka story.
GoMedical, an e-health solution that benefits doctors and patients
E-health is a rapidly expanding sector and French-speaking Africa has not been left behind. The appearance of applications such as GoMedical in Benin is proof of this. Accessible to everyone at any time, on the web and on mobile phones, this solution offers people easy access to health care. It fulfils this mission by providing a simple and transparent tool that facilitates communication between doctors, health centres and patients.
On the one hand, the platform acts as a digital agenda for health professionals. It allows them to manage their consultations in real time, to follow their patients by consulting the history of their appointments, and to manage their computerised medical files in an optimal way. In addition, the patient can make an appointment directly with the doctor of his choice. The latter receives immediate notification of a new appointment and can confirm, cancel, transfer or reschedule it with a simple click. Medical services can also be paid for remotely via mobile money or credit card.
GoMedical to digitalise health in Benin
Setting up a platform like GoMedical was the idea of Gilles Kounou, a software and information systems engineer and founder of the company Open SI. It all started with a bad personal experience during a health care procedure, following the catastrophic management of the elements of his medical file between the different hospital services he visited.
Aware that this could have been avoided with the use of a digital health booklet, he took the initiative in 2014 to create Open SI. A company whose mission is to support Beninese companies, hospitals and other institutions in their digital transformation. In addition to developing innovative web and mobile application platforms for businesses Open SI offers auditing, digital innovation consulting and information systems urbanisation services to companies in all sectors of activity.
Three years later, faced with the opportunities of the e-health niche market, GoMedical was created to manage exclusively the patient-doctor relationship. The solution was launched on 24 November 2017 and is now one of the most innovative e-health services in the French-speaking world.
A platform with features that make life easier for users
In Benin, as in most African countries, certain problems are very recurrent in the field of health: unavailability of an attending physician, absence of a complete, up-to-date medical file shared between health professionals. GoMedical is a platform whose mission is to provide concrete solutions to these problems. To achieve this, it relies on functionalities that allow the patient and the doctor to better familiarise themselves with the concept:
- making an appointment.
- information about pharmacies on call.
- remote payment.
- drug alert.
- digital health record.
Among other advantages, it also gives Beninese in the diaspora the opportunity to pay directly and remotely the consultation fees of their relatives living in the country, without going through intermediaries or money transfer solutions.
To date, GoMedical's partners include 60 clinics, more than 300 active doctors and a rich repertoire of certified professionals. The platform records an average of 250 appointments per day.
Since its launch, the GoMedical app, which is free to download from the Google Play Store, has won numerous national and international awards for its work in promoting access to health.
For example, in 2018, it won the Afric'innov prize awarded by the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). In the same year, it came third in the e-health startup awards at the International Conference of Ministers of Health and ICT on Safe Healthcare in Africa (ICMHA). The company can also count on the technical support of Amarante Consulting, a firm of experts who provide advice and technical assistance to solutions for digital and financial inclusion.
The development of telemedicine has stimulated, in Africa too, the emergence of healthtech solutions such as GoMedical, developed to alleviate the main problems of our failing health systems. The Beninese platform aims to connect patients and health professionals in order to facilitate their exchanges. It allows users to quickly find a doctor, find out where he or she is available, make appointments and have a digital health record. The startup does not intend to stop there. But it still has huge challenges to meet in order to become the reference e-health service on a global scale.