iSikCure launched in Kenya to facilitate national healthcare access

  • New app developed to improve access to quality care and safe medicine
  • Boehringer Ingelheim has supported the launch through its global CSR program ‘Making More Health’, a core driver of social entrepreneurship, innovation and co-creation
  • iSikCure aims to reach 20% of Kenyan private healthcare facilities and 14% of households partner with two large distributors to increase access to a wide range of medicines by the end of 2017

NAIROBI, KENYA–1st March, 2017: A new integrated health app has been launched in the country to enable Kenyans access medical practitioners for a range of solutions to their health conditions from the comfort of their mobile phones.

The app known as iSikCure, launched today at the Sarova Panafric Hotel, is a subscription free project that aims at improving access levels to quality care and safe medicine across Kenya.

The app is a service that offers convenience and choice with a range of benefits for the patients and providers.

iSikCure has been developed with the support of Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella Making More Health (MMH). MMH is a global initiative in partnership with Ashoka, a global organization that identifies and invests in leading innovative and practical ideas to solve social challenges.

Through iSikCure, patients can connect and communicate with doctors, laboratories, pharmacies and wellness providers, and pay for the health services received from their mobile phones. This helps to enable them to save on the overall cost of care and medicines. It further provides convenience, control and preference.

Similarly, health providers benefit from increased traffic to members’ facilities, manage schedule and wait-times through mobile phones, get pre-paid by patients of family members near and far, earn loyalty MedPoints that can be redeemed when purchasing medicines from distributors and receive a preferred access to select brands and generic medicines from participating distributors at whole sale price.

Serial Entrepreneur, and Ashoka Fellow, Dr. Moka Lantum, CEO of Sagitarix Limited, and the founder of iSikCure said, “Access has always been an ongoing issue, coupled with the affordability of care which is reflected in the USD 5.3 billion in unmet demand for medicines in East Africa. This is due to multiple complications such as unsafe medicines, counterfeit and variable drug costs.”

In Kenya, 1.7 million households report an illness every four weeks[1]. Additionally, approximately six million adult Kenyans with diabetes and hypertension need follow-up care every four weeks[2]. Yet, access to information on where, when and how to seek quality care, diagnostics and medicines is a challenge for households in Kenya and in Africa as a whole.

Dr. Moka also noted, “The iSikCure app effectively addresses the many challenges patients and healthcare providers face, from having direct access to available services, to having patient record on-line securely. It further provides a real added value service to all players in the healthcare sector in Kenya and across Africa.

iSikCure is built on a strong innovation platform that connects patients to the right healthcare services, and ensures that care received is safe, affordable and of high quality. This unique platform adds more value to Kenya’s healthcare system by providing convenient, trustworthy, and a fully integrated solution to patients, healthcare providers, distributors and wholesalers, as well as employers. “

Dr. Mohamed Bayoumy, Country Head of Boehringer Ingelheim in Saudi Arabia and iSikcure Project Manager said, “Our work is directed towards enhancing the level of healthcare in Kenya, and support in developing the right infrastructure. At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are committed to driving stronger health outcomes across the continuum of care in Kenya to address a broad range of challenges that include general lack of awareness around chronic diseases and risk factors, poor infrastructure for care of acute and chronic diseases, along with the emergency of priority disease areas such as hypertension, diabetes and stroke.”

The launch of iSikCure comes as part of the‘Making More Health’, a long-term initiative and partnership between Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka that aims at driving social and economic impact across the healthcare sector.

It works by facilitating innovation and social entrepreneurship for enhanced health while also fostering the co-creation of new and sustainable business modules to bring business and knowledge together and ultimately drive social value across local communities.

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About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies.

Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates presently with a total of some 50,000 employees worldwide.

The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social projects through, for example, the initiative “Making More Health” while also caring for employees. Respect, equal opportunity and reconciling career and family form the foundation of mutual cooperation. The company also focuses on environmental protection and sustainability in everything it does.

In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion Euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of net sales.

For more information please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com

About Making More Health

Making More Health (MMH) is a global initiative by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim in cooperation with Ashoka, a non-governmental organisation.

Aiming to improve healthcare for people worldwide MMH pursues a multitude of approaches to finding solutions and tailoring these solutions to specific projects.

“By supporting and connecting social entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry, Boehringer Ingelheim seeks to have an impact on improving health beyond its core business. We do not want to limit ourselves to linear approaches to solutions. Indeed, since the initiative’s inception, we have focused on a multitude of issues and activities while supporting lateral thinking and networking. Making More Health also plays a very significant role within the company. We want to show our employees how important it is to be dedicated to social issues because it fosters new ways of thinking beyond traditional approaches,” explains Manuela Pastore, manager of Making More Health at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Boehringer Ingelheim employees can become involved in Making More Health in a variety of ways. With the MMH Executive in Residence Program, Boehringer Ingelheim employees go on location to support the projects of social entrepreneurs. The MMH Youth Venture Program supports the next generation in developing solutions for the healthcare industry, thereby encouraging social entrepreneurship and action.

About iSikCure

ISikCure is a subscription-free, project co-created with Ashoka and Boehringer Ingelheim along with a number of local partners as part of the international ‘Making More Health’ initiative, with an underlying mission to improve access to quality care and safe medicine. It is a service that helps patients or households to conveniently find qualified doctors, laboratory services and original medicines when in need of care. The service runs on a mobile application that offers convenience and choice with lots of benefits for patients and providers. Leading industry experts have called iSikCure – ‘The Future of Healthcare’.

[1]Source: 2013 Kenya Household Health Expenditure & Utilization Survey

[2] PM Chege (2016). Multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors in rural Kenya: evidence from a health and demographic surveillance system using the WHO STEP-wise approach to chronic disease risk factor surveillance. South African Family Practice, 58:2, 54-61

Written by Nduta Wambura

Nduta Wambura is a certified Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate

Website: http://www.ask-thenutritionist.com