How DiaspoCare Leveraged Technology to Facilitate Care Across Continents
April 25, 2022
Written by: Samantha Winters
When you are in the United States or Europe and your Mother is in Kenya suffering from a debilitating disease like diabetes, how do you help? Some might say - just send money. But it’s not that simple. Healthcare remittances are often diverted to other household needs or used to purchase counterfeit medications from unscrupulous street vendors. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, as much as 30% of drugs sold in some African Countries are substandard or falsified medical products and Africa accounts for more than 42% of global drug counterfeited seizures.
This is why DiaspoCare was founded - to ensure your relatives back home have access to quality care and medication when you are away, by using its mobile App for care coordination and efficient cross-border payments directly to providers. With a focus on Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, DiaspoCare’s goal is to help at least 20 million Africans, currently excluded from the health care system, access affordable quality medicines and health services by 2030.
DiaspoCare extended its offering with an application, which leverages the Purview Expert View platform to automate aspects of the consultation process. Automating processes reduces overhead, allowing DiaspoCare to pass the savings to the patients and their families. Automating aspects of the process was also important to ensure the program could scale as it grew. The density of doctors is usually less than 4 per 10,000 people in Africa, so DiaspoCare taps into the vast pool of African physicians and pharmacists practicing outside of the continent to augment its network.
“It is estimated that one out of two African physicians practices medicine outside of Africa. We are extremely excited about the possibility of tapping into that vast knowledge that exists outside the African continent, but also eliminating distance and improving access to care,” says Serge-Alain Wandji, President, CEO, and Co-Founder of DiaspoCare.
One of the benefits of leveraging a mobile friendly platform for uploading medical records, Wandji says, is the ease of use for patients, who generally don’t have access to broadband and computers, but do have smart phones. “When you consider the African market, we don’t expect many people to have tablets and laptops they can use to upload files. ”But with Purview’s image uploader, patients can quickly take a picture on their cell phone and share it with their providers.”
Dr. Edwin Bogonko, DiaspoCare’s Chief Medical Officer, added that Purview’s transcription feature can reduce time physicians spend documenting patient encounters. When a provider is caring for thousands of people at any given time, this can make a significant difference in their workload and free them up to focus on the patient in front of them.
“As a physician, I can tell you the biggest headache is the mountain of documentation,” says Bogonko. “If the system also transcribes for the physician to edit, that’s a big, big deal.”
Finally, DiaspoCare is excited to connect their patients and providers to expert physicians, pharmacists and radiologists practicing outside of the continent, since they have a good understanding and appreciation of the culture and context of their health outcomes.
“You can’t underestimate the value of a second opinion expert who can have a very specific interaction with the patient and his provider at the cultural level” says Wandji. “Those are intangibles that we think will contribute to their health.”