Take a look at the number of SMS text messages sent in Kenya between October and December of 2016: 15.8 billion. When you consider the population of Kenya, that number rounds into 35 SMS text messages per person. While some people read that number and see a nascent technology ecosystem, others view that number as an opportunity – a chance to get ahead of the wave.
Kaakpema “KP” Yelpaala, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of access.mobile International, leads the wave when it comes to this opportunistic lens. access.mobile International is a for-profit digital health enterprise focused on driving improved access, cost, and quality in emerging healthcare markets. In 2011, Yelpaala saw the potential to advance the budding digital health market in East Africa by leveraging mobile- and cloud-based technologies to better engage patients with their providers. At the time, the marketplace for patient engagement platforms was nonexistent. Patients struggled to connect with providers outside of clinical walls and providers lacked agency to communicate with patients after discharge. Both parties urged for change and more autonomy around healthcare decision-making.