A Ghanaian-made health mobile application, BISA, has agreed to develop a basic version for
BISA, which means ‘ask’ in the Akan language, is an app that allows to users to seek medical advice without physical interaction with health professionals. Basically, it provides consultancy with a doctor over your smartphone.
The announcement to develop for Free Basics was made by Raindolf Owusu, the founder of Oasis Websoft, developers of BISA, after a visit to Facebook’s headquarters in California. In a Facebook post, Owusu said a basic version of the app will be rolled out on Free Basics in the next few weeks.
“Glad to announce we will be rolling out a basic version of health application on the Facebook free basics technology in the next few weeks.”
Owusu believes that this partnership would help BISA increase its user base in many other countries apart from Ghana.
“[Free Basics will] scale our technology in different markets with support for languages like French and Portuguese.”
This means BISA would be available to more people, especially across African countries where French and Portuguese are official languages.
Problems facing Africa’s health service include a deficit in the number of doctors, hospitals, long queues and the cost of seeking medical help.
With smartphone usage in Africa set to rise annually, this partnership may result in many increaser in new users of the app.
Free Basics was launched in August 2013 by social media giants Facebook to connect millions of people around the world to affordable internet and other internet-based technologies. While the service has been praised for opening up the internet to millions in poor countries, it has been criticized for not promoting net neutrality.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
In 2015, Raindolf Owusu was awarded a Washington Mandela Fellowship award.