A new programme analysis done by Frost & Sullivan’s Connected Health Growth Partnership Service explored how South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are leading the eHealth revolution in Africa and how local start-ups are dominating the digital health market.

The Enabling eHealth Technology in South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana report shows these countries have experienced the biggest leap in embracing eHealth and health IT, with Kenya leading the market in digital health.

The Connected Health Growth Partnership Service covers topics like: population health management; health information exchange; hospital cyber security; mobile computing applications in integrated care; business analytics in life sciences and telehealth.

eHealth is disrupting healthcare delivery in Africa by offering governments and vendors a way to curb low resource issues and expand the reach and affordability of healthcare, with companies  like Novartis, Sanofi, Vodacom and Safaricom already exploring opportunities in the eHealth space.

Companies like Merck, Telemedicine Africa, CenHealth, Connected Care and Dimagi are offering more than one eHealth technology to provide patients with integrated services and singular platforms to store their data.

According to the study, eHealth will gradually minimise investment towards hospital bed-strength as more patients receive care within, or close to, their homes without hospital admission.

“The total eHealth market for South Africa, Kenya and Ghana is in a nascent stage with expectations of high long-term growth,” said Transformational Health Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, Aditi Bhalla.

“Vendors offering quick and effective healthcare outcomes will gain a tremendous advantage. To enable this, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and integrated businesses will be apt business models.”

“Technology interoperability, strategic functioning as well as nurturing start-ups will drive the greatest opportunities in the eHealth business of South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. Stakeholders, however, must have a clear roadmap to ensure that their business keeps pace with evolving technologies,” continued Bhalla.

The report also showed that mHealth solutions and video telemedicine are being deployed to create awareness, improve lifestyle, and offer guidance towards better healthcare outcomes. Tools, such as mPesa introduced by Safaricom in Kenya, are useful as digital wallets for quick and easy payments for healthcare related emergencies.

Establishing partnerships, either through PPPs, between two local vendors, or between a local vendor and a key international vendor with a strong global foothold, will prove to be a game-changer in tapping into upcoming opportunities.

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