Grameenphone (GP) and Telenor Health launched “Tonic,” a new digital health service for consumers in Bangladesh on 5th of June, 2016 at a local city hotel. Tonic was launched in the presence of the Health Minister, the Honorable Mohammad Nasim MP, BTRC Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood and partners from across the healthcare sector.
Tonic was the result of an extensive research and development process that included input from global health experts, local medical practitioners, and everyday people, Tonic aims to be relevant to a broad cross section of Bangladeshi society and cover a range of wellness and health needs.
Tonic members receive four benefits: “Tonic Jibon” offers tips and information via SMS, web, and Facebook to help members live on a healthy life by eating well, staying active, and keeping mentally refreshed on a daily basis; “Tonic Daktar” provides members to access knowledgeable and friendly advice from a doctor with just a phone call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; “Tonic Discounts” helps to make hospital care more accessible by extending discounts of up to 40% on fees at over 50 popular hospitals across Bangladesh; and the “Tonic Cash” service offers members BDT 500 in cash to assist in covering costs if they are hospitalized for three nights or more.
“Tonic is an example of Telenor’s commitment to Bangladesh and Asian markets,” says Mr. Vivek Sood, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Telenor Group. “Serving nearly two years as chief executive officer of Grameenphone, I have a deep connection with and appreciation for Bangladeshi society. I could not be more pleased with the introduction of Tonic within the Bangladeshi market. Combining broad technical know-how and deep healthcare expertise, we are excited to reach people previously underserved and create further positive impact in support of the national health system.”
Through a tie-up with Grameenphone, all of GP’s 56 million subscribers can join Tonic for free and access a range of benefits designed to help them achieve their own “bhalo thakar master plan.” Any Grameenphone customer can join Tonic for free via USSD at *789#, online at www.mytonic.com, or by calling 789. A user only needs to join once, however, to retain membership for the next month a member must simply use his\her Grameenphone SIM for a chargeable phone call, SMS, or data pack. Tonic Jibon content, access to Tonic Discounts, and Tonic Cash coverage is completely free for members. The Tonic Daktar service is available at an affordable rate of BDT 5 per minute plus taxes.
Incorporated in Norway as a health-focused subsidiary of Telenor Group, Telenor Health aspires to the highest standards of clinical quality for Tonic and its overall operations. The company has created an in-house clinical team, led by a chief medical officer with extensive experience from Australia, the United Kingdom, and other emerging markets. Telenor Health sources all of its health content from leading global institutions like Bupa and the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, the company receives counsel from a Medical Advisory Panel of eminent Bangladeshi physician-leaders including National Professor Brig. Gen. (Rtd.) Abdul Malik, National Professor M.R. Khan, and Professor AK Azad Khan.
In line with this quality commitment and Telenor Group’s broader vision of “empowering societies,” Telenor Health also announced a strategic partnership with the Directorate General of Health Services, Government of Bangladesh (DGHS) at the Tonic launch event. Announced by Health Secretary Syed Monjurul Islam, the “DGHS-Telenor Health” collaboration aims to accelerate the use of digital technology to improve health access and quality for all Bangladeshis. As part of the partnership, Telenor Health will contribute to existing DGHS initiatives like its Sathayabtayan health helpline as well as work with DGHS to launch new projects addressing issues such as universal health coverage, healthcare IT interoperability, and non-communicable diseases.
“Bangladesh has made incredible progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals like reducing child mortality and improving maternal health,” noted Sajid Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Health. “We’re honored and humbled that the Government feels that we can contribute to continuing this progress as Bangladesh tackles the new Sustainable Development Goal of ‘healthy lives and well being for all at all ages.’ We look forward to playing our own small role as an integrated part of the Bangladesh healthcare system.”
In addition to government dignitaries and Telenor Group executives, more than 200 invited guests and media joined the event at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka, including hospital leaders, embassy and development partner officials, and key business partners. The Tonic celebration represented not only the introduction of an innovative digital health product in Bangladesh, but also the first product launch by Telenor Health, which aspires to make high quality health information, advices, and services accessible to all consumers across emerging Asia.