Company: Mafami (Pty) Ltd
Price: Free
App Size: 6.7MB
Developers: William Mapham, Mike Madsen
Category: Best Enterprise – Business solutions & sales, Best Enterprise – Utilities, Wild Card
Vula Mobile is an app that connects general healthcare workers directly with specialists. They can make referrals, get advice, find information, and undertake diagnostic tests, all through their mobile phone. This will result in more accurate diagnoses and more appropriate referrals, thus reducing inefficiencies in current referral systems.

Specialists are able to review a patient’s information, including test results and photographs, before the patient arrives at the referral hospital. This means doctors can prioritise urgent cases and prepare for their arrival ahead of time.

Vula allows medical professionals with no specialist training to access information on their smartphones, rather than relying on books that are expensive, difficult to access (particularly in rural areas) and are often out of date. Medical information and new treatment options can be added to the app as they become available.

Vula also provides a virtual support network for health professionals that are placed in peripheral hospitals. Research has shown that South African doctors tend to move out of these facilities, particularly those in rural areas, as soon as their compulsory community service is completed. One of the major reasons for this cited by the research is a lack of a support structure or mentorship that will promote learning opportunities. Vula allows health professionals in these hospitals to connect directly with skilled and experienced medical specialists.

In addition, because Vula Mobile captures a digital record of the entire referral process, it can improve record keeping, and thus reduce the risk of incurring medico-legal costs.