Blessed Katiyo in JOHANNESBURG
FORMER Econet Wireless Zimbabwe software engineer, Blessing Museki, has launched a digital platform that is set to revolutionise the way Zimbabweans access essential medication and other health services.
Cloomi is a WhatsApp chatbot that works by engaging a mobile phone user in a human-like conversation. It connects users to various pharmacies and health laboratories in Harare and will soon spread to other provinces.
Accessing the service has no subscription fee for both patients and pharmacies.
“Cloomi was motivated by my personal experience seeing the struggles of friends and family looking for essential medicine back home.
“Cloomi is like your very own personal butler in your pocket, working for you 24/7.
“It will take you less than a minute to submit a request, and then all you do is sit back and wait for the quotations to come in from various pharmacies,” the London-based Museki told H-Metro.
“It’s not just for those living in Zimbabwe. Those in the diaspora can actually advise their relatives back in Zimbabwe on where to go and get medication at the cheapest cost.
“And it’s not always about cost — availability is probably the first problem addressed by Cloomi. A lot of essential medication is hard to find. Hopping from one pharmacy to another with a prescription in hand is not an ideal way to begin your recovery.”
Cloomi said one needs to add the number +263788257164 to one’s WhatsApp contacts, then chat to it like you would with any of your colleagues. Qualifying pharmacists will receive instant notifications that an unidentified patient in their location is searching for this.
Over the next 24 hours you will receive responses from those pharmacies that have what you are looking for, together with the pharmacies’ contact details.
“Already we have over 70 pharmacies and 10 medical laboratories in Harare, and 20 pharmacies in Bulawayo, with more still waiting to be onboarded.
“We hope to be in all 10 provinces by mid-year. To lessen the workload of pharmacists while giving patients instant results, we will soon introduce artificial intelligence (AI), so that the chatbot can respond to users. Responses from pharmacists can be received in as short a time as 10 minutes.