Orange's M-health Initiative To Boost Competitiveness
Orange has partnered with the Cameroonian Ministry of Health to launch a mobile health (m-health) service called My Healthline. The real-time service operates as a helpline where members of the public can send their personal, anonymous questions to and receive a response from a specialist medical professional within one hour. Although the service has a notable social connotation, considering that it addresses the severe shortage of medical personnel in the country, BMI believes it has the potential to boost Orange's competitiveness in the mobile market.
My Healthline will primarily address questions relating to contraception and sexual health, although Orange intends to expand the service to other medical areas in the coming months. The service will focus on themes often considered sensitive and which people need reliable, non-judgmental information. The service is provided in French, English and Pidgin and is accessible through any mobile phone. Orange based the need for the m-health service on the Ministry of Health's data which showed that there were only two doctors per 10,000 inhabitants. Although this ratio is in line with regional trends, according to BMI data, it is considerably lower than the average of 26 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants in developed states such as the US and UK.
BMI notes that Orange's move supports the view that mobile network operators in Africa are well placed to take advantage of the service gaps in other sectors of the economy to deliver innovative telecoms crossover services ( see 'Africa Telecoms Outlook - Key Markets And Trends In 2014', January 16 2014). In addition to mobile commerce (m-commerce) services, which Orange and main rival MTN already provide in Cameroon, we identified healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment as sectors with service gaps that operators can take advantage of.
|Service Gap Creates Opportunity|
|Physicians Per 10,000 Inhabitants In Selected Countries, 2013|