VENTURES AFRICA – As technology continues to play a major role in Africa’s healthcare system, mobile and web-based health communication platform, FolUp, was officially launched in South Africa to provide patients with a secure platform on which they can actively participate in their health management process.
The innovative social online healthcare tool allows physicians and patients to collaborate and actively participate in improving care and patient satisfaction. The platform also allows patients to anonymously build networks, or ‘circles of care’, to find support and engage with patients with similar conditions.
The platform work as part of a web ecosystem, allowing patients to connect with existing forums, medical apps and software that will interface with a myriad of medical apps, peripheral devices and self-help tools in the mobile health (mhealth) market.
Co-founder and director of FolUp South Africa, Simon Spurr, said, “Managing complex diseases is a difficult undertaking for health professionals and patients alike.”
He added that “Clinicians’ time for patients is often limited, which can leave them feeling isolated. Through improved patient monitoring and doctor feedback, this platform provides an overview of the entire health patient experience and has the ability to increase patients’ control over their diseases, levels of emotional well-being and accelerate patient healing.”
Spurr explained that “Patient feedback is extremely valuable and technology is the best medium to assist doctors in gathering this information to gain deeper insight and improve symptom monitoring, diagnosis, treatment and overall patient care.”
Through patients’ dashboards, doctors will have access to information, insights and trends collated patient entries, diaries, games and blogs.
He believes that “This new type of communication between doctors and patients will also optimise consultations through providing insight into new symptoms, side effects, mood disorders and quality of life issues.”
Spurr concluded that “With more than 20 million South Africans living with a chronic disease, which account for 70% of all deaths, this technology has the potential to fundamentally alter the economics of patient care.”