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Meet Epione’s Jessica Chivinge – South Africa, Zimbabwe

Jessica and her co-founders chose their company name from Epione, the Greek goddess associated with soothing of pain and that is exactly what the team aims to do. They believe healthcare is about fostering collaboration and increasing access to quality and affordable healthcare for all, using one true source of information.

What inspired your innovation?

There is a plethora of healthcare technology platforms trying to solve different challenges in the healthcare value chain. From booking systems to electronic medical records and billing platforms. However, these solutions remain siloed, offering only a limited view of the patient’s medical journey. The same can be said for COVID-19; the health space is increasingly flooded with once-off solutions that are disconnected from the broader chain of care. As passionate young Africans who have personally experienced the highs and lows of African healthcare systems, we have observed and responded to this challenge.

How does this work?

We built epione.net to connect the entire healthcare value chain, from patients to providers (doctors and hospital systems); payors (governments, employers and intermediaries such as health insurers) and producers (pharmacies and diagnostic companies). Designed with Africans in mind, the platform is free and can be accessed via a secure web-portal for healthcare professionals, a mobile application that is compatible with Android and iOS and web-portal for patients. The platform not only digitises the healthcare processes across the value chain, but it will also integrate the private and public health systems to ensure that all patient information is stored under one platform no matter where a patient receives their care.

Our platform allows employees to monitor and track their symptoms and share their tracker (at their own will) with their employers before getting to work, or at the entrance to work by using a QR code. The employer will have a choice to either do a full symptom check on the employee upon arrival or do confirmatory checks of the body temperature or other notable symptoms before allowing the employee in. These checks are viewed and managed by the Occupational Health and Safety team and can make decisions on what actions to take on employees showing progressive symptoms. It also enables the companies to screen their visitors.

Who should be using this innovation?

We are in the process of rolling out the entire solution in South Africa and Zimbabwe and currently speaking to a few other countries in the SADC region. We had a pilot/soft launch of the core platform in Soweto, South Africa, in September 2019 and the plans of a full roll-out were delayed by the insurgence of COVID-19. After adapting our platform, we are now fully engaging with all our stakeholders for full roll-out – we will keep adding more features in our product roadmap as we go but we currently have a fully functional platform that is ready for market.

For our COVID-19 solution, we have developed a response that solves country level challenges caused by this pandemic – solutions for the government, corporates/schools, individuals, sporting arenas, entertainment, retail, etc. The solution is live and ready for deployment, so we are in the process of finding ways to get the attention of the governments, businesses, and individuals in all African countries. This is where we need the most assistance – opening the doors for us to showcase our product.

What we’d like governments to know is that we’ve designed a government response platform that allows the government to perform mass screenings of its population in targeted areas and use the results that are geo-mapped with a heat-map showing high-risk areas to take corrective and pre-emptive actions. It uses the model of healthcare field workers performing multi-day screenings with the results being recorded in real-time and relayed back to the national command centre where the manager or supervisor will be observing the evolution of the symptoms and/or cases in a given area. This allows for corrective and pre-emptive actions to be taken. The platform can be used at a suburb level going up or in closed locations such as old age homes, correctional services, public hospitals, government schools, universities, etc.

We’d like businesses across all industries to know that we’ve designed a corporate solution that allows employers and employees to comply with regulation around the re-opening of the economies. Our platform allows employees to monitor and track their symptoms and share their tracker (at their own will) with their employers before getting to work, or at the entrance to work (using a QR code). The employer will have a choice to either do a full symptom check on the employee upon arrival or do confirmatory checks of the body temperature or other notable symptoms before allowing the employee in. These checks are viewed and managed by the OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) team and can make decisions on what actions to take on employees showing progressive symptoms. It also enables companies to screen their visitors.

This platform can be used to fully and cautiously re-open the economies and can be used by:
o Large Corporates
o SMEs
o Private Schools
o Private Universities
o Sports Leagues
o Restaurants
o Retail
o Mining and beyond!

We’d like every single person in Africa, and indeed the world to know that the free individual symptom tracker on the free APP available on Google Play or Apple App store allows anyone to:
o track and monitor their own symptoms and underlying conditions over time.

In South Africa and Zim, we have partnerships with doctors, and the broader chain meaning individuals in those countries can then also:
o give their doctors access to the tracker so that they can be remotely monitored as their symptoms evolve over time,
o book an appointment with a doctor (virtually on the APP/platform, or in person) if the symptoms negatively evolve and the app trigger this action,
o be referred to a testing site,
o get their results and, if need be,
o be referred to an isolation centre.

Our plan is to expand to all African countries and beyond to be able to offer the same expanded functionality there too. By the way, we can do this easily as we’re cloud-based – just get in touch!

What’s the one takeaway that you want readers of this article to leave with?

We’d like help getting our COVID-19 enhancements out there. This is a call to action for any individual – just download the APP.

And to all the businesses, governments, schools, restaurants, malls etc. We have the solution ready, and you can have it at your fingertips and help keep the country safe by doing so. Please get in touch with us.

Contact epione at jess@epionehealthcare.com

For more information visit https://www.epione.net

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