News

Jamaica's first medical/social website launched

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE Observer staff reporter husseyd@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2012    

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EMEDICAL Jamaica Global Limited (EMED), the Jamaican air ambulance evacuation service, has launched a website that will see persons across the globe gaining access to medical services here in Jamaica while being able to chat directly with local doctors online.

According to its creators, one aim is to get persons to come to Jamaica to seek health care, which, despite the challenges, is among the best in the world, according to Duane Boise, president/CEO of Emedical Global Jamaica.

Boise told the Observer, at an exclusive demonstration of the website last Thursday, that this is intended to boost the country's fledgling health tourism sector.

"This dynamic mobile health solution lets its members connect to the health information and local care they need, when they need it, by providing first-aid information, searchable health topics, a symptom navigator, a GPS-enabled local health-care search that includes doctors, hospitals, urgent care, retail clinics and pharmacies, and even information about exclusive EMED member discounts," Boise said.

The company said the website, www.emedlifeline.com has all the benefits of Facebook.

Boise explained: "It is the only medical/social website for Jamaica. Persons can join up, add friends, put up profiles, chat to each other. It has a media blog, just about everything that Facebook does, while also building a network with specialists."

The website was launched in collaboration with EBIX, a leading supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the international health-care and insurance industry, which has 30 offices across US, Canada, Brazil, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Version two of the application, which will come on stream shortly, is expected to allow patients to visit an online appointment centre and connect to their doctors, make appointments, while also accessing pharmaceuticals.

"EMED realises that the ability to immediately search for physicians via mobile devices gave it the opportunity to provide a better member experience," Boise said. "Members could quickly and conveniently take a more active role in their own health, as well as more easily find ground ambulances, air ambulances, physicians, and hospital facilities. A mobile connection to members would also give EMED the opportunity to gain a more intimate understanding of their members in order to customise messaging according to specific member needs."

Medical director and vice-president of Emedical Global Jamaica, Dr Neville Graham, said the website would be of significant benefit to Jamaican clients.

"Getting immediate access to the most frequently needed first-aid information categorised into four areas — emergency ground ambulance, emergency air ambulance evacuation, symptom diagnosis and minor injuries and poisoning — even without a wireless connection, is great for Jamaicans."

EMED presently serves the Caribbean through the company's air ambulance/health-care benefits business and, according to Boise:

"As the market leader in the emergency air ambulance service and group benefit market, mobile solutions like this help us flex our innovation muscle, enabling us to deliver a better user experience to our members," Boise said.

EMED also recently signed an agreement with the Jamaica Civil Service Association, one of Jamaica's largest labour unions.

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