eHealth News, South Africa

Vodacom Using mHealth to Address Local Healthcare Challenges

Vodacom Business has invested in innovative mHealth solutions to enhance healthcare for people living in the Eastern Cape.

Vodacom - EHN

Vodacom Business has invested in innovative mHealth solutions to enhance healthcare for people living in the Eastern Cape.

As the first network to provide an array of mHealth solutions, Vodacom Business is scaling up the province’s and country’s capacity to provide primary healthcare at a more affordable rate to more citizens using mobile phones, apps and devices – all powered by Vodacom‘s fixed and mobile infrastructure.

Speaking at the MEC’s Healthcare Summit and Excellence Awards, Vodacom Business Chief Officer, Vuyani Jarana, said: “The use of technology by healthcare professionals is still fairly limited in the province. By building out an ecosystem of healthcare innovators we can support applications and devices that can help reduce the strain on doctors and nurses.”

“We are giving them tools, not only to screen for health issues, but also the means to share data with other practitioners, to store the data from the screening and to build health records,” continued Jarana.

Vodacom showcased some of the technology it has developed and further demonstrated the opportunity such tools present to contribute to the province’s efforts to improve access to affordable healthcare for people.

One key project highlighted at the summit is the Sense4Baby solution for expectant mothers.

“At Vodacom there is a need to join the fight and improve maternal and child mortality rates in the province that stood at 148.3 deaths per 100,000 lives. In most cases, these deaths could have been prevented by efficient prenatal monitoring in cases of high risk pregnancies,” said Jarana.

Other mHealth solutions made available by Vodacom Business include connected health solutions which help community healthcare workers capture patient information seamlessly with an android application. These are already being rolled out in clinics across the country.

Based on a centralised mobile and cloud environment, Vodacom’s mHealth services allow healthcare or technology providers to help improve their access to patients. This is done through secure, real-time data collection, information processing, management and reporting.

Vodacom Business, together with Mezzanine, have already successfully developed a mobile-based stock visibility solution available to dispensing facilities to capture stock levels on a daily basis. The information synchronises in real-time to a cloud-hosted server that automates alerts and reports for the benefit of various levels of supply chain management. This ensures that the healthcare facilities have access to medicine where it is needed, when it is needed.

“Mobile technology is uniquely powerful in addressing some of the biggest healthcare challenges. Our job is to continue to work with the government partners and health experts to develop relevant and innovative solutions that will meet the country’s growing need for quality healthcare services,” concluded Jarana.

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