A SOUTH African team, including a Wits alumnus, recently won a R250 000 prize at the Total Startupper Challenge competition for their plan to create an online platform for video consultations for doctors and patients.

One of the winning entires, ConnectMed, is an on-demand video doctor consultation platform set to launch in May 2016. The platform will enable patients to consult doctors and receive prescriptions.

“ConnectMed will change how doctors interact with patients and health delivery as a whole,” said Smiso Skosana, a final-year University of Cape Town medical student and ConnectMed partner.

Skosana said that it is important to understand that the platform will have limitations and that it’s key for doctors to refer patients to face-to-face consultations when they cannot assist a patient online.

The platform is a new approach to the face-to-face medicine model and it could be expanded into other health professions like psychology.

The Startupper Challenge aims to empower young African entrepreneurs by calling for submissions of business proposals and motivation for funding.

Video consultations have already started in the United Kingdom and United States with Forbes.com saying that doctors’ video consults with patients will double by 2020 in the US. This is the first time the concept is developed for South Africa.