By Henry Opondo
Ilara Health, a health tech company that provides affordable diagnostic equipment to patients and healthcare providers in peri-urban areas, has launched a readiness package that will allow Kenyan peri-urban clinics and pharmacies to be the first line of defence against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The readiness package will include a self-assessment chatbot and clinic-based triage tools for symptom checking. It will also include digital symptom checkers including a COVID-19 health assessment tool and clinical decision support software.
The readiness package will prepare small first-stop health facilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic through the better point of care diagnostic equipment and tools for improved clinical decision support and guidelines for self-care.
The package will also alleviate part of the burden on the national public hospital infrastructure by helping manage patient flow and promoting information transfer to minimize alarm in these peri-urban areas.
70 per cent of clinical decisions require diagnostic tests before undergoing the required, curative treatment, yet 500 million people across Sub Saharan Africa struggle to access or afford basic diagnostic services.
Ilara Health partners with point of care (PoC) diagnostic device manufacturers around the world and integrates their devices into its platform, offering this package with financing to medical facilities in peri-urban areas across Africa.
Facilities that were previously unable to access the prohibitively expensive legacy devices that required specialist training to operate are now able to offer their patients desperately needed diagnostics through Ilara Health’s affordable PoC devices that require minimal training.
In the event that the virus becomes more generalized and starts to affect peri-urban populations in large numbers, Ilara Health’s partner facilities will be ready to deploy additional tools after receiving the green light from Kenya’s Ministry of Health.
Depending on need, Ilara Health facilities can play a key role in conducting rapid COVID-19 tests for screening, referral, or treatment, instituting a government-linked patient registration tool and referral system for patient management and follow-up, as well as possibly converting these small facilities into in-patient clinics should demand to require.
“Our Ilara Health COVID-19 readiness package is focused on protecting and preparing the small clinics we work within usually forgotten areas, such as the peri-urban communities. Our accessible point of care systems can identify those patients with underlying conditions who are most susceptible to serious COVID-19 complications and can play a crucial role in patient triage at the primary care level. As we have seen across the world, having an effective first line of defence can be a very effective tool for flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases. Our readiness package is a fast, safe and practical solution to this epidemic that can be managed locally relieving pressure from national facilities who would struggle to cope under sustained pressure,” said Emilian Popa, CEO and Co-founder of Ilara Health.
Since 2019, Ilara Health has partnered with more than 50 clinics, enabling access to life-saving point of care diagnostic tools to thousands of patients across Kenya.
Its innovative underlying technology seamlessly integrates these diagnostic tools into easy to manage tablets and mobile phones that require minimal training to operate.