Harnessing mobile technology for improved healthcare
With greater accessibility to mobile technology and data, which have outpaced other forms of communications infrastructure in African, stakeholders in the health sector have been urged to harness opportunities of the disruptive and converging technology to promote access to quality healthcare for patients. According to a new report published by Jumia, Nigeria’s largest online retailer, Africa has 960 million mobile subscribers and 216 million Internet users at penetration rates of 80 percent and 18 percent, respectively, with Nigeria having 150 million mobile users.
Speaking at the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) 2017 Digital Conference, with the theme: “Digital Health Technology Platform: Engaging Health Systems to Expand Access and Improved Quality”, the President, HFN, Clare Omatseye said, the rise of mobile technology is a new game-changer in healthcare as, it plays many role in ensuring access to quality healthcare both for patients and the professional.
She said with mobile Health (m-Health), which is the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology in medical care; consumers get first hand information about preventive health care services. “This is called innovative healthcare, it enables the patients to have access to affordable healthcare, insurance, and other payment platforms. It has the capacity to help even the health workers to be more empowered to take good medical decisions and help with diagnosis, data collection of patient, as it is attached to the mobile network they use, and also as a form of telemedicine for patient doctor interaction with out any barrier. “If harnessed, the 150 million mobile phone users would have access to healthcare,” she added.
The conference hosted stakeholders and key players in the healthcare industry across Africa, to proffer solutions, using mobile technology to assist their patients who are the end-users, access quality healthcare.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the conference, who is the Programme manager and Health Lead, Health in Africa Initiative, World bank Group/IFC, Prof. Khama Rogo, said data in healthcare is a major problem in Africa, adding that with the use of mobile technology, patients bio-data are recorded and can be tracked.
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