press releaseBy Ken Macharia
The ICT Authority has named ZiDi as a 2014 Innovation Award Winner in the Health Care Delivery sector. The application is developed by MicroClinic Technologies with technical support from Microsoft under the 4Afrika initiative. Trials are being run in six health centres in Kiambu and Kisumu counties and the Gatundu Sub District Hospital that serve in excess of 3,000 patients monthly. ZiDi automates stocktaking, personnel administration, financial management and service delivery in these health centres.
Cofounded in 2012 by Hoffman Moka Lantum and Mary Matu, ZiDi was started with the aim of tackling the administrative burdens faced by medical staff in dispensing health care at medical institutions.
"ZiDi is trying to transform and bridge the digital divide in the health sector at a very fundamental level using the opportunity technology offers in the health space. The application runs under Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud coupled with Microsoft's productivity suite, Office 365 to channel real time secure communication between health centres in different locations, and facilitate scalable access to backed up data," says Matu.
Prior to the implementation of the technology, nurses would track over 160 commodities manually on bin cards and send to the Kenya Medical Supply Authority (KEMSA) through the county offices via courier. Personnel attendance is tracked on sheets with a full moon for full attendance and a crescent for part time attendance.
"These administrative duties detract from the core duties of health workers, who end-up dissatisfied and demonstrates the gaps in technology adoption in the health sector in Africa that ZiDi seeks to fill," explains Matu.
Additionally, with the help of the ZiDi, KEMSA is able to track how fast supplies are being used in health facilities in all 47 counties to automatically replenish stocks long before they run out or expire.
"We are excited to work with MicroClinic Technologies to help revolutionize Africa's health sector through technology to improve lives. In the World Health Report 2013, the World Health Organization called on countries to continue investing in local research in order to develop a system of universal health coverage tailored to each individual country's situation. This is what ZiDi is about relevant local innovation," said Microsoft Country Manager Kunle Awosika.
Through local resellers and selected Microsoft partners, health centres running ZiDi will be able to acquire affordable smart devices including Windows smartphones and Windows tablets. The devices are powerful to run real time analyses that help medical officers determine probable diagnoses for patients by just entering a list of symptoms in the smart devices.
Other functions offered by ZiDi include management of health centre charges and also administration and running of institutions. Being an integrated hospital management system, all patients visiting health institutions running ZiDi are guaranteed of standardised, quality health care.