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BIMA’s tele-doctor service

BIMA is the global leader in providing insurance and healthcare through mobile technology. A LeapFrog investment, BIMA provides insurance distribution and underwriting to millions of low income people via highly innovative partnerships with major mobile network operators and financial services businesses.

Right from the start of LeapFrog’s investment, LeapFrog Labs has supported BIMA in product development, customer insight and new partnership development.

Most recently, Labs played a critical role in the development of BIMA’s tele-doctor service, which has now been launched in Ghana, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Paraguay. Since entering the mobile health space in late 2015, BIMA has already reached over 330,000 people.

In emerging markets, it is common for people to have to travel considerable distances or sacrifice hours waiting in a clinic before seeing a doctor. This, and the cost of consultations, often prevents people from seeking medical help.

BIMA’s m-Health services make it easy, quick and affordable for patients to access medical advice from a qualified doctor before their condition worsens. At the core of the product is a tele-doctor service that gives customers access to consultations with a qualified doctor over the phone. Members and their extended families are eligible for an unlimited number of consultations, all for the cost of a single membership. Customers also receive free diagnostic tests, discounts throughout BIMA’s partnership network and a local medical directory.

In Ghana, for example, customers can buy a 12-month m-Health package for just GHC 18 (USD 4.55). BIMA’s trained agents register new members in the field, providing vital product information to ensure that people understand the service and how to use it. Emerging consumers are often reluctant to try new products, so BIMA needed to find a way to inspire trust and demonstrate immediate value. They did so by offering customers a free health screening in one of BIMA’s community-based doctor’s camps, including tests for blood pressure, BMI, eyesight, blood sugar (diabetes) and Hepatitis B.

BIMA DoctorThe doctor’s camp initiative is funded by Labs donors and has been a huge success, doubling the number of consumers subscribing to the product. BIMA has already given over 45, 000 Ghanaian families access to vital health services and continues to scale up across the country.

This is a simple but highly effective product that allows consumers to leapfrog traditional healthcare provision and get the advice they need to live healthier lives.