Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 03, 2012

Mobile Technologies Improve Healthcare in Africa, Other Regions

Telemedicine is particularly appropriate for rural areas. So it’s no surprise that in remote parts of Africa, it is helping physicians share their skills with peers and letting them treat patients.

There’s a more specific area called M-health, which employs mobile technology to provide medical services.

For example, patient data can now be accessed remotely by doctors. But m-health also encompasses mobile apps and interactive mobile sites for patients to follow a diet or fitness regimen.

Patients can also be monitored daily. In addition, doctors use mobile apps so patients can make appointments, and doctors can post patient reminders on drug doses.

Platforms such as Medic Mobile are leading to more use of mobile apps to treat patients as well.

“These tools support community health worker coordination and management, community mobilization for vaccination and satellite clinics, logistics and supply chain management, referrals, routine data collection, and mapping of health services,” according to a recent article in

Daily Nation.

Especially now with expansion of fiber networks, Mbugua Njihia, CEO at Symbiotic, predicts there will be an increase in the number of remote medical procedures, assessments, virtual meet ups and collaborations.

This comes, too, as organizations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are providing grants to develop new devices to diagnose illnesses or perform tests on medical samples in the field.

In a related topic, Apollo Hospitals will set up 30 telemedicine units in Africa, under an agreement with AfroIndia Medical services.

AfroIndia Medical Services is an Africa-based medical service provider, which has a network of over 1,500 hospitals in India, Israel and Europe.

"Apollo's MOU (memorandum of understanding) with AfroIndia Medical services will pave way for availability of tertiary and quaternary healthcare to a large number of patients resulting in cost, effort and time benefit," according to a company statement quoted by the New York Daily News.

In another part of the world, telemedicine may also be appropriate for the Canadian market, as well. For instance, of the 12 million people that reside in Ontario, nearly 30 percent live in rural areas, HealthTechZone said. So too, the United States may soon see more uses of telemedicine.

Edited by Braden Becker

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