20Fourlabs, the innovation and applications division within Cape Town-based 24.com, walked away with the top honours last night in the Nokia Africa Calling All Innovators app competition. Their entry, Afridoctor, won the $85 000 first prize beating 125 other entries from developers all over Africa.
Afridoctor is Africa’s first personal mobile health clinic, turning your phone into a powerful first aid information kit, a doctor-location service, and an emergency distress notifier. Its revolutionary “SnapDiagnosis” system allows users to submit photos of their ailments and remotely receive advice from a panel of professionals. Afridoctor’s mapping feature enables users to find doctors, clinics and all health industry related services within their proximity.The emergency feature notifies next of kin of their distress and location. Features include symptom checkers, first-aid information, health calculators and quizzes. Afridoctor helps make healthcare affordable and accessible to the people of Africa.
It was an idea that came organically from the 20fourlabs’ team. Teams within the innovation division were established and many brilliant ideas were put forward on ‘Alchemy’ the company’s internal idea voting engine. The ideas were then voted upon and in the end the Afridoctor application was chosen.
Within three weeks the app was designed, built and jam packed full of information from our content partner – Health24. Thanks to the 20fourlabs’ team, which included Werner Erasmus – a designer within Blueworld Communities, and Bradley Voges, a strategist and business manager we were able to not only meet the tight competition deadline but add a couple of fantastic features that were thought up along the way.
Afridoctor has enjoyed huge success since its official launch into the Nokia OVI app store – after 3 weeks of being available in the app store Afridoctor has been downloaded over 5500 times from users around the world. The application fills a void that currently exists in many African countries where there is a huge demand for basic health related information yet this information is not very reliable or easily accessible.
There are already serious discussions underway to expand Afridoctor and ensure the application reaches those who need it most – development has already begun to port Afridoctor to all capable Nokia handsets to ensure mass adoption.
Break down of Afridoctor features
SnapDiagnosis: Put your mind at ease – This feature allows you to get feedback from a panel of doctors on any ailments (moles, scars, burns, warts, etc) that you can take a photograph of. Expert feedback will be provided to you within 48 hours of your submission. The scalable panel of doctors is offered via reputable Health24 partnership.
Find a Doctor: Save Time – Utilizing local search via Google Maps you are able to search for any health service in your area, including doctors, hospitals, emergency clinics, etc. Simply type your criteria in the search field at the bottom of the map and click “search”. The map will then populate the results.
Distress: Feel Safe – Alert a family member or friend that you are in distress and inform them of your current location quickly and simply. Once you have submitted a recipients mobile number, they will be notified the instant you press the distress button. As Nokia’s home screen publishing API is further developed there would be an option to include an Afridoctor distress button as a useful home screen widget. This would enable the user to send a distress sms with one click, without having to load the Afridoctor application first.