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Thursday, 30 June 2022

Using advanced technology and behavioural science, SA's most diversified, majority black-owned health group listed on the JSE has a plan to improve the quality of health for South Africans – at no monthly subscription cost to members

Johannesburg – The AfroCentric Group has launched AMP, a new digital wellness platform designed to integrate into medical schemes' existing member apps and put the well-being of scheme members in their own hands, to create a South Africa that is healthier together.

AMP forms part of AfroCentric Group subsidiary Medscheme's Integrated Smart Solutions and brings it a step closer to embedding data-driven insights of healthcare to add value to the members of the schemes under administration. The launch of AMP comes at a time when Medscheme, which now boasts a refreshed brand to match its enhanced service offering, is increasingly focusing on the digitalisation of healthcare to add value to its schemes. It further demonstrates AfroCentric Group's commitment to innovation to transform healthcare to help address the high burden of disease in South Africa.

According to AfroCentric Group CEO, Ahmed Banderker, South Africa faces significant health challenges, including that nearly a third of South Africans smoke, more than a quarter (28%) are medically obese, and 38% of the population does not partake in enough physical activity to lead a healthy lifestyle.

"In the private healthcare sector, medical scheme members themselves bear the brunt of this, with schemes forced to allocate millions of members' carefully saved financial reserves to treat lifestyle-related illnesses. This impacts on the affordability of medical schemes for many, the ability to offer rich benefits to all members and prevents lower income earners from entering the medical scheme market," Banderker said.

"The development of AMP was driven by a need to help our members make better lifestyle choices, ultimately reducing the need for costly healthcare interventions. The app provides users with the tools, information and encouragement they need to make positive lifestyle changes," he said. "Indeed, early results from the pilot phase of AMP indicate that more than 80% of our members are highly motivated to change."

AMP, which is embedded in the existing medical schemes' apps, uses advanced gamification, bespoke user insights, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning to take a radically different, holistic approach to wellness that is based on positively guiding and nudging its users.

Importantly, AMP also gives members access to complementary and value-add services through partnerships with, among others, Avo by Nedbank and Panda, a mental wellness platform.
These partnerships give members a 360-degree view of the changes they need to make better lifestyle choices, while at the same time accessing the necessary support to make these changes.

"This will give not only principal members on our medical schemes, but their beneficiaries as well, access to enhanced understanding of their health and the ability to unlock medical aid benefits from the palm of their hands. We see this as smart service, AMP-lified," Banderker said.

"With nearly 4 million lives in AfroCentric's care, AMP has the potential to make a substantial impact in 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 concluded.

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