Tonic, a digital healthcare system, has served about 20 lakh people in Bangladesh from June to December 2016, with thousands registering for this service every day.
Telenor Health’s digital healthcare system, Tonic, has reached a new milestone as a digital healthcare service serving around 20 lakh Bangladeshis from June 2016 to December 2016. Every day, Tonic adds thousand new customers who register for the service using by dialing USSD menu *789# or Tonic’s smartphone app.
The service available for Grameenphone customers only and except for the voice call, the health advice is completely free of charge, says officials of Telenor Health. Tonic is the first service in Bangladesh to use mobile technology to provide health information alongside providing cash and discount offers on medical services.
Grameenphone’s parent company Telenor introduced the service in Bangladesh in June 2016 as a pilot project. As the service is reaching out to more people every day and serving them efficiently, Telenor now wants to replicate the service in other operating countries. The service will soon be introduced in Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia.
“Bangladesh and other Asian countries has huge potential for technology-based healthcare services. People in Bangladesh have adapted to this service so quickly that we think it will also be popular in other countries,
Sajid Rahman, chief executive officer of Telenor Health. Since its launch last year, Tonic has paid Tk 1,000 each for 1,500 health insurance claims. They also provided more than 16,000 discounts at 200 hospitals, pharmacies and diagnostic centres to their registered customers.
Customers can get discounts of up to 40 percent on hospital care and diagnostic services. Tonic Daktars have provided more than one lakh consultations in the last few months over phone. Children’s health related phone calls accounted for 30 percent of the total calls that Tonic Daktars have replied, said Telenor Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fred Hersch.
Through phone calls, more than one lakh consultations have taken place in the last couple of months, while 30 percent of those calls were related to child health. Tonic’s pool of doctors, consisting of 40 specialists, are providing services to the users, said Dr Fred Hersch, chief medical officer of Telenor Health.
Tonic users need to pay Tk 5 for each minute and the rate has been approved by the telecom regulator. This is the only charge that users pay, while the rest of the Tonic services are. When a user calls, the doctor can view their health history that is stored in the database and recommend treatment as per their complaints and medical history. Tonic also safeguards the privacy of users under the European Union Policy.
Tonic also has a service called Tonic Jibon which provides customers healthcare and lifestyle tips via SMS, website, Facebook page and Android app. More than 13.4 lakh people get tips via Facebook and 2.59 lakh through the Tonic website and app.