RMB Solutionist Thinking
4198-bruce-whitfield-solutionist-series-season2-banner-700x300jpg

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

RMB Solutionist Thinking is a podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield which focusses on great South African minds thinking differently and going against the norm. In this episode in the second series, Whitfield interviews the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vula Mobile, William Mapham.

Working as an ophthalmologist in remote rural areas in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and Swaziland, Dr William Mapham had first-hand experience of what it was like to work as a healthcare worker without proper support and access to specialist care.

To combat the struggles of healthcare workers, Dr. William Mapham sought to bring about systemic change by bridging the gap between digital technology and healthcare.

I would like to see that everyone is able to get access to a specialist.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

Although it wasn't conceptualised right then — it was a fellowship at Columbia University in the United States of America that led the tech entrepreneur to see the potential for mobile app technology to attempt to solve Africa's historical access problems in the healthcare sector.

Fast forward to 2014, the idea inspired the innovative, Vula Mobile — a diagnostics and referral app that links primary healthcare workers in remote areas with on-call medical and surgical specialists in South African hospitals in under 15 minutes.

If you look at South Africa, we're actually blessed with health resources. In every single town, there's a private hospital next to a public hospital in many cases, which means that there's so many resources at most places that we just not making the most of it.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

The real-time, chat-based system streamlines the process of diagnosis by enabling healthcare professionals to capture and send pictures of the patient's condition to a specialist, who then delivers a diagnosis, prescribes treatments or schedules an appointment for surgery.

This allows specialists to gain access to under-serviced areas, in a quicker and more efficient manner.

I think that, with systems like Vula, we can help people really make the most of the local resources and make a difference.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

To date, the multi-award winning mhealth app has served over 123,000 patients. In addition there are 7 200 registered health workers of which 1 200 are specialists and it has launched its 20th specialty.

While the Cape Town-based startup has fostered a relationship with the Department of Health and has secured up R1 million in funding from HAVAÍC, it is also working on a new partnership-based commercial revenue model that seeks to raise $500,000 from companies in the private sector to assist 100,000 patients during the course of the year..

I think the real future for South African health care, if you look at in terms of the national health insurance and initiatives like that, if we can make the public health system so good that people actually start using it or using it more, there’ll be more room for collaboration with the private sector.

William Mapham, founder and Chief Executive — Vula Mobile

Dr William Mapham is currently focused on growing Vula Mobile's reach in Swaziland, and plans to extend it into Zambia.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet Benji Coetzee, a tech disruptor transforming the face of the male-dominated freight transport industry.

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

Rowing coach Roger Barrow shares his love for winning - especially against better-resourced teams.

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

South African fintech venture, Yoco is ensuring that SMEs become the driving force behind wealth development within communities.

Tech-first, solutionist startup disrupts insurance industry

Tech-first, solutionist startup disrupts insurance industry

New kids on the block, Naked is stripping down the costs of car insurance and, rebuilding it with social impact and fairness.

Gary Kirsten, bowling over the kids of Khayelitsha

Gary Kirsten, bowling over the kids of Khayelitsha

Here's how South African cricketing legend, Gary Kirsten is bridging the divide and, giving black cricketers a fighting chance.

Aisha Pandor, tackling unemployment with dignified work opportunities

Aisha Pandor, tackling unemployment with dignified work opportunities

Bruce Whitfield interviews award-winning South African scientist, businesswoman and Chief Executive of SweepSouth, Aisha Pandor.

How a local designer is taking the global stage by storm

How a local designer is taking the global stage by storm

Bruce Whitfield interviews South African designer and founder of a Xhosa-inspired knitwear brand, Laduma Ngxokolo.

What if Earth’s solutions are in space?

What if Earth’s solutions are in space?

Bruce Whitfield interviews theoretical physicist and extraterrestrial hopeful, Dr Adriana Marais.

Solutionist Thinking: Dr Judy Dlamini’s passport out of poverty

Solutionist Thinking: Dr Judy Dlamini’s passport out of poverty

Bruce Whitfield interviews the Chancellor of Wits University, a qualified doctor, businesswoman, and author.

Popular articles
How to get deals done faster

How to get deals done faster

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Pavlo Phitidis, founder of Aurik Business Accelerator.

Blueberry production – and employment - skyrockets to all-time high

Blueberry production – and employment - skyrockets to all-time high

In 2014, 1000 people had blueberry jobs. By 2023 it could be 26 000. Bruce Whitfield interviews the industry's Sean Tager.

[WATCH] Man records every treadmill run over 8 months... and shows weight loss

[WATCH] Man records every treadmill run over 8 months... and shows weight loss

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] Pilot filming aftermath of his plane crashing into ocean goes viral

[WATCH] Pilot filming aftermath of his plane crashing into ocean goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Standard Bank says comedy of errors with bond applicant 'a once off'

Standard Bank says comedy of errors with bond applicant 'a once off'

Only when consumer journalist Wendy Knowler chased Standard Bank did they admit wrongdoing that cost a client R41 000.

Autopsy report confirms Selahle died of unnatural causes in police custody

Autopsy report confirms Selahle died of unnatural causes in police custody

Tshegofatso Selahle died on Sunday after being arrested by JMPD officers for allegedly skipping a robot in Johannesburg.

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

Magda Wierzycka – Sygnia’s renegade CEO – on her attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

[WATCH] Father and daughter dance-off changes tune when she starts twerking

[WATCH] Father and daughter dance-off changes tune when she starts twerking

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.