Respo Technology (Pty) Ltd
The app will be targeted at emergency health care service providers and the general public. We will initially focus on areas that have historically experienced challenges in getting emergency medical response, such as rural and peri-urban areas as well as locations/townships.
Respo is a mobile app solution that uses GPS technology to find the exact location of a patient and also notifies the next of kin when an emergency occurs. This solution is aimed at reducing the time it takes for an ambulance to reach a patient, resulting in more lives saved during medical emergencies.
Respo Mobile App is located in Durban central, at the Smart Xchange offices. This is where we sat down with Blessing Nzuzo and his team to find out more about his innovation.
What problem/s are you trying to address?
I witnessed a stabbing victim bleeding on the Durban beachfront and this inspired me to develop a smartphone app that promises to cut emergency medical response times. Respo Mobile App is addressing the time lag that exists between the moment a medical emergency is reported and when emergency medical services reach the patient. The first hour after a medical emergency is extremely critical in saving the patient’s life. If the treatment begins later than one hour after the emergency, the chances of recovery drop by almost 60 percent. Unfortunately, in most cases the treatment starts almost 2 to 3 hours late.
What has been the toughest challenge/s to overcome in your innovation journey?
The toughest challenge for us to overcome to date has been raising funding for commercialisation.
Where do you see yourself and your innovation in 5 years’ time?
In the next 5 years, we intend to grow in a number of ways. Firstly, we will introduce new technologies and features to improve our service offering, such as developing new products that will enable customers to request emergency services in the absence of a smartphone. Secondly, we plan to expand into other sectors such as the private and home security sector. Lastly, we will work to get new partners and team members in order to expand our distribution channels beyond South African borders.
The biggest lesson so far has been the importance of getting the right team with complementary skills to propel the project and maintain consistency in order to get the job done. One thing that Blessing wishes he knew at the start of this innovation is the extent to which emotional intelligence influences the success of the innovation.
Respo Technology received seed funding from Smart Xchange and the Technology Innovation Agency and won R250,000 in business support from Ithala business awards after Respo Technology came in first place for the Inkunz’Isematholeni Youth in Business category.