Dokita is broadening access to quality health information across Africa. With Dokita App you are able to ask questions and get appropriate answers from qualified doctors as well as schedule appointments when you sign on to the platform.
Your guess is as good as mine, imagining the long queues you need to wait in before getting access to a medical doctor especially in minor health issues, coupled with the fact that doctors attend to hundreds of patients per day. Why waste productive hours going to the hospital or clinic when you can achieve more by just asking professional and qualified doctors via Dokita App at no cost. You are able to schedule appointments and skip waiting rooms. What more? You get to familiarize with many international doctors at a goal.
These are exciting times to be an African with the emerging entrepreneurial innovations and disruptions across the continent and Dokita is proving to be a case study. The founders of this startup are Agana Agana-Nsiire, a zoologist who studied software entrepreneurship at MEST Ghana with his partner Steven Blavo who trained as a Environmental Health officer. Together they are making health information accessible to benefit the entire continent. Let’s spend some time with Agana on his comapny and entrepreneurship. Enjoy the interview that brings you better health information.
What is Dokita and when was it launched?
Dokita is a web and mobile application that gives users access to a large network of doctors. Users get answers to their health questions, multiple opinions and subscribe to information on topics that interest them and schedule online & offline appointments with doctors. This allows users to access quality information for making good health choices. Dokita has been running for eight moths.
What problems in the health service delivery made you develop this app?
People are consulting non-professionals on health issues, structure information on healthcare in Africa is generally difficult to access and/or expensive and ignorance about health issues fostering myths, misconceptions as well as negative health practices.
Who are your target users and what is the benefit to those who use your service?
Target users are the (young) mobile generation in Africa, beginning in Ghana.
They can access relevant health information on demand, consult real doctors online and schedule face to face appointments.
Doctors get to network, share ideas and build their professional reputation.
What are the exciting features of Dokitaapp, making people sign-on to it?
For users you get to:
And for doctors you can:
For anyone who wants to sign on, what are the processes to get started?
Simply sign up if you’re a user. If you’re a doctor, send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll take you through a short verification process and then provision you with an account.
As consumers continue to be health conscious, tell us what criteria you use to accept qualified doctors? Are they the only ones who give advise and is there the possibility for ordinary members to give medical advice to one another?
Only doctors give advice. We verify doctors by checking them against their peers and relevant medical institutions.
In situations where individuals take medications due to doctor’s advise and unfortunately have complications, what actions do you take as a company?
We do not allow prescriptions on dokita, and we encourage our users to always take real conditions to a doctor offline. Dokita is an informational service, not a replacement for hospital visits, and not an emergency response service.
What precautionary measures will you advise potential members take in using your Dokita platform, in order to minimize risk?
Do not use dokita as a replacement for seeing a doctor for an actual medical situation.
Is it opened to all manner of health professionals all over the world? And what happens when a question fails to get the needed response?
Dokita uses African medical personnel based all over the world. We refer difficult questions to more experienced doctors for responses.
As a business entity, how do you sustain this platform financially so that the relief you hope to bring patients is perpetual?
We are currently bootstrapping the service. We will enter a funding round once we are satisfied with our fundamentals.
What is the competence of the team you run Dokitaapp with?
We are a passionate team of two serial entrepreneurs, with a team of advisers from the medical and business fields.
How will you say mentorship and a business plan have been impactful since you started your journey as an entrepreneur?
We implement the lean startup methodology: build, measure, learn. The data that comes out of real life usage and experimentation feeds the business plan.
What lessons have you learnt since starting business and what should count as success for you?
User adoption, both on the user and doctor sides is validation of our basic hypothesis, and that is satisfying.
What are some of the challenges you are facing running this business in Africa? How are you handling them?
They are the same ones you’ve heard many African startups face, nothing new or special. We’re learning to look beyond the challenges and see opportunities. The challenges are a part of our startup experience and we value them.
Sometimes mistakes are inevitable for young entrepreneurs. What are some you have committed and what lessons can you share?
We’re still young and making mistakes, and taking stock of them. We won’t pretend to have learned all our lessons until we’ve achieved success as we define it. So it’s an ongoing process, and the outcome is pending.
On what principles do you run your company?
Honesty, reliability and compassion.
How will you pitch Dokitaapp to a potential investor?
Dokita wants to transform the way health information is accessed in Africa. We think we can streamline the experience that simplifies the process of searching, viewing, organizing and sharing this information in a way that protects the privacy and benefits an entire continent.
How is it rewarding being your own boss?
For me that’s not what entrepreneurship is about. You’re actually not your own boss, your users are your bosses. Entrepreneurship is really about the daily decisions to take and face risk, and to deal with the complications that come with it.
Use this opportunity to inspire the budding African entrepreneurs and a message to your users.
Do what makes you happy; that way you’ll probably do it well.
Thank you Mr Agana of Dokita.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired to solve a problem with your business. Do something for Africa today. Visit www.dokitaapp.com to sign up to access your free health information from the medical experts.
Some useful lessons we pick up from Agana Agana-Nsiire:
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