Kena Health is a new health app located in South Africa that allows users to interact with a nurse, doctor, or mental health expert directly from their phone.
Kena Health is an app that connects users to a team of certified healthcare practitioners for guidance, diagnosis, prescriptions, sick notes, and, if necessary, referrals to a specialized pathologist or other locations of care. All of this is accomplished with their smartphone at a reasonable cost.
Everyone becomes sick at some point. But what happens when they can’t afford appropriate care and advice on a regular basis? What happens to people who don’t have the time or money to wait in a clinic line or to pay a doctor’s bill?
The all-too-common response is that people put off seeking medical help or rely on ineffective home remedies or “Doctor Google” for guidance. What if there was a better, more inclusive approach to providing quick and affordable access to high-quality healthcare?
Despite the fact that the country is gradually achieving the Constitutional right to healthcare, just 16% of the South African population has access to private medical services.
“Therein lies our burden and our opportunity.” according to Kena Health.
Providing high-quality healthcare for everyone
Based on a shared data perspective of that patient, Kena Health uses a team-based approach to assign the most appropriate healthcare practitioners to each patient’s specific needs. An experienced and qualified nurse can help with family planning, gastritis, anemia, allergies, UTIs, and common colds. A doctor’s prescription may be required for an infection, hypertension, or other chronic diseases.
In less than two minutes, users can download the app and register. They next have a brief conversation with Linda, Kena’s digital assistant, who gathers general information about their condition for the secure patient record. This eliminates the need for patients to repeat their medical history and details at every stage of the process.
Kena Health’s Costs and Benefits
Kena then links the user with a nurse or mental health professional, allowing them to receive medical care or guidance at a fraction of the expense of visiting a doctor — and for free at first. Within the app, consultations can be conducted by text, audio, or video, all of which are geared to keep data costs low. In cases where a doctor is needed, the nurses can transfer the call to the Kena team for a seamless connection.
The app lowers the cost of care while improving the patient’s health outcomes by combining technology and a team-based approach.
The app also uses technology to provide a human answer by generating scripts, sick notes, and referral letters, all of which are conveniently available within the app.
Users’ first three visits will be free as they get used to this new type of healthcare, with the following consultations costing as little as R160 each. Kena Health’s services are originally offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Our goal is to improve access to quality care by lowering cost,” says Kena Health Founder and CEO Saul Kornik.
“By creating an app that focuses on team-based healthcare, we’re able to do this, while actually improving the quality of health outcomes for each patient. Imagine, a whole team of nurses, doctors, and mental health professionals looking after you! This means that no matter your income level or where you live, with Kena Health you are invited in to receive services that provide the care you need, all while making you feel cared for and reassured that you’re going to be OK,” he concludes.