Telkom has announced that it will power health tech company, Afya Rekod’s health management platform, that will facilitate COVID-19 monitoring and analysis.

The Afya Rekod platform is a centralised, multilingual, intelligent health data platform, built with Artificial Intelligence (AI) modules and blockchain technology, to ensure that it is adaptive, dynamic and secured for public usage.

This platform converts structured and unstructured data to global health data record keeping, using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and other international standards. It was developed in March this year, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, to support global efforts to curb the disease. The Afya Rekod platform provides a virtual repository for individuals to store their health data in real time.

Kenyans will be able to access the platform via USSD code or by downloading the Afya Rekod App via Google Play Store. Commenting on the development, Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mugo KIBATI said:

“As a telco, we understand the importance of easy accessibility of data when it comes to the management of disease outbreaks. We are happy to play a role in ensuring that the people of Kenya are able to share real time information of any symptoms they may experience related to COVID-19, keep logs of their progress, be able to get the right information, as well as have access to health workers who can support them with initial consultation.”

This platform, that also allows for backward and forward integration with multiple EHRs and MERs, will enable streamlined information-sharing to empower health workers.

Kibati added “One of the most critical issues during this period will be how quickly health workers are up-skilled, and kept well informed on how they can best support patients and also protect themselves in the process. Quick adoption of technology platforms such as the one offered by Afya Rekod, therefore, is vital towards this fight against COVID-19.”

The Founder and CEO of Afya Rekod, John Kamara on his part pointed out that lack of patient data in real time makes it hard to curb disease and more so a virus such as COVID-19, whose cure and vaccine are still being sought. 

“The application is being launched at a crucial time when the world is experiencing one of the biggest pandemics in generations and we need to monitor the movement and evolution of the virus closely to determine, among other things, the changing nature of symptoms”, he said

The Afya Rekod platform will enable users to capture real-time data that will heat-map areas where COVID-19 infections are growing, and monitor the growth in real-time, by collecting user-generated information from users across multiple geographic locations to allow for sufficient data analysis.

Its decentralized nature, that enables people to update their own records, anytime, anywhere, and in multiple formats, will support the relevant health authorities with efficient general management of the spread of the disease, resource mobilization, and patient support, where required.

Kamara also revealed tha Afya Rekod and Telkom are in talks with County Governments to pilot the use of the platform with their health workers, for the facilitation of training and in-App consultation.

“We have already confirmed the participation of five counties, including: West Pokot, Tharaka Nithi, Nandi, Isiolo and Garissa, to adopt the usage of the Afya Rekod platform, for their county-specific COVID-19 interventions, as they work to further equip their health workers to better handle the pandemic ”, he stated.