Rocket Health in Uganda
Leveraging telemedicine and last-mile delivery of medical services to improve care and treatment outcomes for patients with chronic illnesses in Uganda.
Project start date : 12/05/2018
Beneficiary country : Uganda
About the project
Rocket Health is an end-to-end technology-enabled service that supports the entire continuum of healthcare access right from prevention, consultation, diagnosis, care and treatment and follow-up for improved health outcomes. It comprises a 24/7 telehealth center operated by qualified and licensed medical professionals offering remote teleconsultations countrywide, last-mile deliveries of prescriptions from the pharmacy and laboratory sample pickups from a client’s home, work or any other preferred place of convenience. Beneficiaries have diverse channels of service access, both online and offline including text, video, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), online e-shop or voice and encounters are recorded in an Electronic Medical Records system (EMR). Reminders (automated mobile messages and routine voice calls) are done to ensure timely refills, improve treatment adherence and reduce risk to development of further complications as a health outcome. To create empowerment and drive adoption of positive behavior, customized health education content on a variety of non-communicable illnesses is disseminated via mobile text and other digital platforms.
The lack of access to reliable, affordable and quality medical care for patients with chronic illnesses in Uganda, a country that finds itself in an epidemiological transition from a high burden of communicable diseases like Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhea and HIV/AIDS to rising rates of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The healthcare system is overstretched with a low doctor-to-patient ratio (1:25,000) and shortage of patient-centered models, many patients with chronic illnesses are left with no post-hospital follow-up mechanisms. This leaves many at prey to misinformation from peers and unstructured internet searches which further worsens the risk of complications from poorly managed conditions. In addition, the paper-based healthcare information systems makes continuity to accessing healthcare beyond the confines of the initial provider a challenge in Uganda.
The available option is the traditional healthcare system in a brick and mortar setting that is physician-centered, characterised by long queues, fragmented care and limited access especially for patients in remote areas or people living with disabilities.
The Rocket Health telemedicine solution adds value along the patient’s entire healthcare journey in the following ways.
Convenience: Patients can receive consultations and medications without leaving their homes, reducing the time and effort needed to access care. This ultimately increases adherence to treatment.
Increased access to care: Telemedicine increases access to care beyond geographical barriers, especially for patients in remote or underserved areas, where traditional health facilities may not be easily accessible.
Patient empowerment: Through routine reminders on health facility events like refills and mobile health dissemination on healthy living, patient’s knowledge and self-awareness about their disease state increases.
Improved Continuity of Care: Medical history is recorded and stored in an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system, and can be retrieved any time, thus supporting continuity of care beyond the boundaries of Rocket Health.
120 Full-Time equivalents
12 Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch