Bisa which means ask in the Ghanaian language twi is a mobile platform that allows the public access to doctors and other healthcare practitioners using their mobile devices (both smart and non-smart phones). This is an advantage to people who need medical care and advice but are not able to visit the hospital for various reasons such as poverty, delays because of long queues at the hospital and the fear of stigmatization, especially for people who have symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), which makes them embarrassed to seek the needed treatment.
For the aforementioned reasons and many others, there is a gap in the delivery of healthcare which needs to be plugged, to allow patients obtain medical attention cheaply and easily when needed, as healthcare is a basic amenity which should be available to all, regardless of socioeconomic status, location, religion, race or gender. Bisa Health Application was developed by Amazing Mobile Health Limited as a solution to address the disparity in access to healthcare using modern technology.
Bisa Health Application aims to be the pioneer of telemedicine in Africa on two major fronts; firstly in information dissemination with regards to disease prevention and control and secondly, in connecting patients to doctors through the use of technology. Over 11,000 people died during the ebola crisis of 2014 because of late detection and lack of information for the doctors to adequately deal with and control the spread of the disease.
Using the data gathered on the Bisa Health platform, whilst adhering to doctor – patient confidentiality, health experts will be able to detect outbreaks of diseases at an early stage and decision makers can also implement health policies that will improve healthcare delivery to people and communities. Bisa is a social enterprise to help drive the public healthcare delivery agenda in Ghana and Senegal.
Bisa allows users to have access to health advice from the comfort of their home, eliminating the need for long and costly journeys to the hospitals. This is important for the poorer populations and those living in rural areas.
The fact that a doctor can be reached without having to travel to and queue at the hospital / clinic may also encourage people to seek health advice more quickly, instead of waiting for their condition to worsen, therefore the number of preventable deaths and burden of illness can be reduced. Women, who often do not seeking advice on their sexual health for fear of stigmatization, will be able to confidentially consult with a doctor, thereby empowering them to get informed on their options for family planning.
The Bisa platform is a portal to create awareness for medical problems and diseases such as child mortality, maternal death, malaria, and sexual diseases including HIV/AIDS. Our platform can be used to improve national surveillance and case reporting of Neglected Tropical Diseases- cases that may never be reported otherwise. The data obtained from the public, also means that Bisa is able to alert the Ministry of Health when there is an outbreak of a disease.
Consequently, through use of the Bisa app, access to healthcare advice will be easier, cheaper, safer and quicker for Africans, meaning that more people will be able to seek help more quickly when they are sick. In this way, we hope that disease mortality and morbidity rates in Senegal will over time be reduced.With more people receiving health advice through their mobile phone, the burden on hospital doctors and the long queues at public health centers will over time be reduced. As a result, doctors will have more time to treat patients with urgent health problems or those that require a physical examination. The lower pressure on hospitals will also reduce the cost to society of public healthcare.
Furthermore, with people receiving health care advice more quickly, it is likely that the number of lost work hours due to illness and disability will eventually be reduced.