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Following the launch of medical photo-sharing app Figure 1 in North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, former South Africans are bringing their answer to the country’s ailing healthcare sector.
The free photo-sharing platform enables its 150 000 users in the world to connect, discuss and share content. The company notes that its images are viewed more than 1 million times a day.
The team notes that they are happy to finally launch the app in its seventh market as most of them have strong roots in South Africa. CEO and co-founder Gregory Levey and Director of Communications and Partnerships Kelly Aizicowitz were both born in South Africa, while Chief Medical Officer and co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy’s father was raised in South Africa.
Dr. Landy, a Critical Care Medicine Specialist who developed the concept while seeing patients in an Intensive Care Unit in Toronto, Canada, says she is very excited to launch this product in South Africa:
Medicine is a visual field and there’s so much to be learned from medical images. Figure 1 is a privacy-conscious way for healthcare professionals in South Africa to view, share and talk about a wide variety of medical findings.
The company’s commitment to privacy is reflected in its technology. After working with South African lawyers to unsure Figure 1 applies with local privacy laws, the company has added an automated facial blocking tool as well as a draw feature which enables healthcare professionals to block out identifying markets.
A similar tool meant to inform both healthcare professionals and patients, FolUp is a New York-born medical startup which has launched in South African early 2013.
Together with international startups setting up shop locally, and local ones making names for themselves, this trend in tech solutions coincides with FolUp’s estimation that the mHealth sector will grow 20% annually over the next three to five years.
If implemented correctly, tools such as Figure 1 are welcome subjects in the fight against achieving a healthy nation. According to the South African Medical Journal, the country comprises almost 17% of the world’s population living with HIV/AIDS. And that’s not to mention other issues such as lack of access to medical care or inadequate services.