Myanmar’s First Mobile App Modernizes Access to Quality Health Care

On an otherwise reasonable evening in July, over 600 people packed an auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, for the culmination of the 2015 Unreasonable Institute. They came to watch 12 ventures take the stage and present their solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

The entrepreneur in this video is Michael Lwin of Koe Koe Tech.

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What urgent need do you address?

Health care is largely underdeveloped in Myanmar. Within a population of 55 million people, eight children die every hour, 18 million suffer from diabetes/hypertension, and 32 million suffer from infectious diseases—problems that most of us don’t have to deal with in the United States. Hospitals and labs lack modern infrastructure. Medical records are written by hand, leaving multiple opportunities for error. In most cases, records are not written at all. People in Myanmar can’t receive the kind of information people in the West take for granted. Health care is broken, and we’re going to fix it.

What solution do you propose?

In 2012, Myanmar opened up to the world, and we now have the opportunity to improve access to quality health care. Tweet This Quote

In 2012, Myanmar opened up to the world, and we now have the opportunity to improve access to quality health care. Koe Koe Tech is the first mobile health app in Myanmar that sends messages to users’ phones with information on 32 health categories, including maternal and child health. It also includes a doctor locator with over 1,500 certified doctors. The app allows you to set up appointments with doctors, community health workers, and midwives as well as order higher quality medicines delivered to your door by NGO affiliated sales agents. The major telecommunication networks launched in Myanmar just last September, but we already have over 7,000 users. We have 15 employees—14 from Myanmar, with half of our staff being women and one-third Muslim—and we offer onsite training in computer science. Our goal is to scale beyond Myanmar, improving access to quality health care across the developing world.

About the author

Unreasonable Institute

Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute arms entrepreneurs creating solutions to the world’s biggest social and environmental problems with the mentorship, capital, and networks they need to do so.

  • Adam Bundy

    I really like concepts like these. In a brand new emerging market such as Myanmar They immediately tried to tackle a huge issue in accessible health care. Through the medium of this mobile app ( smartphones take up to 90% of Myanmar’s Market share) they are able to help a huge number of people in an accessible way. I feel like in these developing countries concepts like this that simplify complex dangerous situations are building a quicker path way to development.

  • Danielle Tepper

    As a future Healthcare Administrator and Public Health Ambassador, I strongly believe that this social venture is one that can leave a lasting impact on developing societies, such as Myanmar. Accessible healthcare and health services are something that Americans take for granted. However, in developing countries, such as Myanmar, it can be extremely hard to find these services and to even find adequate ones. More specifically, Myanmar has a population of 55 million people. Of these 55 million people, 8 children die every hour, 18 million suffer from diabetes and hypertension, and 32 million suffer from infectious diseases. These numbers pose a significant issue and challenge for social entrepreneurs to tackle.
    Koe Koe Tech proposed the first mobile health app in Myanmar to send messages to users with mobile devices with information on 32 different health categories, as well as a doctor locator that provides options of certified physicians. Not only does this app provide the society of Myanmar with accessible healthcare information that can potentially answer life-threatening questions, but it also provides them with a means to locate and seek medical advice and treatment. While smartphones take up 90% of Myanmar’s market share, I see great potential with this social venture.
    I believe this app will continue to have an immediate impact on Myanmar as it helps their society in an easy and accessible way. There is most definitely a great need for individuals to help underdeveloped societies in need, who are at risk of not receiving any medical services or treatment at all. This social venture fills this gap and supports the delivery of healthcare. I also believe that once this app is around long enough to gain attention due to its success, it can easily be implemented in other developing countries. For example, most countries in Africa are underdeveloped and the individuals who live there are at risk for health diseases and cannot seek medical attention. By implementing this app in more societies, they will first become educated on healthcare topics and issues and will then be able to seek the proper medical attention they may need.