In the societies, where professional health advice is hard & expensive to get, YAPILI offers affordable, anonymous and secure channel to get medical informations. Founded in November 2014 by a group of young entrepreneurs, YAPILI is a peer-to-peer web platform and Android App offering new opportunities for many Africans to connect to local and western health professionals in an efficient and confidential way.

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Introduce yourself and your journey

YAPILI connects African people to licensed physicians, both locally and internationally. Health advice & follow up & digital records. #Health@Hand

YAPILI is a peer-to-peer web platform and Android App offering new opportunities for many Africans to connect to local and western health professionals in an efficient and confidential way. In the societies, where professional health advice is hard & expensive to get, YAPILI offers affordable, anonymous and secure channel to seek medical care in case of pregnancy & family planning, diabetes & hypertension, HIV & sexual health, mental health and lifestyle diseases, as well as primary care questions.

From May 2017 to date, our pre-investment & proof of concept phase has allowed us to onboard  1000 users and 100 doctors onto the platform resulting in 3000 health related messages exchanged on our network. In October 2017, YAPILI won The Spindle’s Public Award Best Innovation award at the Partos Innovation Festival in Amsterdam. In November 2017, YAPILI won the Seedstars Gaborone 2017 Startup Competition and will be representing Botswana at the Global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April 2018.

 

How YAPILI contributes to an effective solution to a global social problem.  

YAPILI works hand-in-hand towards the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  1. Good Health and Wellbeing
    YAPILI provides Health@Hand! This means that the users of our app can access affordable and confidential health advice from licensed physicians locally or internationally. Users have the possibility for follow-ups and digitalising their medical histories!
  1. Innovation
    We are using a sustainable and scalable business model to advance the use of existing technologies, in deploying an app as an innovative health solution to fill the gaps of health-access in African countries.
  1. Partnership for the Goals
    We are creating an ecosystem where YAPILI is the underlying infrastructure for collaboration and partnerships with other startups, NGOs and public organisations! We act as catalyst increasing the market reach for other fit-for-purpose solutions and help build inclusive business models to address the underserved market needs.
  1. Gender Equality

YAPILI supports GENDER EQUALITY by supporting everyone & anyone- regardless of gender or sexual orientation – to get connected to a health professional for reliable advice. We empower our users by delivering confidential Health@Hand.

 

What is your project and its mission?

Access to quality healthcare services is difficult for the vast majority of Africans. Many live great distances from the clinic, must wait in long lines, and pay unaffordable fees. Among other issues: sexual health is highly stigmatized; there is a lack of awareness and data collection on the rapid emergence of non-communicable diseases; such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension; issues related to mental health are rising and are under discussed. Medical records are still an issue as patients must keep hold of handwritten records – which are easily lost or forgotten! Different clinics are reluctant to share their patients’ records and often view each other’s notes as illegitimate or incomprehensible. There is a vast use of social media (particularly Facebook groups) for individuals to share information and questions about their illnesses often resulting in the diffusion of false information which is dangerous and is definitely a contributing factor to public health outbreaks.

African countries are advancing rapidly in technology. By the end 2017, 30% of Africans will have a smartphone, and internet penetration is 70% in countries such as Kenya. People are using mobile technology to interact, send money and do so much to enhance their daily lives. So we thought, what if we could leverage mobile technology to expand access to healthcare. What if health advice could be at hand? This is YAPILI. It is easy to use, maintain and scale. Inspired by the phenomenon of gig-economy and end-user platforms in other industries, YAPILI brings the innovative model to healthcare and relies on three elements leading it to success at scale: real-time, crowd-based and peer-to-peer. YAPILI leads by example in terms of data privacy and safety and security of the platform.

 

Objective of this project is.

YAPILI enables a peer-to-peer platform (“uber-ization”) for health advice – where patients don’t need to queue at public hospitals to ask medical questions and share their health concerns. Furthermore anonymous access ensures users don’t need to worry about their privacy around stigmatized health issues. We are the first app and online platform that safely stores patient’s data for the digitization of medical records in Africa and empowers users to keep control of their own health data and medical history.

 

Envisaged activities.

