William Mapham is a specialist ophthalmologist. He has served as the Vice Chair of the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa (RuDASA) and previously spent time in New York and Washington designing mobile phone applications for healthcare. He has published academic articles on the role of innovation and technology in improving healthcare delivery, and has extensive experience in rural health care.
Vula is the brainchild of Mapham, who conceived the idea for the app while working at the Vula Emehlo Eye Clinic in rural Swaziland. He experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by rural health workers when they need specialist advice.
The aim of the app is to give health workers – particularly those in remote rural areas – a tool that helps to get patients quick and efficient specialist care.