Fondation Pierre Fabre

Using Internet of Things to improve the quality of chronic disease management

Main beneficiary countries:
Zimbabwe - Zambia - Tanzania

About the sponsor

Cumii International

Cumii is a pan African technology company under the Econet Global Group, which invested in leveraging ICT for a wide range of health purposes from health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and management. This is through application of various eHealth services including Telemedicine, mHealth and the Internet of Things.

Sector: Industrial: Startups, enterprises, etc.

Country of origin: South Africa

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalents
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Primary healthcare
  • Chronic diseases
  • Cardiovascular illnesses

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • International (in several countries)

Initiative start date

  • 11/16/2015


Financing method

  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • Device sales and monthly subscriptions collected from customers

About the initiative

The ineffective management of patients with diabetes and hypertension leading increased morbidity, mortality and health expenditure.

It augments Primary health care by enabling doctors to remotely monitor their patients. Cumii wellness platform contributes to the Big Data initiative by providing valuable patient data. This then feeds into the Health Artificial intelligence solutions. It adds value to mHealth solutions for public health promotion through providing health education on diabetes and high blood pressure via SMS.

Africa is facing an increasing burden of Non Communicable diseases chief among them being diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On average 1 in 11 adults have diabetes whilst 1 in 4 adults have high blood pressure. Regular monitoring of blood glucose and blood pressure is key to the effective management of these chronic diseases. This prevents the life threatening complications of diabetes and hypertension which include stroke, heart and kidney disease. Unfortunately, a large number of patients do not have access to self monitoring devices resulting in poor management. This presents a huge cost burden to the already underfunded and understaffed African health system. To address this challenge, Cumii developed the Connected Health service. This uses Internet of Things technology to connect diabetes and hypertensive patients to their healthcare providers and family members for better chronic disease management. In a patient centred approach, the diabetic or hypertensive patient uses a Cumii smart device for blood glucose and blood pressure measurement. The devices are internet enabled through GPRS SIM connectivity. Through the internet connection the device then syncs with a cloud based Cumii wellness platform. The platform analyses each measurement to raise an email or sms notification to the patient's personal doctor or pharmacist or dietician. It also sends notifications to the patient's family members enabling them know of the patient's health condition. Cumii developed a mobile application that allows patients to have access to their health data. Cumii also set up a Call centre service of doctors which avails remote monitoring of patients 24 hours a day, all year round. These doctors offer health advice and mentoring to the patients and their family members. This also assists the many patients who do not have access to a personal physician to access continuous personalised quality healthcare. Connected Health also provides health education to their patients and family members via SMS health tips. These daily SMS messages educate patients on diet, exercise and disease management to ensure effective diabetes and blood pressure control. Cumii Connected Health thus avails better management of diabetes and high blood pressure by using various ICTs to connect patients to a wider care support network. The health data that is generated by the Cumii wellness platform provides valuable analysis and insights that support health policy decision making.

Fields of application:

Telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultations) - Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC) - Patient monitoring and medical data

Target audience

  • Healthcare professionals and structures (hospitals, healthcare centres/clinics, health networks)
  • Sick people
  • Patient family/entourage

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Improved treatment
  • Reduced health expenditure

Key figures

1100 Number of beneficiaries since launch

480 Number of users per Month

Materials used

  • Cellular (mobile) phone
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Connected objects

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet
  • Mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, HTML5, etc.)

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation



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Vodacom Tanzania

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Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.