Just what the doctor ordered! Waiting in a doctor’s room for an hour, Stephen van der Watt noticed that the one thing every patient had in common was the fact that they were using their smartphone. He decided that there had to be a way to use the phone to access medical advice, rather than travelling to the doctor’s offices, and adapted the idea behind successful apps like Uber and WhatsApp for medical purposes. “Medici is effectively the WhatsApp for medical providers, enabling patients to text, call and video chat with their chosen medical practitioners or veterinarians, in a POPI compliant manner. Through Medici, we can increase access for patients to preventative information, early diagnostics and home health care, as well as improve access to doctors and caregivers while also removing barriers like time, travel and out-of-pocket costs,” he explains. With Medici, the doctors remain in control, and can charge what they want – which is normally 20% less than an office consult. This increases access to their doctors, while lowering costs and eliminating the hassle of travelling while ill. Medici also empowers the providers to have full control on price and usage, since it is ultimately a business tool for doctors. Moreover, says van der Watt, by eliminating the need for face-to-face diagnoses, it enables them to service a larger geography. “Looking ahead, our goal is to become the go-to medical app in South Africa. Furthermore, our future lies in creating greater brand awareness and distribution, and in working more closely with hospitals and doctors and rural communities. We also plan to create an e-wallet for those who don't have bank accounts. This will mean we can significantly increase healthcare access to people all over Africa.