Digital health solution to Africa’s healthcare challenges
With the rise in the cost of healthcare globally, medical technology (Medtech) has the ability to reduce costs, improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare, as well as support the shift to value-based care.
In comparison to being valued at $41.2 billion in 2017, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) market is expected to rise to $158.1 billion by 2022. According to the Medtech and the Internet of Medical Things report released by Deloitte, this illustrates how the healthcare sector is increasingly becoming reliant on IoT technologies to create solutions to some of the biggest healthcare challenges faced.
More specifically, innovations in Medtech can play a major role in alleviating health risks experienced in Sub-Saharan Africa – where challenges are exacerbated by climate change, limited infrastructure and a lack of healthcare professionals.
Ryan Sanderson, Exhibition Director of Africa Health Exhibition and Conferences 2020, explains that the strengthening of health systems through digital innovation is dependent on collaboration between private, public and development partners.
2020 has brought the need for innovative collaborations in the digital world, which includes healthcare organisations partnering with social media giants as an example of this.
The latest public health crisis, the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), has seen the widespread of misinformation about the new virus, leading to an “infodemic” according the World Health Organisation (WHO). As a way to counter the spread of misinformation, one successful tactic that has been employed is Google’s SOS Alert that comes into effect when people search for “coronavirus”. Instead of featuring the latest news about the virus, the alert directs people to the WHO’s social media accounts to feature correct information.
“Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have changed the way we communicate and share information. Partnerships with these channels and other digital giants is becoming more and more important in being able to mine and provide accurate health information to both healthcare professionals and the general public at large,” says Sanderson.
It is not the only form either, Rwanda has become the first country in the world to use drones to assist with the transportation of blood to rural areas, while Uganda’s SMS for Life programme tracks and manages medicine stock levels through the use of mobile phones.
“The IoMT has become the leading source of solutions to improve access and delivery of health services, especially in low resource settings,” adds Sanderson.
These issues, among others, will be addressed at the 10thannual Africa Health Exhibition & Conferences 2020 which will be held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from 12 – 14 May 2020.
The event will host 21 CPD accredited conferences that are aimed at bridging the gap in medical knowledge by - providing the very latest - insights into cutting-edge procedures, techniques and skills. Three new conferences will be included in this year’s programme; dental, physician mental health and healthcare facilities.
The Leaders Forum will once again be returning as the leading platform for thought-leaders and key decision makers across the private and public spectrum. Africa Health will also include the internationally renowned -Medlab Series – a portfolio of medical laboratory exhibitions and conferences across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
In its 10thyear, Africa Health will focus on harnessing the strengths of healthcare providers and innovators along with medical academia to make real progress in the ever-changing world of human health.
The event is expected to attract more than 10,500 healthcare professionals from across the globe and over 600 international and regional companies who value networking, business and networking.