For years, many people have died due to delayed access to medical services. Many more Nigerians will confirm that they have at some point witnessed an avoidable death or a critical situation that got worse due to the absence of medical help. But all that is set to become history, with the CribMD app which allows people to get a voice or video call with a medical doctor, or even a visit from a doctor whom you did not know was close by.
Like the name CribMD suggests, you can access a Medical Doctor (MD) right in your crib or home if you may, just the same way you order a pizza online and have it delivered to your doorstep. In emergency situations, a video call with a doctor could save a life as he could direct on what to do, before arriving at your doorstep.
When the doctor is done with his analysis, the prescribed medications can also be delivered to your doorstep in no time. And one can get access to all of these for a monthly subscription plan starting from as low as N3,000.
As a guest on the Nairametrics Business Half Hour, Founder and CEO of CribMD, Ifeanyi Ossai, explained that company offers individual plans, family plans as well as corporate plans for companies and organisations, although this comes in subscription packages, not the regular health insurance offered by HMOs.
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“When I was much younger, I lost an aunt due to lack of access to healthcare, and while doing my survey, I also got to discover that a lot of people have similar experiences. It has become normalised, but it should not be. This is what I and my co-founders set out to solve. Using technology, CribMD makes it possible for everybody, anywhere in Nigeria to get access to quality affordable health care at the tap of a button,” Ossai said.
The app is available for downloads on playstore, after which users can sign up, choose a subscription plan and request a doctor’s visit when the need arises. Choosing the family plan means that your family members can also access the service, while corporate plans are for your staff.
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Although the app allows users to check out the profile of doctors and select a doctor, in cases of emergency, the user has to select from doctors within a five mile radius or less to avoid any delays. There are medical experts in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, General Practice, Gynecology, Optometry, Dentistry, Endocrinology, Cardiology all available.
Onboarding medical doctors
In delivering its services, CribMD has partnered with thousands of medical doctors across the 36 states in Nigeria, meaning that there is an expert available in practically every location. The onboarding process is as easy as visiting the website and signing up as a medical doctor. After this, comes a verification process (usually lasting a week or two), where the individual’s qualification and licensing have to be verified before he can deliver the service to clients.
Once verified, a medical doctor based in Nigeria can start consulting for clients, and gets paid for the number of consultations.
“The Nigerian medical school system does a really fine job with the medical doctors. We don’t have problems with them and I guess that is also because we self-filter those that meet our standards,” Ossai stated.
Every tech company cooperating in Nigeria has to deal with the power and infrastructural deficit challenge, and CribMB has joined the number having to create a reliable infrastructure to run its business.
There is also the obvious challenge of internet penetration into rural areas which may hinder the ability of rural residents to access this service, but CribMD has addressed this by creating a toll-free line which such residents can call to speak to a doctor or request a home visit.
Just 8 months in Nigeria, CribMD has lots of reviews online, gained significant traction and also just concluded a seed funding round, allowing it to have about 50 full-time staff. The company is also running pilots in Los Angeles, USA, and has plans to expand into Kenya, Ghana, East Africa, and other African countries within the next decade.