Facilitating remote access to specialist medical expertise through the scaled up adoption of a smartphone application: A South African case


The public health service in South Africa (SA), serving 85% of the population, is based on a primary healthcare (PHC) model, which is in accordance with international best practice. Primary care providers (PCPs) are supported by teams of specialists at referral hospitals. However, the public health sector in SA is under-resourced and beset by organisational inefficiencies. Access to specialist care is increasingly difficult owing to the inadequate number of specialists to serve the needs of the population.

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Initial use of Vula in the Eastern Cape of South Africa (BBC Video): “My life is so much better now“.

Vula started in ophthalmology and is now used in 79 different specialties, including access to COVID specialists.


How it empowers primary  health workers to deliver care with specialist advice.