Five students from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) designed an electronic medical booklet that will ensure you and your doctor will remain with your medical information—which may as well be a matter of life and death—for your lifetime!
They scooped the first prize for that feat!
The team of five, Tankiso Kolobe, Jane Mothobi, Kabelo Ramaboli, Relebohile Mot’soane and Takatso Kumi, beat tens of their peers in a marathon Start-up Weekend Competition held at the NUL, Roma!
With this innovation, which they presented before the intrigued judges in the past weekend, “you need only to have a number, a pin, not a physical booklet, to have your medical information quickly retrieved in a minute,” Kolobe said.
Quite a number of very wonderful local and international organizations supported this competition which attracted bright youths from all corners of the country. They included the National University of Lesotho, Vodacom Lesotho, American Embassy, Maluti Plumbing and Google for Entrepreneurs among others.
What’s in the system they developed?
Let’s start here. This new electronic booklet is not about replacing the old paper-based booklet. It is about complementing it.
When you visit your doctor, your medical information is not only scribbled on your booklet but it is also captured on the computer system created by these folks.
“Yes, the kind of ailment you have, the medicine that was prescribed, you name it, they are all captured electronically,” Kolobe again revealed the details of this system.
Suppose, in the next few days or months or even years, you lose your paper booklet, which, we can bet, you will lose. No worries, there is a certain confidential number—a pin that identifies you in the system, available in your doctor’s office.
(Register your idea, product, research for the NUL EXPO in January 23-26, 2018 here: http://www.nulistice.org.ls/expo-and-exhibition)
You can always get a new pin if you lost one, by surrendering your details such as passport number, ID number etc to identify you. You might have to pay for this service, of course.
You tell your doctor the pin and, ah! He now has ALL your medical history right in front of his eyes.
He now knows ya!
In the sphere of health, confidentiality is key! So only your doctor has access to this information and the next doctor will have access to your information only if you share your pin with him.
“This means that a doctor in Maseru can have access to the same information about your medical history as the doctor in Mokhotlong, since this system will be online,” unveiled Ramaboli.
Ideally, the information is available in all medical centers. Ya! You find your electronic medical booklet wherever you go around the country since all doctors can have access!
But why is all this so important?
Let’s take a short look back for a moment.
When you had just been born, one of the first things your parents might have had in their possession for you was a medical booklet.
As you grew up, you might have noticed that those green or yellow booklets had a strange, not-so-good-looking and infamous “doctor’s handwriting” scribbled on them.
That is the medical information about you!
You see, doctors can make very important decisions if they have your medical history.
“The more information they know about which ailments you have had in the past,” Mothobi added, “there more it will be possible for them to make informed decisions about what might be troubling you now and how they can help you.”
Now, do you see why that booklet is so important?
Suppose you are a 40 year old man going through a mid-life crisis (don’t say we said this) and you don’t have a booklet when you show up in a hospital, some doctors might become offended—how come you don’t have one at this age?
But here is the truth, “almost all of us have, at one point or another, lost that booklet!” said Ramaboli. Most of us many times, isn’t it? Once we feel better we throw the booklets off, for some reason we don’t view them the way we view IDs or Passports.
“Now, that is the problem our product is seeking to solve here,” Mots’oane said.
Let’s hope they will soon solve it!
So what is in for these guys after 54 hours of sleep-free marathon competition called start-up weekend? Listen to the elated Takatso Kumi, who, despite being a former NUL student, decided to join the team, “my team will have smart gadgets, an office space at the Grindnation, and, 6 months intensive training course by Vodacom.”
What more could they ask for?