The marketplace to connect users seeking health advice and medical care to online and offline care providers.

 

 

How did you get the idea to start your business?

YAPILI concept was born in November 2014 by a group of four young entrepreneurs who met in East Africa through the startup incubator, Ampion, and had a conviction that everyone must have a right to a quality health advice from a licensed doctor. In absence of a sufficient number of doctors in many African countries and the lacking underlying infrastructure and financial barriers to access healthcare, we turned our focus to designing and implementing technology that would enable direct communication between the mobile users in Africa and licensed healthcare professionals within and beyond the African borders.

Eventually our team grew to include skills ranging from front-end development to public health and policy expertise. In October 2016, we incorporated our organisation in The Hague and received an overwhelming level of support from our partners to set up the platform from the legal, technical and marketing perspectives. Thanks to this, in May 2017, we launched the peer-to-peer web platform and mobile-based app.

Currently our team consists of 3 specified groups: business development, health analytics, software development and market activators. We are a small team of 11 people working in different corners of the world to complement each other’s skills and cultural backgrounds.

 

Can you introduce your team?

 

Mindo Kaziulis – Founder and CEO

  • Marketing Manager within a financial services organisation where he leads the roadmap of the product portfolio towards 2023 (200+ employees worldwide)
  • MSc in Business Engineering, master thesis about inclusive business models & development economics.
  • Build our team and companies roadmap and is managing our multi-disciplinary teams.
Derk Statema – Co-founder and business development manager

  • International Business Developer, assisting several international companies to expand to new markets.
  • Master degree in Entrepreneurship and new business venturing.  Was involved (as an employee) with a solar energy startup that was acquired by the largest electricity retailer in Australia
  • Focused on building strategic partnerships with companies and organizations that contribute to our technology or legitimacy of the platform to accelerate the growth of YAPILI
Igne Degutyte – Co-founder and  front-end developer

  • Worked for fast growing software companies on a range of developing activities such as ruby on rails, Java development, Javascript (JQuery, AngularJS) development, Redis data storage, Elasticsearch data storage
  • Holds a bachelor in applied science in computing and media.
  • Leading all software and IT developments within the team.
Frederik Nnjai – Co-founder and back-end developer

  • Worked for international software companies on back-end developing activities such as design, implement and maintain a horizontally scaling http routing layer (reverse proxy);  implement and maintain custom monitoring checks; evaluate the Elasticsearch+Logstash+Kibana (ELK stack) for production use;  manage DNS zone files and http rewrite rules on a global platform
  • Holds a master degree in technology assessment and information technology.
  • Masters all the back end development work and manages all outsourced activities with Firstline Software or offshore activities through upwork..
Sherzel Smith – Co-founder and  health officer

  • Consultant within several research projects with organizations working in the fields of human resources for health (HRH) and the use of mHealth for diagnostics/user satisfaction in healthcare.
  • Master of science degree (Cum Laude)  in Global health and policy research.
  • Leading all software and IT developments within the team.
Thibault Mutabazi – Co-founder and market activation specialist

  • Works as a software developer for a deep learning company that specializes in face recognition technology. Its products are mostly used on bank card verification and video surveillance systems.
  • MSc researching machine learning to predict diseases outbreaks through social media.
  • Responsible for our market activation campaigns in Eastern Africa .
Enya Seguin – Co-founder and business developer

  • Enya Seguin is a graduate in Governance, Economics and Development, with immense affinity for the healthcare industry. She has previous experience at The Novartis Foundation and The Swiss Red Cross, and has been involved in a variety of NGOs internationally.
  • Responsible for business development activities and pilot projects.
Chiara Cholizi – Health officer and customer service

  • Global & Public Health student at Leiden University College. She has experience working for both NGOs and social businesses.
  • Responsible for the on boarding of users and quality control.
Sonia Jain – health officer and user on boarding

  • Biomedical and Social Science graduate from University of Amsterdam. She is passionate about research in the Public Health sector and has insights into healthcare systems across India, Netherlands and Singapore.
  • Responsible for the on boarding of doctors and quality control
Yahya Yaone Goleanye – Co-founder & Market Activator 

  • marketing and sales specialist passionate about business & social challenges and keen upon the ICT innovations. She previously worked as a brand ambassador in Botswana for a variety of internationally recognised brands such as Nivea and Remy Martin.
  • Leading our market activation campaigns in Botswana

 

What is the problem solved by YAPILI?

