JOHANNESBURG – DIGITAL innovation will in future play a key role in delivering curative and preventive healthcare in Africa.
According to experts, future trends will be driven by access to Big Data, to shape new models of care in driving innovative, affordable and accessible services across this diverse continent.
With 1,2 billion people, many enjoying a longer life, and the rise of NCDs (non-communicable diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes, Respiratory, Cardiovascular) there is a growing recognition of the importance of technology.
Charmaine Odendaal, Healthcare Practice Lead at SAP Africa, said the transition to digital healthcare offered opportunities to aggregate patient data from multiple sources.
“This allows healthcare professionals to quickly connect all the dots in a patient’s care, with a view to focusing on optimum outcomes for the patient,” Odendaal said.
She cited a study in the Journal of Neurology, which found that putting a digital core at the heart of a healthcare provider could result in 40 percent faster checking of medical records during preparation and post-processing of ward rounds in hospital.
The power of using a technology platform to improve the delivery of care to patients in Africa was brilliantly illustrated by the Emerging Technologies in Cervical Cancer Screening (ETiCCS) solution, developed by the Heidelberg University Hospital and leveraging SAP’s technology platform.
ETiCCS focuses on identifying women at risk of cervical cancer and delivering end-to-end care by leveraging a cloud-based platform that makes data entry simple and access to patient data and test results immediately available to medical professionals – no matter where they are.
SAP Africa’s Managing Director: East Africa, Dr Gilbert Saggia, said the potential for cloud-based technology solutions such as SAP Cloud Platform to transform the healthcare profession was unprecedented.
“It is hugely inspiring to see how the combination of expert research, local knowledge and modern technology can make an immediate and invaluable impact on the welfare of our citizens. We are excited to support the rollout of the ETiCCS solution to other countries by providing the technology backbone to this game-changing medical innovation,” Saggia said.
Odendaal said the success of ETiCCS was further proof of the key role technology could play in addressing the continent’s healthcare challenges.
“This puts the continent’s healthcare industry in a great position to leapfrog some of the problems experienced by the more developed markets to fast-track the delivery of connected healthcare to African citizens,” she said.
– CAJ News