Most Nigerians do not like visiting a hospital. I did a small survey and asked about 10 of my friends why they didn’t like going to hospitals. Most of them were people who had never been seriously ill, or had any sort of medical emergencies, so most of their reasons revolved around basic convenience. Well, there’s an app for that.
Kangpe is a mobile and web app that connects you to a medical doctor, who will answer your health-related questions in the shortest time. Usually up to 10 minutes.
Femi Kuti, the co-founder and CEO of Kangpe granted an interview last month, where he talked about the app, and answered the questions that some of us have about the doctors who answer the questions on the platform. He explained that doctors who signed up on the app had to provide their credentials. The credentials are then evaluated by Kangpe’s team, before a doctor is cleared to answer questions on the app.
I tried out the web app first, and found it to be quite interactive and informative. You type in your health related question in a text box in the home page, and click on “submit” for an answer in 10 minutes. Scrolling down the page leads you to a preview of questions other patients have asked on the platform, and you can click on the “Read More” button to see more of that.
I reckon the purpose of this feature is to allow users skim through old answers, and possibly find an answer to their question without actually having to ask. The web app also features a blog, health tip of the day and a deal of the day.
I tried out the main feature of the app on a Saturday night, using the free 24 hour option for first-timers. I was told I’d get a text to my phone number, with a link to my answer, in less than 10 minutes.
The SMS with a link to my answer came 20 minutes after I asked. The reply was robust and satisfactory. No prescriptions were made and a bunch of tests were recommended.
Then I tried out the mobile app next. The interface was smooth and user friendly. After a few intro blurbs to explain basic details about the app, I was in.
It looks a lot like the web app, with the same features, and so was quite easy for me to navigate. There’s a sidebar menu where you have access to your account settings. New additions include a period calendar, and a tab called “Your answers”, presumably so that users can always come back to their question and answers with other doctors if need be.
There were no noticeable lags in the app during my usage, and apart from the fact that most of the doctors appeared young and did not type their sentences in full, which in a way, made me a bit skeptical, their answers checked out. There were also very clear on visiting a health professional for a consultation.
I did not get the free trial option on the app, probably because I had used it via web the day before, so, I had to pay for it. The app has a flexible payments structure for users. Offering three separate payment options.
All in all, user experience was amazing with this app, and I’m glad it exists. The app will definitely bridge a gap in our health sector and offer more Nigerians the opportunity to interact with health professionals.
While Kangpe will not remove the need to visit a hospital and be examined by a health professional, it does save you the stress of going to the hospital for minor ailments. Judging from the questions on the site, most of these people just need quick answer that’s a push in the right direction. i.e, seeing a doctor. So all in all, a good run.