Smart Applications International Ltd, a leading ICT and biometric giant, has launched a virtual mode of medical access to enhance provider transparency in healthcare administration.
The virtual access will be provided on a newly developed app dubbed Smart Access that will see patients access healthcare insurance, view the utilization of their covers instantly, read informational articles about their health, and geolocate their healthcare providers of choice at the tap of their screens.
"What we have done is to automate the process of providing medical solutions to the last mile. Smart Access is a virtual platform to allow a member covered under medical insurance scheme through an insurer or inhouse scheme to download the application which provides you with information," said Judy Mugoya, the Country Manager, Smart Applications International Uganda Limited.
She explained that the mobile application will provide one with information about their medical cover, family member benefits, capability to initiate a visit before they reach the hospital and many other benefits.
"Our members will now have better information about what they are covered for . The system provides you will real time information. In terms of managing fraud, we are linking your phone number to this app to enable you download and get benefits. This will limit fraud because there are no chances of two people sharing the same phone number. Therefore, using the phone number allows you download the application."
"We are also giving opportunity to the service providers including hospitals, clinics and any other to identify the person visiting them. Whereas the visit code comes to the client's phone, the second layer is the fingerprint that you have to use to access the service. "
The Smart Applications Country Manager noted that this will also help deal with the problem of fraud.
Uganda Insurers Association (UIA) CEO, Jonan Kisakye welcomed the innovation that he said is going to revolutionalise the insurance sector.
"More than 30% of the losses that insurers get today are as a result of manual systems under medical insurance. When you visit a medical facility, you are still required to complete a physical form despite having an insurance card that has all information they need. Despite having the card with all information, we haven't had a fully integrated system where medical service providers, insurers and clients are using a common platform where each can access information. That is where the new solution by Smart comes in to bring everyone within the eco system," Kisakye said.
"Smart now gives us the power as insurance providers and as the public to access the information and use it. "
According to the UIA CEO, with insurers currently covering only about 1% of the population, the 99% not covered are probably out of formal employment but still require insurance services.
Kisakye said technology and automation will be of great help in ensuring these uninsured population is also covered.
"It means if we can adopt technology like the Smart app, we can cover more people. Majority of insurers are in cities and towns but anyone outside these locations may not be able to access insurance services. Such developments like the Smart app mean that even onboarding members will be easy and sharing of information. With the mobile application, the client in the comfort of the home, shop or garden can access insurance services and it will impact directly on reach for insurers."
According to Judy Mugoya, the Country Manager, Smart Applications International Uganda Limited whereas those with smartphones can use the application to initiate hospital visits, those with feature phones can do the same using the short code *221# accessible on MTN and Airtel.