Africa: Hello Doctor will now be on call for MTN customers

Africa: Hello Doctor will now be on call for MTN customers

By bdlive Staff writer:

MTN Group would offer mobile health services across its markets after it partnered with Hello Doctor, a subsidiary of Metropolitan Health, it said on Tuesday.The adoption of cell phones including smart devices and applications are enabling the provision of healthcare services.

Hello Doctor acts as an assistant to local general practitioners (GP) when consumers want a quick healthcare reference before seeing their GP or rushing off to the hospital. MTN customers can download a Hello Doctor application (app), which provides free content that is updated daily, providing access to healthcare advice, answers to health-related questions in live group chat forums, confidential one-on-one text conversation with a doctor, and the ability to receive a call back from a doctor within 60 minutes. The Hello Doctor app works off both smart-and selected feature phones.

MTN Group chief commercial officer Pieter Verkade said Hello Doctor "brings essential healthcare information to our customers’ fingertips".

MTN will roll out the service over 18 months starting in South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon and Rwanda.

Hello Doctor will partner with local doctor networks in each market to ensure users get access to doctors for advice and guidance in their own language. The service would also be integrated with existing healthcare services that MTN already offered such the "midwife" programme in Ghana, MTN said.

"Technology has made a huge impact on how the industry delivers healthcare. Hello Doctor believes that its innovative offering across multiple technological platforms and its partnership with MTN, will allow us to work toward affordable and accessible healthcare for all," Hello Doctor director Craig Townsend said.

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MTN will also launch a supplementary data service as part of the initiative. Customers will be able to pay for Hello Doctor services such as House Call, which allows telephonic access to a doctor day and night.

Hello Doctor was launched in 2009 and has more than 600,000 users in South Africa.

In another announcement on Tuesday, Middle East and Africa telecoms operator Etisalat said it had formed a partnership with MTN to extend their regional network reach via Etisalat SmartHub.