Babyl, Rwanda’s first digital health service which offers medical consultation using a mobile phone, has been selected to join Spring Cohort 3, an accelerator program that identifies and supports businesses that can bring life-enhancing products and services to girls.
Spring Cohort provides comprehensive business model development and support to its participants. This includes human-centred design prototyping, prototype funding, investment guidance, global and local mentor and corporate partners who provide expertise, and access to legal expertise.
Grace Mugabekazi, the Country Director of Spring, explained that she looks forward for Babyl to address various health issues affecting girls, particularly those related to sexual reproductive health. So far there’s a target of 250 million beneficiaries within the East African region.
“With their technology, I believe girls won’t be shy to ask questions about their health, especially those that are normally perceived as embarrassing by society,” she remarked.
Babyl also received a significant grant from Dubai Expo 20/20 which is a programme to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives. The company was selected from 600 entries, and they will showcase their services at the 20/20 Expo Innovation Village.
“It is an honour to join 19 other businesses across East Africa at Spring Cohort 3,” remarked Tracey McNeill, CEO of Babyl Rwanda. “We are trying to lead the way in engraining social impact into a company’s core values. We also aim to provide a comprehensive and sexual reproductive health service to young women using our digital platform.”
As for the Dubai Expo 20/20 grant, McNeill said it will help to refine Babyl’s health service to meet the health needs of young women in the country and make healthcare accessible and affordable to everyone.
After gaining a license from the Ministry of Health, Babyl launched to the public with a free trial period in mid-September 2016. To date, the company has registered over 350,000 users and completed over 90,000 appointments through the innovative mobile health service.
“We have placed a lot of emphasis on encouraging health workers and health providers to get closer to the citizens, and Babyl Rwanda is using the one device most of us have, a mobile phone, and an advanced technology platform to accelerate our journey to getting quality healthcare to all and orient people who need to meet Doctors physically,” said Health Minister Diane Gashumba. “This innovative program will use an easy digital tool to improve access to information and services on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, including prevention of teenage pregnancies.”
“The Spring Accelerator program will not only help us reach that goal faster, but its focus on girls will help us reach one the most vulnerable segments in our society,” she added.
Youth & ICT Minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana for his part observed that leveraging digital platforms to give citizens access to healthcare is a key area of focus when executing smart solutions across the country.
“The prospect of reducing the burden on government and private health as well increasing access to quality healthcare is a key driver on a national agenda level,” he said. “We are excited that so soon after Babyl chose Rwanda to kick off its global expansion strategy, we not only benefit from a pioneering service that has reached many, but more research and more innovation that will result from Babyl’s participation in the Spring Cohort 3 and the Dubai Expo 20/20.”
About Babyl Health
Babyl was founded in the United Kingdom with a single purpose: To put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth through mobile phones.
Rwanda was the first choice in its global expansion strategy.
Babyl has set up a working centre staffed with Rwandan nurses and doctors supported by an in-house call centre launching what is Rwanda’s first private digital healthcare service.
It has recruited and trained highly qualified Rwandan doctors and nurses who are providing expert healthcare to Rwandans across the country.
To date, Babyl has registered over 350,000 users and completed over 90,000 appointments.
To access Babyl health service, simply dial *811# to register and book an appointment in case of needs, then we will call you back. An app version “Babyl Health” with video call is also available on Google Play Store.
The call centre can be joined at 8111, 6 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm. The medical consultation fee to access Babyl health service is Rwf 500 payable through mobile money.
More information on www.babyl.rw