Is E-Healthcare, the new digital commerce in Africa? Increased mobile innovations indicates a growing industry

There is ample access to new technology on the African continent. As a budding hub with 1 billion people full of potential, it is no wonder tech giants and foregoing investors are looking to the continent for new technological frontiers. With a relatively young population, with more than half of the continent’s inhabitants falling in the age range of between 18-35, Africa is the youngest continent, with possibly the highest potential.

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This means that the African economy is also subject to change and skyrocket with the introduction of modern business in various industries. This includes the healthcare industry, which has come off largely untapped; until now. In the United Arab Emirates, the healthcare industry is like nothing the world has seen before with whole cities and urban centers dedicated to research and development of modern medicine and improved technologies to facilitate health care.

How the digital transformation is taking place here, on the African continent. The transformation is enabling healthcare professionals to reimagine and redesign their work with digital tools. These tools also allow hospitals to automate administrative tasks that have become repetitive. This also allows health workers to save on time to attend to patients and administer treatment.

According to the United Nation’s world health organization, approximately 60-80pc of Africans are using mobile phones, allowing for the use of health and e-health to become effective once implemented. It becomes easier to save lives without barriers f transport and the time factor. Making it convenient and the fasts model to save lives on the continent.

The Ugandan government launched mTrac, which is an SMS based service that connects local hospitals with the national drug suppliers. The software mTrac works on any mobile platform, widening the scope for data collection by leveraging SMS to simplify the process of reporting. It is done by a series of keyword codes and fields.

In Kenya and Tanzania, the mobile for reproductive health (m4RH) is an automated and interactive on-demand SMS system that provides accurate information that is globally relevant on the reproductive health of the citizens of the two countries. This program takes advantage of the increasing use of phones in both the rural and urban areas of the East African countries to send contraceptive information directly to the African men and women who use the service.

In Ghana, yet another innovative mobile service is being used to promote better health awareness and education. The mobile technology for community health (MoTECH) is a platform aimed at developing mobile service technologies for the use of pregnant women, their families and the health workers on the ground. MoTECH makes use of two interrelated services. There is the mobile midwife application, which is primarily for pregnant women to receive information on their personal handsets.

The information comes as an SMS or pre-recorded voice message, that provides time-specific information related to their pregnancies. This information is sent out each week in a different vernacular, specific to the user, and 99pc of the users have chosen the voice option to receive their messages. This is due to the fact that it is easier for women in the rural centers to understand this information given that a higher majority have not had the chance to complete even their primary education.

At the 4th annual Health Care Innovation Summit Africa, a platform for African industry leaders in healthcare; there will be the time to gather and discuss emerging trends and opportunities in the eHealth market. The summit will take place from the 17-18 of October, at the Gallagher convention center in Johannesburg South Africa. Given that Africans are ever progressing, in these dynamic times of entrepreneurs and mobile technology, the opportunity to discuss new innovations and digital methods to deal with healthcare procedures will be available.

More than that, it is encouraging to see the lengths Africans are going to help their fellow men and women to access equal health care treatment for their families.

Source: IT News Africa


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