Vula Mobile is a South African startup connecting general health workers in remote areas with specialists in hospitals via a mobile app. Health workers can gather basic patient information, take photographs, do a basic eye test and capture a brief medical history and send it directly to a specialist. Advice can then be delivered over a dedicated messaging platform, aiding decisions on the best course of care for the patient.

How they’re disrupting

Initially developed only for ophthalmology referrals, it quickly became clear that the functionality provided by Vula was widely needed. Specialists from several different fields joined forces with Vula to design functionality for their own specialities. Vula added cardiology, orthopaedics and burns in April 2016. The startup makes money by selling licences to use its platform to health systems administrators, and have now secured their first commercial contract.

Disruption potential

$22bn electronic medical records industry.

Investments and future

Vula Movile pitched for funding at the Sparkup! Live event in Cape Town in May 2016, walking away with funding offers of $90k from Ernst Hertzog, Brett Commaille from AngelHub Ventures and Vasili Sofiadellis; all of which it chose to decline for the time being.