(Fort Lauderdale, FL) — A Florida entrepreneur has launched a new app that provides access to practical, credible, and trustworthy health information to help Blacks around the country who continue to face health disparities at an alarming rate, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eric Chiyembekeza, founder of ourHealth Community, calls the app the only professional community geared towards increasing the visibility and accessibility of information pertaining to Black health. The ourHealth app is available in the Apple and Google app stores. Chiyembekeza points out that the data shows that Black people are dying from the coronavirus at a higher rate than whites. He adds that the Centers for Disease Control points out that 13.8 percent of blacks are in fair or poor health compared with 8.3 percent of whites and that the leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer.
“I am intimately aware of the disconnect that exists between the people with the information and the people who need to hear it,” said Chiyembekeza, whose mother has Lupus and his sister died of breast cancer. “One of the biggest barriers is that the cultural differences are often not accounted for with the information that is disseminated.”
The app features valuable information about healthcare, mental health, nutrition, self-care, fitness, yoga, meditation and many other areas. Users can watch videos from Black health influencers and experts who provide timely information and answer questions. ourHealth allows users to invite others to join in their community, share their health journey via comments, pictures and videos. “My goal with ourHealth is to make it easier to find Black providers, Black health information, and make it easier for people to promote their products!” Chiyembekeza said.
Chiyembekeza plans to use the app to increase the accessibility to healthcare and mental health providers via Telehealth and create a Complete Care plan that would allow app users to use funds to purchase healthier foods, health supplements, subsidize gym memberships, and wearable devices to help track and report health outcomes to their PCPs. Chiyembekeza added, “This app is not only addressing the problems our community faces now—access to consistent, culturally appropriate health information—but will also address the growing disparities in social determinants of health!”