The M-Tiba app is revolutionising healthcare in Kenya

By Catherine Sturman
Mobile-based health wallet M-Tiba initially went nationwide in 2016, but has been increasingly influencing the healthcare industry across Kenya ever sin...

Mobile-based health wallet M-Tiba initially went nationwide in 2016, but has been increasingly influencing the healthcare industry across Kenya ever since.

Based on Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform, the app has been granted a wider audience as a result of its increased focus on connectivity and digitisation.

Developed by Safaricom, CarePay and PharmAccess Group, the app supports individuals to manage their healthcare expenses by enabling users to send, receive and save funds so that they may access patient care at reduced cost, supporting individuals and families alike.

With over 300 healthcare facilities partnered with the app, the mobile wallet has now gained up to a million users, revolutionising healthcare across Kenya.

M-Tiba has also partnered with The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to provide healthcare insurance to 2,000 households, Capital Business reported last year.

“For many Kenyans, a trip to the clinic can create real financial strain. And it can have a knock-on effect in people holding down jobs, or having to sell their belongings to pay for basic care. This is a burden on low-income homes, with mothers and young children being particularly vulnerable,” explained Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore.

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The app has seen thousands of users sign up each day, where even employers are looking to utilise the platform.

“We needed a solution that was sustainable and manageable which could bring new insights into how to further improve staff health and wellbeing. We see M-TIBA as the future for the management of outpatient schemes by employers and insurers,” commented Kirimi Mpungu, Director of Administration at Oserian.

By empowering Kenyans to take control of their own healthcare, M-Tiba was awarded the 2017 Financial Times/IFC Transformational Business Award in Sustainable Development due to its emphasis on supporting the implementation of healthcare management across the country.

“We’ve built a platform that allows for a more efficient and transparent way of connecting patients, doctors, payers and governments,” Kees Van Lede, CEO of CarePay said.

 “This award is a great recognition of how mobile – through innovative solutions like M-TIBA – is transforming access to essential services for millions of Kenyans,” Collymore added.

By enabling individuals to increasingly access healthcare remains vital, so that they may access vital treatment where needed. This digital tool is a step in the right direction, where Kenya is embracing new mobile solutions, transforming traditional models of healthcare.

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