Botswana catches the mHealth “Fever” as Botsogo launches mobile App

07 Jul 2019

BY PATIENCE RADISOENG

As mobility has increased with the use of smartphones and other devices, so has healthcare organisations’ interest in the modality.

Throughout the globe, mobile health or mHealth is increasingly disrupting the health care industry, and Botswana seems to be on the right path to atleast play a catch-up.

Just this week a local medical aid company - Botsogo Health Plan through Bokamoso Private Hospital announced what could be the country’s first health mobile application.

The App, according to the medical aid company will aid in access, organisation, storage, and sharing of medical records between clients and the medical aid scheme.

Pundits maintain that the trend of providing patients with clinical services through a mobile healthcare app is here to stay and will continue to grow in use.

Before the arrival of mHealth patients had to visit the hospital or call the receptionist frequently just to know about the doctor’s routine and make an appointment. Such could be a thing of the past as mHealth has proven to be a solution to most of the problems encountered during the physical visit of health facilities and access to them.   

“Through the new App, clients will be able to follow up claims, check balances, upgrade subscriptions, find health facilities that can quickly assist them in cases of emergency and also make payments in real time, at any given place”, said Kelvin Nonge from 2Cana – an IT Service provider from across the border South Africa,  provider of information technology

The Botsogo Health Scheme App which is expected to be running on both Apple Store and Android’s Play Store from August 2019 is expected to be a life-saver for both the hospital and patients alike. For instance, during the launch at Bokamoso Hospital this week, Nonge indicated that the App will reduce paperwork for medical facilities.

“The hospital management need not be stressed about the report collection, storage, as well as distribution. They just have to tap on their device and the report will be delivered to the corresponding patient,” he continued.

On the other, the App is expected to bring convenience to patients as they would not need to physically collect their medical reports at medical facilities.

Metropolitan Health general manager-Lesego Pule says in recognition of the fact that many people would like to subscribe to a medical Aid facility but are hindered by their busy schedules, the App will also allow those interested to join without having to come to physically visit their offices.

“We were, for a long time, trying to find an ideal system to coordinate between the managerial and clinical work in the hospital. The system will connect different aspects of healthcare such as patient’s history, financial costs, the test results, and more,” says Pule.

Botsogo Health Plan is a medical aid scheme and administered by Metropolitan Health Botswana, which is accredited by the Non-Bank Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) and is a member of the Health Funders Association of Botswana (HFAB).

Mobile healthcare Apps like the Botsogo Health Scheme one evolves from a  HYPERLINK "https://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/feature/Telehealth-technologies-he..." broader concept of telehealth, or telemedicine, a concept that has been around for years and includes virtual visits, remote patient monitoring and mobile health.