eClinic: Powering Nigeria's Healthcare System Using Technology

A patient walks or is aided by someone else into the reception of a hospital. They walk to the counter and inform the attending nurse that they are seeking medical attention. The nurse asks, "do you have a file?" and the patient responds in the affirmative.

The nurse goes to inventory room, and 15 or more minutes are lost. The patient waits then the nurse returns with a file that looks like it is on the brink of falling apart from natural causes. "Sit down and wait for the doctor", the nurse instructs the patient, motioning for them to join the queue.

The above illustration is a common scene in hospitals across Nigeria. Delayed services and bureaucratic processes slow down delivery; but this problem now has a solution. Innovators in the tech space have stepped up to tackle the inefficiency that has bedeviled the healthcare system in Nigeria for too long.

One of such tech players is Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch, with its relaunch of the eClinic platform, a platform that comes packed with possibilities for healthcare givers.

Imagine walking into the hospital, like the patient in the opening scenario and, in a few minutes, you're face-to-face with the doctor; received your diagnosis and picked your drugs off the counter - all seamlessly done. Waiting time is drastically reduced.

Now, what exactly does the eClinic platform do in simple terms? The eClinic platform was created with the sole purpose of tackling challenges that plague Nigeria's medical sector. One of such problems is that of medical inventory. The current system of keeping medical records of patients using pen-and-paper method is neither reliable nor efficient.

With the eClinic platform, medical records can be easily accessed with just a few clicks on the computer. These records are sent to a central data collection centre that makes data sourcing easier for medical professionals, thereby driving efficiency.

In a recent statement from the organisation, Interswitch listed, although not exhaustively, other features that make the eClinic platform a super app. These features include inventory and stock keeping, patient appointment and queue management, medical and insurance billing, assets management, integration to third-party systems via API, quick messaging and notification, medical coding, backup, and multi-location support, among others.

The eClinic platform has been described as a patient-focused healthcare service, bringing new meaning to healthcare services in Nigeria. It is also worthy to note that the services provided by the platform are designed to create trust between patients and their doctors; with patients knowing that their medical records are in safe hands.

This trust has been exemplified across over 12 states in Nigeria where over 350 hospitals use the eClinic platform to aid healthcare professionals to deliver quality services while boosting productivity.