Gauteng healthcare app puts services at residents’ fingertips


The Gauteng Department of Health’s Mpilo healthcare app has gathered 61,467 active users, as the department accelerates the use of mobile technologies to improve access to healthcare in the province.

Mpilo, which means “health” in isiXhosa, connects residents with the provincial health department to provide them with information and the ability to call ambulances or report service delivery issues.

The Mpilo directory allows users to access the contacts of general managers of hospitals, as well as clinic committees and chairpersons of hospital boards. It also provides a list of healthcare facilities in the user’s area.

The zero-rated application was developed in partnership with Vodacom Business in 2019, using the phone company’s Internet of Things technology.

In the wake of the global pandemic, the app has been enhanced with additional functionality to support the department’s COVID-19 efforts, enabling contact tracing and self-testing, education and public awareness, monitoring the spread of disease and measuring the PPE inventory.

Once the user has completed the self-assessment, a report is submitted to the service through the app and the results will be communicated to the user.

Poppy Tshabalala, Director of Public Enterprise at Vodacom Business, explains, “Today, Mpilo’s extended functionality has enabled healthcare facilities in Gauteng to navigate the pandemic through COVID-19 education and symptom monitoring. improved, while providing the public with quick and easy access to the ambulance. services.

“The Mpilo app was created to enhance the experience of patient care in healthcare facilities. It has since evolved with the introduction of a number of essential health services accessible free of charge, within easy reach of users.

Since its launch, according to a statement, the app has facilitated communication between patients, doctors and the Gauteng health department, as well as improved service delivery at provincial health facilities.

The press release notes that a fleet management solution has been integrated and implemented in departmental ambulances, in order to facilitate the request and the digital location of ambulances.

Other additions included a one-time PIN security feature to protect against fraudulent calls and the ability for the caller to answer questions about the severity of the incident for which they need the ambulance.

“While features like this have been planned and implemented in the app, the COVID-19 pandemic has required a different approach and response,” Tshabalala says.

“The Mpilo application and other digital solutions, such as SVS [Stock Visibility Solution], have proven to be essential not only to improve access to health care for South Africans, but also to dramatically improve the efficiency of administration.

The Mpilo healthcare app is available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

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