Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Explain your project in details:
Africas low life expectancy and high infant mortality rates are a direct consequence of health access inequalities, which have been exacerbated in West Africa since the 2014 Ebola outbreak. There are five key drivers limiting access to quality care in Cameroon and the region at large: distance, accessibility, resources, risk and stigma. iDocta has a solution that addresses all of these factors by leveraging technology to bring quality care to the least accessible regions in Africa. iDocta is an app-based telemedicine project capable of connecting patients, community health workers, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians through instant messaging, image transfer, video conferencing, and home visits.Currently, iDocta is a platform that connects patients and their loved ones to a network of over 150 community healthcare workers, nurses, lab technicians, and doctors capable of providing care for patients in Cameroon, wherever they are. By creating community antennas and training community health workers on the use of the app, we will be able to increase access to quality healthcare and therefore reduce the burden of both infectious and non-communicable diseases. iDocta aims to bring quality healthcare to those who currently do not have access in Africa. When defining competition, iDocta looks at organizations that are doing something similar as potential partners, not competitors, because we are all trying to achieve the same goal. Competition comes into play when iDocta is evaluating our unique value proposition to potential lenders and investors.While the African continent is who iDocta aims to serve, the primary paying customers will be the diaspora in Europe and the United States. By utilizing an online payment platform and electronic medical records iDocta enables the African diaspora to support healthcare for their family members residing in Africa.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
1. Reducing the risks of nosocomial infections by taking care of patients at their home.2. Improving the quality of life for HIV/AIDS victims: stigmatization is a huge barrier to adherence in people living with AIDS but fortunately iDocta can improve access to care management in a more private setting. 3. Health Education: The presence of fixed and mobile clinics will also play a role in prevention of disease through health education, especially in the rising of non-communicable diseases.4. Health equity: iDocta technology aims to improve and increase the training of health professional and ensure that the same quality of care is provided throughout the continent, irrespective of location.5. Health Surveillance: iDocta increases a countrys ability to quickly observe and respond to health crisis and would prevent another catastrophic delay like Ebola, where it took three months to declare there was a public health issue. Ultimately, whether it be an elderly grandmother in Cameroon whose family lives in the United States, a HIV patient ashamed to walk into a clinic, or a mother caught in traffic en route to the hospital with her sick child, iDocta is developing a network of medical experts to alleviate their burdens. We expect that participation in iDocta will improve patient health outcomes in both urban and rural settings. We will conduct trials in urban settings to compare medication adherence and disease-specific outcomes between chronic disease patients enrolled in iDocta and chronic disease patients receiving the usual standard of care. In rural settings, we will conduct trials to compare the utilization of the local health structures, health care expenditures, and overall mortality between communities enrolled in iDocta and communities not enrolled.
Sustainability and future plans
While iDocta aims to serve the African continent, we foresee the primary paying customers will be the diaspora in Europe and the United States. By utilizing an online payment platform and electronic medical records iDocta enables the African diaspora to support healthcare for their family members residing in Africa. The remittance market is almost $40B per year and continues to rise. The ability to not only send money back to loved ones but also ensure they are afforded access to quality healthcare is something iDocta will be able to provide the market. iDocta is also exploring the health insurance market for African diaspora.Currently, patients and their family members are requesting our services on our website, Facebook, and phone and iDocta receives 30% of all medical and iConsultation fees paid either in cash or via mobile banking. Having only launched a few months ago with no marketing aside from word of mouth, we do not have audited financial statements but we are receiving ~2 requests for physicians and nurses per day and we have registered over 130 medical workers. We also sell health packages, whereby family members or patients can purchase care for a set period of time (e.g. 1 month in which a physician and nurse visit a patient on an agreed upon schedule).Our primary operating costs will be:- Marketing expenses, which will be primarily through social media platforms to the diaspora and local population- Website and application maintenance- The kits that we hope to provide iDoctas, which we are still conducting procurement research on iDocta is an asset lite business where the key costs will be incurred up front in the application development stage.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Yannick Stéphane MBARGA ETOUNDI is a Doctor of Pharmacy and manages the follow-up of the HIV patients in the HIV Section at the Military Hospital in Douala, Cameroon. In addition, he is currently a Masters student in Bacteriology and Virology at the Doctoral School of Douala University. Yannick earned his bachelor's degree at the Université des Montagnes in western Cameroon and completed his Doctorate of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences of Douala University in 2016, after which he scored first on the National Comprehensive Clinical and Therapeutic Examination. He received his military training at the Ecole Militaire Interarmées in Yaounde and currently serves in the Cameroonian army as Pharmacist with the rank of Captain at the Douala Military Hospital and as director of the Douala Military Hospital School of Nursing. Yannick created a mobile app to fight the phenomenon of counterfeit medications and founded a web- and mobile-based telemedicine platform (idocta.cm) to render existing health professionals more accessible to patients. He has also collaborated with Yale University and MSF/Epicentre in the implementation of research on malaria and non-communicable diseases. In the future, Yannick seeks to scale-up idocta across Cameroon and other West and Central African countries and to complete a master's in public health.