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Technology

Platform brings medical services right to the palm of your hand

ResQ247
ResQ247 Ltd executive director Moses Omeri (right) with a participant during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference at KICC in Nairobi on November 26. SALATON NJAU 

The just-concluded Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi was all about innovation. Various local companies and start-ups showcased their expertise in sea weed technologies and the conversion of water hyacinth into useful products.

But ResQ247 Ltd stood out for its focus on the provision of emergency medical services (EMS), through a technology-integrated platform.

ResQ247 Ltd, a Nairobi-based firm is offering emergency medical services in evacuation, and roadside as well as fire rescues through a network of response teams across major towns in the country.

“Our teams work around the clock, responding to medical, road, fire and other emergencies in a timely manner,” says Moses Omeri, ResQ247 Ltd director.

The services are offered via the ResQ247 app, which is both a web-based and mobile-based application. The app provides an all-round solution to almost all emergency requests and services. When logged into the ResQ247 app, users can request for an ambulance, vehicle towing and other road services, and fire-fighter services.

“Once a request is made, a prompt is send to the back-end and the nearest service provider responds within the shortest time possible — at most 10 minutes,— minimising the risks,” says Mr Omeri.

The ResQ247 App also has a security component that enables one to locate the nearest police station, in case of a security issue. For instance, in the case of a medical emergency, the nearest ResQ247-affiliated ambulance which comes fully-equipped and with paramedic personnel responds immediately and the patient is booked in at the nearest health facility.

“This will help Kenya to attain high standards of pre-hospital care, and contribute to the attainment of universal health coverage,” he says.

In case the patient is far from hospital, an air ambulance is dispatched to have them booked at the closest health facility, adds Mr Omeri.

In regions with weak network and no access to internet services, subscribers can call through ResQ247 toll-free four-digit number which is easy to memorise.

Subscribers also get to have the toll-free number sticker in their car, school bus or company vehicle.

“The number goes straight to our call centre which operates 24 hours seven days a week to process requests coming in and linking those seeking emergency response to service providers within our network,” Mr Omeri says.

ResQ247 Ltd has innovated around a need that is poised to change healthcare outcomes for Kenya. It is estimated that 54 per cent of all annual deaths in Kenya occur between the emergency and the person being able to access a health facility. Kenya records about 5.8 million injury-related deaths annually. This is 32 per cent more than deaths related to HIV, TB, cancer and Malaria combined.

“An emergency medical services response system that addresses access, time, quality of pre-hospital care and cost would serve the wider population and save more lives,” Mr Omeri says.

To enhance integrity in healthcare financing and to seal loopholes in emergency health insurance, ResQ247 Ltd in collaboration with medical insurance service providers has developed affordable products that will see Kenyans get faster responses to most of the medical emergencies from anywhere across the country.

The firm has rolled out emergency medical services (EMS) packages for individuals, schools, families, corporates, non-governmental organisations and county governments.

“The packages are subscription-based on an annual basis. Besides, each package is custom-made to address the unique needs of each school or business. County packages are tailor-made to suit the population demographics and risk dynamics,” says Mr Omeri.

Already various academic institutions have already signed up for the ResQ247 EMS platform, which seeks to eliminate the burden of pre-hospital care on school management.

“It also frees parents from the burden of responding to medical and other emergencies in schools, including during school trips,” he notes.

At an additional fee, schools can incorporate fire rescue component to the medical evacuation.

The company has been working with county governments to implement technological rapid response systems that put all service providers of emergency medical services, fire, and towing and recovery services under one roof.

“This literally turns the phones of county emergency response teams into mobile dispatch and command centres on the go, easing coordination and timely response to distress calls,” Mr Omeri observed.

The ResQ247 technological platform too enables emergency medical service (EMS) providers to turn their vehicles into a full-fledged dispatch centres on the go, using the already available resources at their disposal.

In addition, ResQ247 Ltd also supports county governments with first aid training and equipment for staff and residents who stay around black spot areas, and around major highways across the country.

“Communities around these areas are the first to respond at the scene of an accident. Yet, they lack basic knowledge on how to handle accident victims. They majorly end up worsening the back and mobility injuries as they mishandle the survivors,” Mr Omeri noted.

In addition to this, ResQ247 GPS/GPRS electronic systems help patients and casualties to be rescued from any location, even when they are unconscious, or cannot talk as the gadgets send signals in the event of a crash and aid medics to the scene, Mr Omeri offered. “The same gadgets can be deployed vehicles to detect road crashes, and in boats and ferries to enable quick location and coordination of response,” he added.

So, how did he even come to think of a technology-supported EMS platform? “Kenya has suffered various disasters in the past, costing us many lives. Kenya’s road accident statistics are so glaring. These are deaths and disabilities that could have been prevented only if we had the right mechanisms to respond and on time,” Mr Omerisays.

ResQ247 Ltd EMS services are available in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kakamega, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisii, Nyeri, Embu, Kitale, Kitui, Garissa, Bungoma, Machakos, Emali and Thika.

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