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For Immediate Release
As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and no close
contact rules affect the practice of medicine. In China, video visits are being
used to provide a virtual diagnosis of the virus.
SASAdoctor is a Nairobi based company that operates an end to end virtual
medical clinic that allows patients to seek medical consultation by live video
conferencing. Patients receive medical assessments and/or diagnosis and
treatment plans; prescriptions or labs Patients can pay by mobile money or
use their medical insurance. Most major insurance companies accept
SASAdoctor consultations. For those who do not have medical cover; there
will be a subscription available for as low as 300 Ksh a month for unlimited
visits to see a doctor.
Francis Osiemo and Arif Amlani of SASAdoctor have sent a proposal to the
Government through the DG, CS, to assist with the COVID 19 crisis. This is
a follow-up proposal to a proposal last year assisting with UHC Universal
Health Care that included free visits to a doctor over Video visits for all
Kenyans regardless of whether they were members of NHIF or not.
On this matter, we have not received a response to the company’s
overtures. However, we have applied to an initiative by the Kenya Health
Federation, and we are waiting for an outcome on that initiative.
Clinicians on the SASAdoctor app cannot confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis on
live video. What they can do is screen patients, assign a risk category,
clarify any concerns, and recommend the next steps for the patient.
Video consultations through the SASAdoctor app offer a safe
alternative for seeking medical advice quickly.Accessing SASAdoctor app services requires possession of a smartphone and internet access. 60% of conditions can be diagnosed and treated via live video consultations on the SASAdoctor App. People in rural areas can get consultations with specialists without having to travel since telemedicine offers them the option of seeing a doctor virtually. There is an acute shortage of specialist medical consultants in rural areas, and this forces patients to travel long distances to see specialists or obtain lab and diagnostic test results.
Telemedicine and Video Visits reduces the cost of care. Doctors can work from anywhere. The option of following up with patients reduces the need to admit patients due to concerns about aftercare. This also ensures the patients adhere to doctor guidelines to prevent readmission.
It is vital to create solutions to ensure that healthcare concerns do not
compromise people’s ability to social distance. The COVID-19 pandemic
has the possibility of overwhelming our healthcare system.
Telemedicine offers the opportunity to minimize hospital visits for patients who may not need to be at the hospital.
Chief Operating Officer