YAPILI aims to solve a wide spectrum of multifaceted problems; from the individual level to the international-development level. We want to facilitate the connection between a patient and a doctor by leveraging the high level of smartphone usage and connectivity in our targeted African countries. These countries suffer from many public health issues particularly in their overcrowded public health systems, which most citizens are subscribed to. Yet, these people live in a modernizing environment where technology has become an everyday tool. Our goal is to connect these two points, by deploying a variety of benefits entailed by taking technology as a solution to public health issues in developing countries.

 

The African countries which YAPILI is currently expanding in, are rapidly developing. With rapid growth comes enhanced socio economic prosperity in various sectors of the economy and social life. Subsequently, growth opens the door to multiple issues in the public health sector. These countries are experiencing a double-burden of disease: communicable and noncommunicable diseases as a result of rapid development rates. From the national and international level, this means that there is a lack of awareness and data collection on the rapid emergence of non-communicable disease; such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension. YAPILI aims to fill this gap by vertically-integrating our mobile-app into addressing lifestyle choices – which often have an impact on non-communicable illnesses. Public advice on health-living and professionals such as dieticians are not anywhere as prominent as they are in other world regions, because some African countries are handling a heavy burden of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other communicable diseases. Unfortunately, this means that many are at risk of not only developing diabetes or high blood pressure, but also receiving a late diagnosis and suffering from the serious repercussions of this. Our app gathers real-time data so that research institutes can collect and process information on illnesses, such as diabetes, which are currently understudied but vastly increasing.

 

In two countries that we have conducted market research, we have noticed the vast use of social media (particularly Facebook groups) for individuals to share information and questions about their illnesses. We noticed that myth related to medical advice is rapidly diffused on Facebook groups that have over a thousand users. The diffusion of false medical information is incredible dangerous and is definitely a contributing factor to public health outbreaks. Similarly, Google-searching the possible causes of symptoms is a popular activity taken up by millions of global participants! These searches often result in listing the worse scenarios. For example, one woman asked “If I eat more than 3 eggs a day, will my baby reach his maximum weight by the time I am 4months pregnant?” Dozens of women replied with a variety of answers, ranging from: “Yes it’s true, don’t eat any eggs” to “No it’s false, you should buy my herbal remedies…” YAPILI wants to provide a platform where people who partake in Google searches and Facebook groups in search of medical advice, can be connected to licensed doctors for free and confidential consultations online. We want to provide a reliable and secure method for people to seek medical advice.

 

Sexual and mental health are highly stigmatized in many African societies. In some communities, there are no channels (support groups or health professionals) where individuals can seek sexual or mental health advice. This creates stigma, confusion and ambiguity, which can be detrimental to building healthy populations. To solve this problem, our app provides a confidential platform for any health advice.

 

What are the next steps?

 

For our next phase of the product roadmap, we seek financial impulse and complementary expertise from a strategic investor who is in line with our core values and sees the benefit of stepping into a traction-based mHealth business for Africa and beyond. With the increased capabilities, we aim on extending functionalities, content and accessibility of the platform while expanding & legitimising YAPILI community within local healthcare systems to provide a seamless online & offline experience accessing and receiving quality health services. We will roll out the win/win scenarios for our stakeholders which will include financial incentives, enhanced analytics & learning/commercial opportunities.

 

What do you need and how can Seedstars / AfrikaTech help you?

 

Seed investment and strategic partnerships helping us advance with the next phase of the product roadmap.

 

What are the contacts of the start-up? Website, email, Mobile / WhatsApp, links to social networks?

Website : YAPILI || Licensed Doctor at Hand || Get Online Health Advice

Email: team@yapili.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yapilihealth/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/yapili_health

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/yapili_health/?hl=en

Google play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yapili.yapili&hl=en OR Type “Yapili” when using google play store app.

LinkedIn :YAPILI | LinkedIn

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