Interview with Nnamdi Odumody (Grow Eastern Nigeria)

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The health sector in Nigeria is one that is grappling with many challenges one of which is state of art infrastructure and modern technologies transforming the delivery of affordable and quality health  which has made the country to lose an annual  $2 billion to medical tourism. Dr Nnamdi Elenwoke founder of Docotal wants to revolutionize the healthcare industry by leveraging technology to transform it.

What drove your interest in medicine?

Since I was a child I have always had interest in helping sick people. I remember the first day I went to visit my aunt in the hospital and I saw all the sick people in the hospital. I fell in love with the hospital. Also, I love to know how the human body functions. This inquisitive nature has made me to continue studying harder to achieve my profession of interest

There are a whole lot of technology applications which are transforming healthcare in Nigeria. What makes docotal different from its competitors?

Docotal has a strong place among other fantastic technology applications providing healthcare. Docotal has both technology and human faces. You can search for information on our site as well as call and speak to one of our team of professionals.  Docotal is not in competition with other health technology applications; instead we are helping and inspiring others so that we can reach our goal.  We are all working towards same goal of providing accessible healthcare to all.  All the application channels cannot provide all the needed healthcare assistance because there is a large population that need our help. This is why we have professional consultants that are there to help resolve medical problems. There is easy access to our website: www.docotal.com. Our app: Docotal Mobile App is available for free on Google Play Store and Google AppStore.   Together we can make healthcare affordable and accessible to everyone.

Lack of accurate medical data on patients and adequate facilities for treatment are two major problems which the healthcare industry in Nigeria is faced with. How do you plan to solve these and other major challenges with your platform?

We plan to develop our app in subsequent updates. This includes applying artificial intelligence, electronic medical history and live video calls. Docotal Health Foundation (www.docotal.com/foundation) plans to import medical equipment to corresponding health facilities. Emphasis is laid on periodic healthcare outreach and collaboration with other health agencies to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Remember the developed countries struggled with their health care before they developed better healthcare systems. We have to learn how to solve our problems ourselves and that is why Docotal Health is here. There is a lot to do in the future. The best way to predict the future, according to Peter Ducker, the management consultant, is to create it and this is what we are doing.

In the South East currently there is an absence of state of art equipment in medical centres and medical technologies which are revolutionizing medicine globally. How can this ugly trend be tackled to make the region a Centre of Medical Excellence in Africa and the globe?

This is a gradual process that requires all hands to be on deck. First, we should have the right mindset of believing that our health care system can be competitive in the globe. Mapping out a plan and learning from others require a lot of discipline. There is practically no difference between the brain of most people in developed versus developing societies. However the mindset and ability to translate what is known to useable functional purpose is the major difference.  But we have to start somewhere and make continual and sustained progress. Although the economic state of our country can be de-motivating, there are some agencies making strides. Political willingness is key to development of our resources. The reward of good health sector may not be immediate, but gradually, the impact will be felt across board.

What plans do you have to groom or mentor young medical practitioners in the South East on how to use advanced technology to solve the healthcare challenges of the region, country and continent?

Mentorship is a critical step towards grooming young medical professionals.  Theoretical knowledge cannot equal experiential knowledge.  Therefore there is need to train our professionals on the job. Our team of professionals can easily organize themselves together for any medical outreach.  Our aim is to connect all the medical schools to Docotal Health system. Our periodic outreach includes mentoring doctors and providing necessary equipment to work with. It is a win-win situation. As many young doctors as are properly groomed, as many health challenges will be managed because the reach out and positive outcomes to our people will be expansive.

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