RMB Solutionist Thinking
4198-bruce-whitfield-solutionist-series-season2-banner-700x300jpg

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

RMB Solutionist Thinking is a podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield which focusses on great South African minds thinking differently and going against the norm. In this episode in the second series, Whitfield interviews the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vula Mobile, William Mapham.

Working as an ophthalmologist in remote rural areas in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and Swaziland, Dr William Mapham had first-hand experience of what it was like to work as a healthcare worker without proper support and access to specialist care.

To combat the struggles of healthcare workers, Dr. William Mapham sought to bring about systemic change by bridging the gap between digital technology and healthcare.

I would like to see that everyone is able to get access to a specialist.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

Although it wasn't conceptualised right then — it was a fellowship at Columbia University in the United States of America that led the tech entrepreneur to see the potential for mobile app technology to attempt to solve Africa's historical access problems in the healthcare sector.

Fast forward to 2014, the idea inspired the innovative, Vula Mobile — a diagnostics and referral app that links primary healthcare workers in remote areas with on-call medical and surgical specialists in South African hospitals in under 15 minutes.

If you look at South Africa, we're actually blessed with health resources. In every single town, there's a private hospital next to a public hospital in many cases, which means that there's so many resources at most places that we just not making the most of it.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

The real-time, chat-based system streamlines the process of diagnosis by enabling healthcare professionals to capture and send pictures of the patient's condition to a specialist, who then delivers a diagnosis, prescribes treatments or schedules an appointment for surgery.

This allows specialists to gain access to under-serviced areas, in a quicker and more efficient manner.

I think that, with systems like Vula, we can help people really make the most of the local resources and make a difference.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

To date, the multi-award winning mhealth app has served over 123,000 patients. In addition there are 7 200 registered health workers of which 1 200 are specialists and it has launched its 20th specialty.

While the Cape Town-based startup has fostered a relationship with the Department of Health and has secured up R1 million in funding from HAVAÍC, it is also working on a new partnership-based commercial revenue model that seeks to raise $500,000 from companies in the private sector to assist 100,000 patients during the course of the year..

I think the real future for South African health care, if you look at in terms of the national health insurance and initiatives like that, if we can make the public health system so good that people actually start using it or using it more, there’ll be more room for collaboration with the private sector.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

Dr William Mapham is currently focused on growing Vula Mobile's reach in Swaziland, and plans to extend it into Zambia.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

Quite the unusual Solutionist Thinker, Professor Ermos Nicolaou solves problems that occur before babies are even born.

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

As one of the founding fathers of internet businesses in South Africa, Jason Xenopoulos’ digital rap sheet is longer than most.

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

When the story of the winemaker can add as much to wine, as the origin of the grape.

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet Benji Coetzee, a tech disruptor transforming the face of the male-dominated freight transport industry.

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

Rowing coach Roger Barrow shares his love for winning - especially against better-resourced teams.

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

South African fintech venture, Yoco is ensuring that SMEs become the driving force behind wealth development within communities.

Popular articles
Impact of new debt-relief bill will be 'severe'

Impact of new debt-relief bill will be 'severe'

The National Credit Amendment Bill aims to help indebted consumers earning less that R7,500 per month, restructure their debt.

Ramaphosa seems to be clueless now - Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Ramaphosa seems to be clueless now - Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Daily Maverick's Mantshantsha says the country has been waiting a long time for the economy to be turned around.

'The comedy of errors shows Mkhwebane serving Absa a subpoena intended for FNB'

'The comedy of errors shows Mkhwebane serving Absa a subpoena intended for FNB'

Mail & Guardian investigative editor Thanduxolo Jika unpacks the Public Protector's legal battles.

Clamp down on unregistered 'security guards' near Woodstock's Old Biscuit Mill

Clamp down on unregistered 'security guards' near Woodstock's Old Biscuit Mill

Joint law enforcement operation after visitors in Cape Town complained of being coerced into paying R50 to park on the street.

[WATCH] 'I'm not trying to justify what she did,' Zephany Nurse in her own words

[WATCH] 'I'm not trying to justify what she did,' Zephany Nurse in her own words

Stolen from her mother's bedside as a newborn 22 years ago, Zephany or Miché Solomon as she is now known, tells her story.

Tributes pour in for 'approachable but private' design icon Carrol Boyes

Tributes pour in for 'approachable but private' design icon Carrol Boyes

The designer and businesswoman passed away on Wednesday night following a brief illness, her company confirmed.