25 September 2014 Volume :2 Issue :50

info4africa and Always Active Launch Health Information App

info4africa and Always Active Launch Health Information App
Ms Debbie Heustice (extreme left) Mr Alan Haarhoff (fourth left) with high school learners from the Durban Youth Council at the launch of the info4africa mobile application at the BAT Centre.

info4africa, the national health and wellbeing referral network and self-funded centre within the School of Applied Human Sciences, has added an Android app to its bouquet of services, making the finding of health and wellbeing service providers in South Africa that much simpler.

Developed at a Geekulcha hackathon held in June, a small development team, headed up by Diamond Mubaarak, created the application. Always Active Technologies (AAT), a mobile and database development partner to info4africa, submitted the idea for the hackathon challenge, providing the developers with an application programming interface (API) to info4africa’s database, which the company develops and manages.

Unveiling the app at a meeting of the Durban Youth Council recently, info4africa Director Ms Debbie Heustice said: ‘Our motivation for collecting and collating health and wellbeing service provider information, and making it easily accessible for all South Africans continues unabated.

‘We’re proud to release our info4africa mobile application and look forward to making it even easier for everyone to access our referral network database from wherever they are. Our thanks go to our technology partner, Always Active Technologies, for supervising this development and helping us move forward with our mobile technology programmes.’

Mr Mixo Ngoveni, Founder of Geekulcha said: ‘Seeing the info4africa app come to life brings us great joy, especially because it was submitted as one of the challenges at the Geekulcha “Make Life Easy” Hackathon. The development of this app demonstrates how the incredible talent in South Africa can make a difference to every citizen’s life.’

The Android app, now available on the Google Play Store, enables users to search for their nearest health and wellbeing service provider, using either GPS triangulation on their mobile device or by manually inputting their address or chosen location.

Once users have found what they’re looking for, they can simply long press the provider name and their mobile handset will call the telephone number listed. If users would prefer not to make a call, and rather visit the service provider, they are presented with a nifty map, which will direct them.

info4africa has a long history of collecting and collating service provider information, and is a well-recognised source of reliable information in both private and public sectors. Its referral network database houses comprehensive information on more than 12 000 health, wellbeing and development organisations across the country, and each entry is carefully captured and updated on an annual basis.

AAT’s close partnership with info4africa has borne great fruit over the years. AAT provides mobile and database technology services to the referral network centre, and they’ve worked together to create unique opportunities for all South Africans to get the health information they need, wherever they are and no matter what mobile handset they use.

Mr Alan Haarhoff, Business Development Manager at AAT, said: ‘This is a really exciting step for us. Over the years the dissemination of info4africa’s information has evolved to include various channels – the print directory, the USSD service, the Mobi site and now an Android app.

‘The fact that a South African tech start-up developed the app is no coincidence for us. As South Africans we need to find solutions to our unique problems, and what better way than through the team work of an NPO, a tech start-up and an established mobile agency.’

As an information provider, info4africa is committed to making their referral network database information available to and accessible for all South Africans. The database can also be searched using a USSD mobile phone directory (dial *120 *448# from your mobile phone); a mobisite (info4africa.storefind.mobi) and an SMS service (Send an SMS to 45080).  Download on Google Play Store: http://bit.ly/i4a_Android

Melissa Mungroo

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