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The Transformative Power of Technology:  How Virtual Doctors are revolutionising healthcare accessibility in Africa

Virtual Doctors is a charity using technology to provide medical support to rural communities in Africa and is a client that we are extremely proud to be working with. In this episode of Igniting Change Season 4, we are joined by Dr Isabelle Widmer to delve into the story behind Virtual Doctors, the impact their work is having now, and what the future holds for this remarkable organisation.



Imagine having to travel 100 kilometers to your nearest hospital on foot, bringing your family with you, and leaving your crops unattended. Or, being the Clinical officer who is solely responsible for managing a whole rural community’s health with a lack of resources to treat them.

Healthcare can be difficult to access, especially in the rural communities of Zambia and Malawi.

This week, our CEO, Duncan Cook, is joined by Isabelle Widmer, a Board member for Virtual Doctors to discuss how Virtual Doctors is working to improve Healthcare for rural communities, pioneering the ways to provide medical support, all through an app. 

We are so excited to be working on this project, and this is definitely an episode you don’t want to miss!

This week on Igniting Change...

As a physician, Isabelle always had the desire to help people and share medical knowledge with populations that really need it. She studied medicine, worked in research, worked in consulting, and joined Virtual Doctors in 2021.

Her experience with pharmaceutical companies and technology systems means that Isabelle is now combining two of her ‘big loves’ to share knowledge and improve health. As a board member, Isabelle gives us detailed insight into the purpose and story behind Virtual Doctors, the current work they are doing, as well as hopes for future expansion and development.

But we don’t want to reveal all here so make sure you tune into the full episode below….

About Virtual Doctors

Virtual Doctors do fantastic work supporting frontline healthcare by linking rural clinics in Africa to volunteer doctors based mainly in the UK.

By providing telemedicine services such as diagnosis and treatment advice, the organisation aims to:

  • Increase education
  • Empower health workers
  • Ensure patients get better care
  • Reduce hospital referrals, to avoid the associated costs for individuals
  • Provide specialist care that wouldn’t necessarily otherwise be accessible

During this episode, Isabelle tells us of the experience that deeply touched Virtual Doctors’ founder, Huw Jones, and how it led to the charity’s inspirational formation.

Huw Jones saw people he knew in his community in Africa dying from easily treatable illnesses because there was no access to healthcare. Although he was a Safari Guide with no medical experience, he didn’t let that stop him and he was determined to make a difference. It took a lot of determination and perseverance, especially as Virtual Doctors is an organisation that relies 100% on charitable donations. Also, Telemedicine was a revolutionary idea back in 2001 and the first app was made possible through the hard work of volunteers.

Now Virtual Doctors are working with 3 Sided Cube to take their impact to the next level, to help even more people! The upcoming app will enable questions to be answered faster, allow for the transfer and analysis of data more efficiently, and be scalable for expansion into other countries.

Looking even further into the future, we discuss the goals that Virtual Doctors have. From expanding into other countries, potential collaborations, and future developments, it is an extremely exciting time.

Stay tuned for future updates on the project!

Listen to the full episode here

Don’t miss the conversation!

Listen to the full episode below to hear all the details and be inspired by the incredible work of Virtual Doctors.

For more things tech for good, stay tuned to our blog or shout us a holla to get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you 💚

Published on December 1, 2023, last updated on February 21, 2024

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