Vula Mobile

A mobile health app improving eye care in rural South Africa
2015 SEED South Africa Award Winner Green Technologies Johannesburg, South Africa

The enterprise’s app solution is designed to improve eye care diagnosis, treatment and specialist referrals for rural health care professionals. Practitioners can take photos, capture a brief medical history and directly communicate with specialists. The software licenses are sold to health systems administrators and NGOs, and the app is free to download.

The app improves the quality of practitioner decisions, while thoroughly documenting the process. It provides a fast and convenient way to connect rural patients, healthcare professionals and eye care specialists. 

Vula Mobile enables rural health workers to better serve patients with eye conditions.  By allowing primary healthcare professionals, regardless of geography, to access accurate information and specialist practitioners, stress and uncertainty for patients is reduced, appropriate treatment is accurately prescribed and early identification of serious conditions lessens the risk of long-term health effects.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Vula Mobile enables rural health workers to better serve patients with eye conditions. By allowing primary healthcare professionals to access accurate information, stress and uncertainty for patients are reduced, treatment is accurately prescribed and serious conditions are identified early.
  • Eliminating geographical restraints by providing health workers in rural areas with direct access to specialists.
  • Facilitating early identification of serious eye conditions, reducing the risk of long-term effects.
  • Documenting the process of patient referrals, reducing errors and delays.
  • Substituting paper documents and postal shipping for communication between practitioners and institutions.
  • Avoiding paper waste and the need for e.g. fax machines in the enterprise by mobile and online communication.


  • Allowing more effective resource allocation, giving specialists control over patient referrals.
  • Avoiding incorrect referrals to specialist clinics, reducing wasted time and money.
  • Reducing hospitals’ risk of misconduct, avoiding costly medico-legal process.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Mafami owns Vula Mobile, and is a registered company in terms of the South African Companies Act.

The Fund for Innovation and Research in Rural Health (FIRRH) at Stellenbosch University helps to explore the effectiveness of Vula in other areas of rural healthcare.

Gauteng Accelerator Programme and Innovation Hub provides funding and ongoing mentorship for Vula as part of its GAP ICT award 2014.

Tygerberg Hospital forms an integral part of the real world user experience of Vula, and provides valuable feedback for future innovation.

CBM is an international development organisation supporting access to rural healthcare and helping Vula to grow in other medical specialities. 

SEED Library

In the SEED Library you can read case studies and briefs and explore recent news and blog posts related to the enterprise.
Read more

Collaborate with Vula Mobile

Use this form to contact the enterprise directly. The submission of this form notifies SEED of your contact request.
I consent to having SEED collect my details and protect my submitted data in line with privacy policy
William Mapham

Meet more enterprises in the sector


2013 SEED Gender Equality Award Winner
Green Technologies Cali, Colombia

BubbleNut Wash

2021 SEED Low Carbon Award Winner
Green Technologies India

Khoelife Organic Soap and Oils Primary Co-operative

2014 SEED South Africa Award Winner
Green Technologies Cape Town, South Africa

2013 SEED Low Carbon Award Winner
Green Technologies Hà Nội, Viet Nam


2021 SEED Low Carbon Award Winner
Green Technologies Bangkok, Thailand

Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative

2010 SEED Award Winner
Green Technologies Accra, Ghana