A robust infrastructure which supports connectivity from the healthcare provider to the homestead can transform how, when, and where primary healthcare in Africa is delivered. It is a tool to bridge the gap between healthcare provider and patient and can significantly improving patient’s experience and health outcomes.
Wireless, electronic, mobile, and tele-health are interchangeably used when it comes health connectivity. Health connectivity is where devices, services or interventions are designed around the patient’s needs, and health related data is shared, in such a way that the patient can receive care in the most proactive and efficient manner possible.
There are number of cases which demonstrate how health connectivity is transforming primary healthcare in Africa:
– NEXLEAF ColdTrace sensor technologies: Collects real time data on vaccine cold chain temperatures in the most vulnerable and remote places of the world. The data helps to notify nurses, managers and maintenance technicians when a cooling system fails and allows for quick action. The alert, and the quick action that can follow supports to maintain the quality of vaccines throughout the delivery process to the last mile.
– The Ghana telemedicine program – supported by the Novartis Foundation, Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health, incorporates ICT to connect community health workers to medical specialists via teleconsultation centers. Community health workers get information on how to treat their patients, which helps to manage emergency cases and limits the number of referrals. This has been a great tool to empower community health workers by strengthening their health service delivery capacity.
– The LumiraDx platform is transforming community-based healthcare through a next generation point-of-care diagnostic system. It is a smart cloud-based technology that ensures secure, real-time transfer of results from the LumiraDx instrument (a small and portable microfluidic test stripe) to the cloud and the hospital IT systems. This technology is transforming the diagnostic landscape by delivering lab comparable performance and real time results at point-of-care.
A Focus On Community Health Workers
The use of technology in the African healthcare space is emerging as one of the forces creating change that matters and opening new opportunities to shape the future of the continent’s healthcare sector. We see it as a potent instrument towards the achievement of UHC and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
AHB works with technology companies looking to transform how healthcare is provided and accessed across countries in Africa. What are some of the ways in which we have helped?
• We have undertaken various landscape analysis activities and feasibility studies in regards to the potential uptake of digital health solutions in selected African countries, in addition we have provided customized research on the digital health regulatory landscape at county-level.
• We facilitated communications with the public sector in various countries in Africa in order to boost the understanding and adoption of advanced analytics and predictive models at the Ministry of Health level.
• We raised continental wide awareness of tech enabled diagnostic systems via roundtable sessions, allowing for discussions with senior decision-makers, the collection of pertinent data and the opportunity for follow-up B2B meetings.
• We pitched a client’s digital clinical intelligence tool (that facilitates the early detection of chronic disease risks and allows for the creation of personalised, guideline-based care plans) to select, identified insurance providers.