Dr William Mapham’s passion is improving healthcare in the public sector. A previous vice-chair of the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa and now an ophthalmologist he has experienced the challenges faced by both medical officers and specialists in trying to improve healthcare in underserved areas.
In 2014 he launched the Vula Mobile professional network, which consists of apps and online systems to improve communication between health professionals in both the public and private sectors.
Vula Mobile now has over 5,500 health professionals on the network of which 1,200 are able to give specialist opinions. It is available in 16 specialties, used in 6 Provinces. Research from Stellenbosch University shows a 31% reduction in physical referrals because specialists are able to give medical officers in underserved areas advice. William continues to look for practical ways to make a difference in the public sector. Vula was the first South African Innovation to be presented at the Royal Society of Medicine and recently won the AfricaTech prize at the VivaTechnology conference in Paris