An attempt to redefine Nigeria’s healthcare information management system and entrench seamless transactions is at the heart of Onedokita.com, Dr Daniel Folukoya, founder & CEO of OneDokita Healthcare Limited told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.
Onedokita is a network of healthcare providers and the patients they provide the services to, with the patients as the hub and the providers as the spokes. It connects patients to providers via its front-end mobile app and providers inter-relate via its fluid, secure back-end web network.
Bred and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, he attended Kings’ College Lagos before moving to the United Kingdom for his medical training.
He graduated from the University of Cambridge with his Medical Sciences degree and completed his clinical training at the infamous Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Trust in London.
Following that, he secured a prestigious Academic Training Programme in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals prior to working in Vascular Surgery at the Outer London North West Vascular & Interventional Centre, which he has done for the past 2 years.
He is passionate about healthcare delivery systems, improving workplace efficiency and empowering individuals to take ownership of their healthcare. He spoke to peter oluka.
The Name “Onedokia”
The name ‘Onedokita’ is culled from our vision which is ‘one’, a symbol of unity. It is wholistic; encompasses everything, every segment and strata of the society. So, we are bringing such vision to ensure the Nigerian healthcare system witnesses a different approach to service delivery. I grew up in Nigeria, trained in the West and back to the country with that vision to unite the Nigerian health system.
‘Dokita’ is an interesting cliché in the country. Even guests at the Medic West Africa conference were captivated by the name. Yorubas would come and say, ‘is that not Doctor’? Igbos would lay claim to the fact ‘Dokita’ is the right pronunciation of Doctor in their language. Hausas would also find a way to include it in their language. So, that is the idea- we are all together.
That is our motto: ‘we are better when we work together’. Onedokita entails that we need to unite in solving health issues in our country. We need to look beyond self or capital interest. Majority of the Nigerian population live in the rural areas. These are the people that need the services.
Nigerian Healthcare and Availability of Reliable Data
On the course of our research, the need for reliable data in the healthcare system actually informed the innovation- Onedokita. For instance, we may want to pick up cases for treatment like Diabetes; we know people in England have such cases at different levels, because statistics are there to assist your programme. But when we are looking at the Nigerian situation, digitally, there is very little data on that. What we actually is that there are data on HIV, malaria and tuberculoses (TB). But these illnesses come and kill quickly in terms of the worst case scenario. But what happens is that as you are treating HIV, malaria and TB, the life span of each person becomes longer, however the lifestyle diseases like hypertension, if you ask anybody about the data, we do not know.
Challenges Onedokita Tends to Solve
I was reading a post on LinkedIn with part of the quotes reading ‘a good person will also be beaten by a bad system, but a good system will always help a bad person to an extent’. There are many great doctors, nurses and auxiliary healthcare professionals, passionate about their jobs; they want to help the society.
But when the system is not working for them, everyone gets frustrated. It is not just about the patients, but all the providers in the system will benefit from Onedokita.com.
We are challenging ourselves to improve our system through better collaborations, shared information and workload. Onedokita will bring ease of life to practitioners by helping to schedule doctors’ workload
In Nigeria, by the time a doctor sees over 50 patients in a day; that is a very huge number and we are not taking cognizance of the quality of service rendered. By the time the 15th person enters the run the quality of services automatically reduces. As other patients are coming, the doctor would, probably, be concerned with making sure something is written on paper for such patients to ‘feel attended to’.
The doctors are actually making a lot of sacrifices. Some times, they feel agitated by the number of patients waiting for them, because he may not be aware that such number will be visiting that day.
Therefore, we can improve the system to care more for the patient at the same time, reducing the doctor’s workload. That way, we enhance the productivity and efficiency of the service providers and everyone benefits.
How Onedokita.com Works
The platform is structured like a hub and the providers as the spokes. It connects patients to providers via its front-end mobile app and providers inter-relate via its fluid, secure back-end web network.
The patient will be able to access the services via our mobile app; doctors, healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical centres; from that, booking appointment with the doctor, demand for drugs, book for scans, or perform all the healthcare transactions rather than making physical visitation to the hospital or other facilities before you can obtain services.
