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A digital health wallet to help millions of Kenyans access healthcare

Emerging Insight #:

  171
 

Date of Release:

  July 28, 2020
 

Subtopics:

  Health
 
 

The success story of M-TIBA, a digital health platform launched four years ago

In the lead up to 2016, the non-profit organization PharmAcces recognised that a reliable digital tool to save for out-of-pocket health payments could help many Kenyans manage their health risks. PharmAccess therefore collaborated with telecom provider Safaricom and online health payment service CarePay to develop “M-TIBA”, a digital platform that leverages mobile technology to facilitate inclusive healthcare in Kenya.

M-TIBA is a three-way platform that connects patients, healthcare providers and healthcare payers (governments, insurers, donors and solidarity payers). The platform exchanges money and data between these three groups, allowing for the financing of both users and providers of healthcare.

M-TIBA also provides a mobile health wallet that is free for users and allows them to save, borrow and share money for non-catastrophic healthcare costs using a basic mobile phone. This unique digital solidarity mechanism allows those sending money to ensure that the funds will be used for health expenses. Wallet users can only use the money stored in M-TIBA to pay for treatment and medication at partner clinics and hospitals, or to pay for contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund.

In less than four years, PharmAccess has connected over 4 million Kenyans, 1,400 healthcare clinics, payers, and a telecommunication and a mobile money operator via this digital health platform. PharmAccess is now setting up similar platforms in Nigeria and Tanzania. Its success in Kenya shows that the platform can reach patients at scale and bring concrete benefits to all stakeholders.

Read about the M-TIBA digital health platform in more detail in our latest Case Brief.