PharmAccess: The mobile platform leading healthcare and insurance innovation
PharmAccess Foundation and CarePay developed a mobile and digital health platform that has the potential to fundamentally change healthcare. With a mobile phone in hand, anyone can have access to healthcare. The platform is built on top of mobile money platforms and can be introduced anywhere in the world. The digital health platform offers people a unified health contract against very low marginal costs. All transactions on the platform are initiated by the individual patient and the resulting treatment and claim is automatically billed to the pre-contracted underwriter.
PharmAccess Foundation is an international NGO, with a digital agenda dedicated to offer low-income groups in Africa better healthcare. Working with CarePay, a transformational Kenyan IT company and Safaricom, Kenya’s leading communications company, they have launched a revolutionary mobile health platform in Kenya, called M-TIBA.
Since launching in 2015, the platform has been rolled out to other countries including Nigeria and Tanzania and is gaining international recognition for its potential for developing countries. As well as attention by insurers in developed markets. The digital health platform enables people and families to pay for healthcare services on their mobile phones with a mobile health wallet that works on every phone. People can use the digital health platform to pay for healthcare and insurance.
Power with the individual
By introducing a digital health platform on people’s mobile phone, they make sure that the power lies with the individual. The process of accessing care is digitally triggered by the individual, and the submission of a claim by the clinic is authorized by the patient. The wallet can be used at a clinic as a proof of insurance, and clinics can submit claims on the digital health platform. This automatic, smart payment solution replaces all pen-and paper manual tasks. Claims are transferred to the insurer automatically and once adjudicated by the insurer on the platform can be paid out instantly. The industry impact includes more transparent, lower administration costs and swift payments to clinics.
In 2017, the digital health platform received the FT/IFC Transformational Business Award in the category Achievement in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention. CarePay was recognized as a Technology Pioneer 2018 by the World Economic Forum which acknowledges companies that are designing, developing and deploying new technologies that can have a significant impact on business and society. Previous Technology Pioneers were, among others, Google, Facebook, Dropbox and AirBnb.
Where are they now?
Over 1,000 healthcare providers and 1,4 million users in Africa have already joined PharmAccess with more than 100,000 users joining every month. In the coming 2 years they expect to grow to 10 million users in Africa, as they are supporting the roll out of private and public health insurance schemes across states in Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania to implement with a combined population of 30 million.
The digital fingerprint allows to assess income, behavior and identity. The data that is gathered through the platform allows for accurate product pricing and customer segmentation and makes it possible to monitor the journey and quality of healthcare treatments, to measure and reduce the costs of a treatment which paves the way towards smart contracting of clinics based on treatment protocols and results.
Why in Africa?
The digital health platform was launched in Africa for many reasons; a mobile revolution has made it possible to reach everyone, with mobile payment solutions growing explosively. But more importantly, this is where the need is highest.
The reality is that in many of the countries where we have launched the platform, less than 10% of the population is covered by health insurance. Many families are pushed into poverty when they need to spend money on healthcare. Meanwhile the health systems are paper-based and inefficient, and a lack of transparency and data in health insurance and a low quality of care leads to high costs.
The recent commitment of many African governments towards Universal Health Care is top of the agenda. Currently, PharmAccess and CarePay are supporting private sector insurance programs as well as Public Health Insurance programs in Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, where governments are increasing coverage with health insurance to a combined total of 30 million Africans.
How it works
Why we selected PharmAccess for DIA Munich
PharmAccess believes in doing healthcare better. With a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, they work on improving the whole system so that everyone has access to care when they need it, not just when they can afford it.
At DIA Munich they showcaseded the platform and explained the impact it has on the world of health care and health insurance. Presenters will be Njide Ndili, Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation in Nigeria, and Kees van Lede, CEO of CarePay.
Who are PharmAccess & CarePay?
PharmAccess was founded in 2001 by Dr. Joep Lange, the world-renowned HIV/AIDS researcher who went against the status quo in 2001 when he proved that working with the private sector could play a critical role in delivering life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa. With a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, PharmAccess works on improving the whole healthcare system. This means mobilizing private and public resources, measuring and improving quality, and reaching even the most excluded through simple technologies like the mobile phone. This approach to healthcare is designed to ensure that everyone has access to better care when they need it, not just when they can afford it.
PharmAccess Foundation is based in Amsterdam, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
”If we can get cold Coca-Cola and beer to every remote corner of Africa, it should not be impossible to do the same with drugs.” Joep Lange, Founder of PharmAccess (1954-2014)
Founded in 2015, CarePay began its life by partnering with PharmAccess and the telecommunications company Safaricom. This partnership brought together an understanding of healthcare market needs (PharmAccess), IT (CarePay) and mobile money and telecommunications (Safaricom). The partners identified that the mobile revolution taking place in Kenya could act as a springboard for disrupting the way that healthcare markets were working. With mobile technology, transaction costs can be cut, and trust in the healthcare system can be improved and more people can be reached.
Carepay is based in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and The Netherlands.
Monique Dolfing, CEO PharmAccess, Njide Ndili, Country Director Nigeria PharmAccess, Onno Schellekens, CEO CarePay International, Kees van Lede, CEO Carepay Ltd