By Mwakwaya Raymond
HealthX, a fully equipped, and virtual medical facility has commenced its services in Kenya.
The innovative locally founded healthcare provider will utilize digital platforms to provide next generation telemedicine and telemonitoring services, giving Kenyans access to high quality healthcare.
Through the integrated telehealth platform, patients will have 24/7 access to qualified and licensed healthcare professionals who have specialized telehealth training through video or voice calls, and live chat.
The services will be offered on a transparent subscription model that the entity says is affordable.
Mr Onesimus Kamau, the Director of Health Informatics Division in the Ministry of Health, while speaking at the launch said that adoption of telemedicine concept is aligned to the Universal Health Coverage goals and the Health Act 2017. Those goals recognize the use of technologies in provision of care.
The informatics division boss said: “Telemedicine in Kenya is at its infancy stages and the government is committed to providing an enabling environment to spur investment in health innovations.
“The eHealth bill 2020, which is underdevelopment, promotes and regulates the provision of care through telemedicine applications which once enacted by parliament, will improve the interactions between service providers and clients.”
He opined that it creates a mechanism of safe and secure delivery of health services in Kenya.
Currently, there are discussions to start offering telemedicine between National Referral Hospitals like KNH and Isiolo to address disparities in access to care, he revealed.”
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many consumers to embrace telehealth services at a faster rate than anticipated in the previous decade.
According to a global analysis done by Mckinsey & Company in July 2021, over 40 percent of patients are willing to continue using telehealth services. In pre-Covid-19 period, a mere 11 percent were using it.
This is a pointer that investments in virtual health are therefore expected to grow as traditional healthcare providers also receive market pressure to innovate.
Qaizer Manji, HealthX Africa CEO, noted there is a positive shift in innovations in the healthcare as a matter of necessity such as the one presented by Covid-19.
Other pushing factors include increased digital connectivity, more willingness by providers to re-invent their modes of service delivery and also regulatory changes, Mr Manji says.
“We believe HealthX will make a major contribution towards the achievement of universal and quality healthcare in Kenya,” he adds.
Mr Manji also feels that telehealth innovations would help reduce congestion in healthcare facilities, lower costs for patients and give users access to educational healthcare content to help prevent diseases.
HealthX has partnered with TruDoc 24×7, a leading population health management provider with extensive experience in the provision of integrated virtual healthcare services in Middle East and North Africa.