How do you build the #YAPILI, happy family? This question, the Yapili medical app, had to answer it from the first day of its launch! It was a textbook case of a Digital inception, that AB-SO-LU-TE-LY needs to succeed… for the App to survive, as a Business! → It will need, rely and thrive on a dynamic community, a strong digital footprint, and its eagerness to connect and progress.
Creating groups and forums to enable users and doctors to connect or follow-up on a procedure, or simply to connect amongst users in a C2C SETUP, etc…will be vital: Healthcare is still a sore problem in most part of the emerging continent of Africa, as explained by the Stanford Business School in the USA.
→ Even if, minerals and means of connections like mobile phones, are of course, really dominant from the mining of #Coltan in RDC & Rwanda, to the actual high penetration (79% of the population, second only to Asia, globally) of mobile phone users, all over the continent.
… However, the uphill challenges that Yapilli will face are not for kids! it’s serious! Healthcare is a ‘serious’ issue where data protection and privacy, have to be taken into account even when you want to connect a Doctor in Rotterdam and a taxi driver in Cairo or Naïrobi!
The ‘funny thing’ being that #Yapili is still looking for ‘Market Activators’ as they call it, near you in: Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Well … Seedstars Gaborone believed in the project so much, that they decided to provide seed funding for one of the most ambitious projects of the year 2017, especially as some still believe that…
“…Healthcare in Africa, is still more valuable than Bitcoin! “
- ADMPAWARDS : Hello ! Can you please, introduce yourself and your startup?
#YAPILI :YAPILI connects African people to licensed physicians, both locally and internationally. Health advice & follow up & digital records. #Health@Hand. YAPILI is a peer-to-peer web platform and Android App offering new opportunities for many Africans to connect to local and western health professionals in an efficient and confidential way. In the societies, where professional health advice is hard & expensive to get, YAPILI offers affordable, anonymous and secure channel to seek medical care in case of pregnancy & family planning, diabetes & hypertension, HIV & sexual health, mental health and lifestyle diseases, as well as primary care questions.
From May 2017 to date, our pre-investment & proof of concept phase has allowed us to onboard more than 1000 users and 100 doctors onto the platform resulting in 3000 health related messages exchanged on our network. In October 2017, YAPILI won The Spindle’s Public Award Best Innovation award at the Partos Innovation Festival in Amsterdam. In November 2017, YAPILI won the Seedstars Gaborone 2017 Startup Competition and will be representing Botswana at the Global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April 2018. Most recently, we got nominated for The Hague Innovators Challenge 2018!
2. ADMP AWARDS : #WoW! Easy Tiger! :))- When did you Start Yapili, then ?
#YAPILI YAPILI concept was born in November 2014 by a group of four young entrepreneurs who met in East Africa through the startup incubator, Ampion, and had a conviction that everyone must have a right to a quality health advice from a licensed doctor.
In absence of a sufficient number of doctors in many African countries and the lacking underlying infrastructure and financial barriers to access healthcare, we turned our focus to designing and implementing technology that would enable direct communication between the mobile users in Africa and licensed healthcare professionals within and beyond the African borders.
Eventually our team grew to include skills ranging from front-end development to public health and policy expertise. In October 2016, we incorporated our organisation in The Hague and received an overwhelming level of support from our partners to set up the platform from the legal, technical and marketing perspectives. Thanks to this, in May 2017, we launched the peer-to-peer web platform and mobile-based app.
Currently our team consists of 3 specified groups: business development, health analytics, software development and market activators. We are a small team of 11 people working in different corners of the world to complement each other’s skills and cultural backgrounds.
3- ADMP Awards: Amazing so far…However, is Yapili, really solving a specific problem??
#YAPILI : YAPILI aims to solve a wide spectrum of multifaceted problems; from the individual level to the international-development level. We want to facilitate the connection between a patient and a doctor by leveraging the high level of smartphone usage and connectivity in our targeted African countries.
- Access to quality healthcare services is difficult for the vast majority of Africans. Many live great distances from the clinic, must wait in long lines, and pay unaffordable fees. Among other issues: sexual health is highly stigmatized; there is a lack of awareness and data collection on the rapid emergence of non-communicable diseases; such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension;
- Medical records are still an issue as patients must keep hold of handwritten records – which are easily lost or forgotten! Different clinics are reluctant to share their patients’ records and often view each other’s notes as illegitimate or incomprehensible. YAPILI allows users to digitize their medical records.
- There is a vast use of social media (particularly Facebook groups) for individuals to share information and questions about their illnesses often resulting in the diffusion of false information which is dangerous and is definitely a contributing factor to public health outbreaks. Throughout our involvement and research on social-media, we notice that myth related to medical advice is rapidly diffused on Facebook groups that have over a thousand users. Similarly, Google-searching the possible causes of symptoms is a popular activity taken up by millions of global participants! We want to provide a reliable and secure method for people to seek medical advice.
- Sexual and mental health are highly stigmatized in many African societies. In some communities, there are no channels (support groups or health professionals) where individuals can seek sexual or mental health advice.
‘’ To solve this problem, our app provides a confidential platforms for any health advice.”
Further down the line, we want to also facilitate simple follow-ups between doctors and patients and allow for our YAPILI-Doctors to refer and prescribe. For this we need partnerships with the Ministry of Health and local pharmacies.
YAPILI brings the innovative model to healthcare and relies on three elements leading it to success at scale: real-time, crowd-based and peer-to-peer. YAPILI leads by example in terms of data privacy and safety and security of the platform.
3. ADMP AWARDS : Interesting! Congratulations for your Seedstars Gaborone Award! Africa needs it! How does it works? How did you go about winning it?
#YAPILI: In July, we visited Gaborone mainly to conduct market research and promote YAPILI at different public venues and innovation events. Since we are based in the Netherlands, it is incredibly important for us to understand our target-markets in order for YAPILI to fill gaps and satisfy needs. We met with the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), which is an entity that is central to the start-up scene in Botswana. We received the news for the Seedstars Gaborone competition through BIH.
By the time we learned about the competition:
“ We only had 24 hours to sign-up! Once we signed-up, we were nominated. “
END OF PART I. – #Health@Hand! –
- The follow-up will be published on Friday 08/12/17 @ 17H17 !! –
If you are interested in helping #YAPILI scaling-up across Africa: Let’s get in touch! :))- → Are you interested in mHealth, telehealth, #Healtech, digital innovation, healthcare, promotion, marketing and/or business development? Yapili is looking for “Market Activators” in Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe !!
Thank you, you’re Far Too KinD! :))-
ITW by #Hermann Djoumessi, MA – ADMP Senior Crypto-Consultant & Editor.
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