Apps that are not entertainment-related are expected to record slow growth in Nigeria, according to Emeka Onyenwe, co-founder of award winning healthcare app Find-A-Med.
HumanIPO reported last week Find-A-Med – which makes healthcare facilities across Nigeria accessible and searchable from mobile phones – emerged the winner of the mobile app competition at the Mobile West Africa 2014 event in Lagos.
Onyenwe told HumanIPO the app has around 2,000 downloads, with the full release dependent on its ability to get critical mass, something difficult for a non-entertainment app in Nigeria.
“I find that the app terrain is different in Nigeria. I assume that most people aren’t so conscious about their health until they fall sick, so users don’t go out of their way for health until it’s absolutely necessary. Since this is not an entertainment app or a game, it is expected to get that slow growth with app downloads,” he said.
He said another challenge is the inability of some smartphone users to work out how to download apps themselves from app stores.
“Some don’t even accounts, and a lot of people don’t want to save their data because it is expensive,” he said.
For Find-A-Med, he said users were first reluctant to download the app because they did not know what it was for, but once they understood the value they downloaded it.
“Someone told me the app is like a spare tyre, you don’t know when you’ll need it but you should always have it,” he said.
The best strategy to get the app in the hands of more users, he said, is via pre-installation on smartphones.
“The best way will be pre-installing them in phones even before they are sold so that way the information is already with them. That is what I am focusing most of my efforts on now and I have got some way with some phone manufacturers and doing due diligence, but it is a long process and it just takes time. But I am also trying to reach out to others and it is not so easy,” Onyenwe said.
He said the success at Mobile West Africa had helped put the app on the map and connected the developers to some stakeholders.
“I’m currently in talks with them and I am really grateful for what they have done,” he said.
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