Tag Archives: dialog

When health care meets technology

Arogya parama labha, thakshanang paramang dhanang.

— Lord Buddha?

Going to the doctor’s every time something happens to you isn’t always convenient. But then, most of us in the younger generation have no idea how to react to a particular health situation, especially emergencies, without asking for a doctor’s help. Countries like US have popular medical / health care hotlines with 24-hour support. Two such services have also sprung up in Sri Lanka since recently.


Suwasariya, or Health Net, was inaugurated by the Ministry of Help with the help of ICTA a few months back. The most prominent service it offers is the health information hotline which can be accessed by dialing the number (+94) 0710 107 107. The major plus is that you will be able to talk to the doctors directly. Confidentiality is guaranteed; this will be helpful on situations when you’re not comfortable with discussing your problem with a doctor face-to-face. The service is available in all three languages.

The only time I wanted to contact the service, I was told by the automated answering machine that the service is available only during working days from 8.00am to 3.30pm. In other words, this isn’t a 24/7 service. Which means that you won’t be able to resort to the Suwasariya service in case of an emergency. Apparently Suwasariya offers services through other media like live chat, email and skype (which is highly commendable), but they too suffer from the same drawback.

Dialog First Aid on Your Phone

The First Aid on Your Phone service commenced by Dialog a few weeks ago fills this gap. This 24/7  service is actually provided by Med1 (Pvt) Ltd, an American-managed, Sri Lankan company. Unlike Suwasariya, this aims to provide information in case of a health emergency. Put in another way, they give you the essential first aid tips for any emergency situation. Note that it won’t be providing you with professional medical consultation. You can call the hotline to get advice on situations ranging from a simple leg sprain to a major burn injury or a heart attack (a PDF link to the complete list of conditions covered).

The hotline agents are polite and your call is immediately attended to, at least for now. You may notice a slight stammer in the tone now and then, compared to a doctor is giving advice. But the overall quality of information they provide is high. A few recorded sample calls are available in the Med1 website. Only Sinhala and Tamil samples are provided, however the service is available in all three languages.

First Aid on Your Phone is a value added service provided by Dialog. You can access the hotline by dialing 1990 from your Dialog mobile and you will be charged Rs 8/= + taxes per minute, which is quite reasonable IMO.

The services, both commenced within the last six months, are major steps taken towards a better health care service aided by technology, especially in a country where the only common instance the technology was being used was to make specialist reservations. Some private hospitals have already come along with successful online bill payment schemes and other online facilities are on the way. The future may not be bleak as you think.

Watch TV on the go with Dialog MyTV

So I was going through some of the old unread feeds in my Google Reader and came across this post by Mayooresan on Dialog’s MyTV service. Had heard of MyTV, but didn’t have a time to try this out earlier.

I started off by sending an SMS saying ‘MYTV’ (w/o quotes) to 678. It replied me back with a link to download the MyTV app. Actually it was a link to an apk file, so you have to have ticked the Unknown Sources option in Applications Settings. (I’m talking about the android app here.)

The MyTV app lists the available TV channels divided into several categories. The choice of channels isn’t commendable, but it included many of my personal favorites.

Main menuChannel categoriesEntertainment categoryKids categoryPayment options

Simply select the channel you wish to play. If you haven’t subscribed to the particular package that channel belongs to already, it presents you with an options screen. The gold package, which lets you watch many local channels and a few int’l ones like Al Jazeera, costs Rs 3.33 per day or Rs 100 per month (plus taxes, of course). Once you subscribe to a package, you can watch any channel that belongs to the package before its expiration.

To activate the Platinum package, you need to have activated the Gold package first. You can also pay in a per-channel basis for the channels in this Platinum pack.

A comprehensive list of the available channels and their charges can be found here.

No data charges!
You won’t be charged for the data you stream, contrary to what Mayu says in his post. I verified this from two different sources. All it costs you is what you pay to activate the relevant packages.

Be wary though, the packages automatically renew after they’re expired. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure you manually unsubscribe from each package in Settings before logging out.

A little more than 1MB had been downloaded per minute during the streaming. The quality isn’t spectacular, but I guess it’s optimized for the mobile network, so that’s okay.

Here’s a low-quality, no-sound video of Cartoon Network being played on MyTV. Was too bored to create a better quality one. 😛 Mayu has uploaded his own vid in his post.