Pandemic Increases Consumer Demand For Mobile Healthcare in Kenya, Report

There is an increasing demand for mobile healthcare services in Kenya. This is according to a recently launched report by Ajua, Africa’s Integrated Customer Experience Company and Carepay, the company behind health financing technology platform M-TIBA. 

At the moment over 37% of Kenyans currently use mobile platforms to access healthcare. However, over 90% of Kenyan consumers would like to receive more healthcare services through their phones.

The report, which covered Mobile Health Transformation in Kenya revealed that while Kenyans placed a larger emphasis on healthcare due to the pandemic, providers were still not seeing this impact in their revenues. The pandemic also caused a strain on consumers and prioritized essentials. In order to get around this, many healthcare providers are accelerating their digital business models to improve their customer experience by easing access to healthcare services for their customers. 

The main healthcare services Kenyans access via mobile are health insurance and payments with the most popular apps being NHIF, M-PESA and M-TIBA. To add to this, up to 93% of those surveyed reported that over the past few months they have had a better customer experience on mobile healthcare platforms. 

As healthcare providers prepare to meet the demand for telemedicine services, it is crucial for them to have a comprehensive customer experience strategy around the same. Speaking on factors that make patients choose a healthcare provider, Kamande Wambui, Head of Data Science Ajua shared,”After proximity to their workplace or home, the most important consideration when making a choice on what health facility to visit is the level of efficiency. Customer experience, thus, needs to be a major focus in healthcare.” 

In addition, Dr. Torooti Mwirigi, Commercial Director, CarePay Kenya addressed the use of customer data and argues that in addition to keeping this data safe, providers need to rethink how they implement it to improve their customer experience before launching any telemedicine services. Dr. Mwirigi recommends using existing customer health information in a way that is useful to customers, “As it stands, most of the available data is not packaged into useful use. Patients have to share their medical histories over and over again every time they visit a clinician. There’s an opportunity for healthcare providers to improve information systems that will build trust in the system.” 

The report notes that customer expectations are changing and they want to feel that they are in control. Customers need to be offered convenience. Mobile advancements in other industries such as Banking, e-commerce and mobile money providers have already implemented efficient mobile services such as mobile wallets. This has caused customers, particularly the youth, to have higher expectations on mobile service delivery from other service providers.

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