The launch of mhealth services at the Nailab, Nairobi

Mr. Deepak Sharma speaks at the launch of mhealth services at the Nailab, Nairobi.

Airtel Kenya in conjunction with Medanta Africare on Thursday 25th, June launched a mobile healthcare service that enables Kenyans to access healthcare using their mobile phones – a service they termed mHealth.

Medanta Africare is a medical corporation that set up residence in Kenya in May, 2012, its headquarters being in India. By coming together with Airtel Kenya, they allow Airtel subscribers the chance to have their health queries addressed through simply dialing 1525.

Dialing 1525 enables a subscriber to access the Dial-a-doc service that connects them with a specialist for further consultations. Other services include Home healthcare where medical care is extended to patients in their homes, and Telemedicine where a patient receives healthcare from a specialist using video conferencing facilities.

With a vision to provide world class, affordable and quality healthcare to its patients, Medanta hopes that through the introduction of mHealth, it will make considerable strides in working towards this vision.

During the event, which was hosted at the BAKE offices at Nailab, Medanta Africare offered free medical checkup as part of the launch process. Dr. Khalsa from Medanta cautioned that any doctor attending to a patient should explain the tests being carried out and why they’re being done. Most of those who attended the event were happy to have a free health check and were advised on ways to stay healthy by the Medanta staff.

In his address Dr. Khalsa pointed out the prevalence of diseases such as Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer and Ortho-arthritis. He also talked about Karyotyping – a test done to check any genetic diseases – and its importance. Using the chance to advise those in attendance to carry out diligent annual check-ups, especially as age catches up with them, he encouraged those with health issues to change their lifestyle accordingly.

Through mHealth, patients can now be assisted by qualified doctors and accredited nurses from the convenience of their homes or workplace. A doctor can also be dispatched to the mobile subscriber’s location in the event that he or she cannot make it to a Medanta facility.

By the end of the event the role of innovation and Telcos in the transformation of medical care was evident for all to see.