SOUTH AFRICA – AfroCentric Investment Corporation Limited, an investment holding company in Southern Africa with a focus on healthcare, has inaugurated a digital healthcare platform dubbed AMP designed to engage medical scheme members in their overall health and wellness.

The digital wellness platform provides users with the tools, information and encouragement on positive lifestyle changes in an effort to help medical scheme members under the Group to make better lifestyle choices and ultimately reduce the need for costly healthcare interventions.

The integration of AMP into medical schemes’ existing member apps comes at a time when South Africa faces significant health challenges such as smoking health risks, a higher chance of obesity among citizens and inactive lifestyles as well as lack of physical activity.

Entities within the AfroCentric Group include AfroCentric Technologies, AfroCentric Distribution Services, AfroCentric, Wellness, AfroCentric Primary Care, PharmacyDirect and its largest entity, Medscheme.

The AfroCentric Group provides health administration, health risk management, pharmaceuticals, wellness and disease management along with health-centric information and communications technology-based solutions to the healthcare funding industry.

Entities within the JSE-listed (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) company include AfroCentric Technologies, AfroCentric Distribution Services, AfroCentric, Wellness, AfroCentric Primary Care, PharmacyDirect and its largest subsidiary, Medscheme.

Medscheme is one of South Africa’s largest medical scheme administrators with more than 3.2 million lives under management through its 15 client medical schemes in the country. The Medscheme service provides comprehensive service packages for health risk management and healthcare management.

Recently, AfroCentric Group launched AMP as part of Medscheme’s Integrated Smart Solutions in a step closer towards embedding timely and data-driven insights of healthcare to add value to the members of the schemes under administration for greater customer satisfaction.

AfroCentric Group CEO Ahmed Banderker explained that the AMP platform uses advanced gamification, user insights as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning to take a holistic approach to wellness based on positively guiding its users to make healthier choices.

Early results from the pilot phase of AMP indicate that more than 80% of our members are highly motivated to change. AMP gives members access to complementary and value-add services through partnerships with Avo by Nedbank, Panda mental wellness platform among other benefits,” he said.

Medical schemes are forced to allocate millions of members carefully saved financial reserves to treat lifestyle-related illnesses which impacts on the ability to offer rich benefits to all members and prevents lower-income earners from entering the medical scheme market, according to CEO Ahmed Banderker.

Banderker explained that the new digital healthcare platform will give principal members on AfroCentric Group’s medical schemes and their beneficiaries access to enhanced understanding of their health and the ability to unlock medical aid benefits from the palm of their hands.

With nearly 4 million lives in AfroCentric’s care, AMP has the potential to make a substantial impact on South Africans’ overall quality of life. The platform is designed around the belief that, when prompted to take steps towards better living, South Africans will take up the challenge of becoming healthier together,” he added.

Meanwhile, AfroCentric acquired a 100% interest in Pharmacy Direct, a courier pharmacy, a 100% stake in Curasana, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, and a 26% minority stake in Activo Health, a southern African distributor of generic medicines as well as complementary nutraceutical products in 2015.

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