An NGO, Doctors on Call Health Support Initiative, has created a mobile medical app called “NovaDoc’’ which can connect patients with medical practitioners without them leaving their homes.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Dr Adejobi Adeloye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the app was created to fill some gaps in the nation’s healthcare delivery system.
Adeloye, who is a trained surgeon, said that at present there were no fewer than 100,000 users of the NovaDoc mobile application.
“This app created in 2010 and registered in the country in June 2014 is available on play store.
“l looked at it that in Africa, quite a number of people are just dropping dead or falling ill and failing to access emergency health services.
“Also, the healthcare system in the country is such that practitioners can go on strike at any time and the masses end up suffering.
“Hence, the need for an app that you can download on your phone for emergency services.’’
Adeloye said that 95 per cent of Nigerians were using the android phones, while the remaining five per cent were using IOS phones and the “NovaDoc is available on the android phones’’.
“The app provides a 24-hour each day of every week (24/7) personal medical alarm and Doctor-On-Call system designed to help people to live more independent and active lives.
“All alarms are handled by qualified nurses with the press of a button, and you are in contact with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week,’’ the medical practitioner said.
The CEO said that the app was created to meet the needs of the elderly, the under-served and displaced people in the society who required medical assistance at one point or the other.
According to him, the NovaDoc mobile app provides healthcare solution that leverages on emerging technologies to alleviate the challenges of delivering optimum healthcare in a resource-challenged environment.
Adeloye said that there was no cost attached to downloading the app, adding that it was also configured with multi-lingual features that would make it easy for doctors and patients to have perfect interactions on health issues.
“The app allows doctors and patients to communicate in local Nigerian languages such as Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. The service is also available all over Nigeria,’’ he said.
Adeloye said. “Once a user taps the app, it sends an `I Need Help’ alert to the NGO and automatically sends your name and GPS location.’’
The telemedicine expert said that through this way, they would know where the patient was and also manually locate the nearest hospitals to the location.
“The app is designed in such a way that patients can include their relatives’ phone numbers, so that in a situation where they cannot pick calls, other family numbers can be dialed.
“We will assess the situation and send whatever assistance you require whether that means calling a neighbour, friend or family member, you can be rest assured knowing that help is on the way,’’ he said.
In addition, Adeloye disclosed that a new medical transport mobile app called `Amber’, which would operate like Uber, would be launched by July end to complement NovaDoc.
Adeloye said that just like the Uber App, the Amber would provide links to emergency medical transport, which would pick patients, give them first aid and life support as they were being conveyed to the hospital.
He said that just like other transport apps, the Amber would show the face, the phone number and number plate of the driver that would pick the patient.
According to him, the patient will be able to see the estimated time of arrival of the driver.
“The drivers will be trained as first responders on first aid and life support, so that in case of emergencies they can help out before taking the patient to the nearest hospital.
“Such drivers will have undergone certain due diligence processes to be sure that they are not kidnappers,’’ Adeloye said.
The NGO, Doctors on Call Health Support Initiative is registered as a Not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide sustainable application in First Aid, Telemedicine, e-Medical Solutions and Mobile Medical Response.
This includes knowing what to do and how to act in confidence in any given medical situation.