These are to make life easier for people and raise the productivity level of our healthcare practitioners. We are bringing in the telephone ‘advisory’ platform as well for Frequently Asked Questions, inquires or easier connection during emergencies.
For instance, few months ago I went mount-climbing at Cape Town. I had strains in my bone but I hadn’t time to visit the healthcare facility there, but I knew I needed an x-ray. So, if I was able to call a help line or chat, through that I could have booked for x-ray.
From that contact I would have known the slot and time I have been allocated to and it is added to my profile. If I have a personal or family doctor he can take that as reference information. We even have situation where medical reports are released immediately, it helps remove encumbrances in the system.
Information Management/Data Privacy
As the saying goes, health is wealth. The same way we guide our bank account is the same way our health records need to be safe-guided.
The only access-right to that health information is the authenticated user-right. You can add your doctor on your profile; thereby giving him access to your information.
You may decide to create a group and these are people you are permitting to access the information. How will this be helpful? Health tourism is huge in Nigeria. Instead of travelling to India or Germany to supply needed information you can stay here access the facility, sharing email with them on your experiences before embarking on the journey.
Internet Connectivity and Ease Access to Data
From the front end, the mobile app, which is the interface used by the patient, we profile it for a pre-test; in that way you test-run the process. And the kind of information feed-on the platform, it does not require much megabyte of data and it is hosted on secured service. That means the backend is secured.
Target Market: Private or Public Hospitals?
Our primary target market is the private health institutions. As our vision is ‘unity’, public health providers are taken care of under the government umbrella.
Though, we may not all agree that the public sector is united as should, but there is an oversight assessment.
The private healthcare providers are the ones we want to bring into the system. For instance, the country has this new national (health) ICT framework that applies primarily to government facilities, but the private sector does not have the policy guide. The realty: it has to be financially beneficial to all parties.
The patient is key. When I mention patient I actually allude to everyone. A healthy man today could be ill the next few hours.
At the moment it is a free app, downloadable in Goole App Store, but not everybody would want to download, therefore we have the web version.
Meanwhile, we are making the platform available to the providers too. Our vision remains to unite all in the ecosystem by eliminating entry barrier. So, the pricing model is low cost to encourage as many people as possible.
Our plan is, first, to have a robust application, tested and satisfactorily customer-induced, we will then begin to scale up.
The next thing is we want to educate people on some prevalent illnesses, most times, that are treatable but people are not usually aware. We want to open the app and involve organisations in that regard. There are so many health programmes going on; if we tap into that, we will get more people involved. As these are going on more, people will adopt the platform.
Verification of Healthcare Providers
The first thing we did was to approach the Lagos State Government to obtain the list of certified healthcare practitioners.
We are going to other States as well to validate the information we have. We also engage the practitioners on face-to-face discussions. We are also working with NAFDAC to ensure it is only the certified pharmaceutical outlets.
The essential thing is that every facility that wants to enlist on our platform, we visit them, verify and documents every piece of information.
Also, there is a robust feedback mechanism on our platform. Everyone is encouraged to leverage that too.
On our side, we are working on incentives to encourage people to share their healthcare experiences. It might not be that the practitioner is quack but the method of practice might augur well with the people.
How Prepared Is the Market to Embrace Onedokita?
We are optimistic about our positioning, because Nigeria is economically in recession, but technologically we are turning a corner reaching a threshold where will ‘burst’ and expand which will trigger a turnaround in the nation’s economy. Due to our optimism we are building relationships and trusts in the market.
Innovation Summit 2016: Onedokita’s Participation
We really feel grateful to the Emerging Media and partners, the organisers of the Summit for giving us opportunity to showcase our fresh approach to healthcare in Nigeria.
Innovation is not just about new medical device, but also involves new ways/approach to doing solving the same problem or something that has never been done.
The Summit is a big opportunity to present our new ideas with regards access, infrastructure, processes, clinical governance, etc.