Kenyan startup Health Advisor is utilising technology to improve the accessibility of medical professionals to ordinary Kenyans, while also using SMS to promote the dissemination of health information.
Formed in March last year, Health Advisor aims to make it easy to find medical consultation in Kenya by providing the physical location of all legally registered consultants, telephone numbers and the days they are available.
“This helps reduce the chances of visiting “quacks”, as sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between a genuine healthcare provider and a “quack”,” said founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Eric Kinoti.
“With time we also noted how much health information and news was available through the papers both locally and internationally, but very few people can afford to buy a paper daily.”
With this in mind, Health Advisor also allows users to receive daily health news, links and tips through their mobile phone, six days a week, in the form of an SMS. The SMS contains a link that leads to both national and international health news, health jobs, and tips.
“What makes us unique is that we have continuously engaged users online and offline to the point of online engagements,” Kinoti said.
There is a very big gap when it comes to getting information to communities regarding healthcare. One of the reasons is because of the regulations that are involved in marketing healthcare. In an era where we are losing over 10,000 patients annually to other countries in health, it’s the high time we brand our hospitals to make sure the mass exodus of patients reduces.”
Health Advisor is bootstrapped, with the team reinvesting the money it has made so far. Revenues come from running PR and communications campaigns for healthcare organisations, with Health Advisor having made KES3 million (US$29,000) in revenues so far.