As 2014 draws to a close it’s apparent that the eHealth industry is growing rapidly, both nationally and internationally. More importantly, health information technology is changing the way healthcare is accessed and delivered in South Africa and Africa.
One of the resounding themes in healthcare throughout 2014 was the push to get individuals to own their health. Payers, providers, life science organisations, innovators and social and government agencies have all been looking for ways to empower and enable patients to take responsibility for their wellness. The advent and popularity of wearables has seen a number of global technology companies launching interesting gadgets to capture a range of personal wellness data. Big names like Apple and Microsoft have jumped the bandwagon with their soon-to-be-released Apple Watch and Xbox One wearable.
Taking a broader view, innovation and collaboration between the public and private sectors, and corporate and social organisations have fuelled the development and implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), clinical apps and patient management systems in South Africa demonstrating the passion and talent of those involved in the uptake of eHealth throughout the country. We have been privileged to report on these stories and more and create a platform for sharing the latest eHealth developments.
Top ten stories from 2014
Here is a quick view of the top stories from eHealthNews since launching earlier this year.
Our top story of 2014 reports on an innovative Western Cape surgeon who single-handedly developed an online clinical tool that has drastically improved clinical administration in the Surgery Department of Worcester Hospital.
Our search for pioneering local eHealth developers led us to HealthQ, a start-up that aims to revolutionise wearable technology with an all-encompassing wellness tracking platform.
Teaching hospital Groote Schuur has made it into our news feed numerous times over the past year, most notably for their Innovation Programme that aims to encourage and enable innovation whether in healthcare tools or practices.
We covered the launch of MomConnect in July, sat down with Dr Peter Benjamin from mHELP who explained how MomConnect could be the breakthrough in cradle-to-the-grave medical records that SA has been looking for.
We focused on pharmacy in September and reported on the Western Cape’s success in preventing stock outs and reducing patient waiting times with JAC’s medicines management system at Khayelitsha Hospital.
This year we also saw clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP) giant, IBM partner with Metropolitan Health to implement IBM’s ground breaking Watson in a local setting. We also talked to Metropolitan CEO, Dylan Garret, about how Watson could change the local healthcare landscape for the better.
Big eHealth strides were taken earlier this year with the release of the National Health Normative Standards Framework (NHSF) for Interoperability in eHealth document, which highlighted the importance of interoperability in coordinating care and reducing errors.
Last month we got the inside scoop from the founder of Aviro, Dr Musaed Abrahams, about the launch of their new app that was designed to effectively guide and educate nurses treating patients with HIV.
Professor Norman Faull from Lean Institute Africa explained how there’s a lot more to a successful eHealth roll out in the public sector than an efficient and modern system but that it starts with changing human behaviour.
Pharmacy automation is the future of medicines dispensing; and from success stories coming in from Gauteng to Kwazulu-Natal it’s evident that the adoption of such technology is being met with open arms.
Top Opinion Pieces
Over the past year, we’ve also interviewed local leaders in healthcare innovation, from both private and public sectors, about their views on the most pressing healthcare issues facing the country and how they see eHealth as a solution.
Leading one of SA’s leading medical insurers, CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Jonathan Broomberg, talked to eHealthNews about their emphasis on empowering consumers and the importance of eHealth as a vital component to realising NHI and better quality healthcare.
We talked to passionate entrepreneur York Zucchi of Hello Healthcare about the local business opportunities in healthcare and the importance of an effective primary health service as the foundation for South Africa’s health service.
We sat down with Head of the Western Cape Health Department, Prof Craig Househam, who gave us an in-depth view of the healthcare challenges facing the province and the country as a whole and his insights into addressing those challenges.
Welcoming in 2015
We have only just scratched the surface in bringing you the latest in eHealth developments and reporting on the obstacles the health service faces such as the financial predicament of the Free State DoH, management and infrastructure concerns in the Gauteng DoH and the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.
We’ve also broke stories that showcase the prevalence and momentum of eHealth such as how a South African start up is helping fight Ebola with their mHealth app to the donation of 3,000 smart phones with another specialised Ebola app and how smaller local eHealth organisations like VP Systems are making a difference in healthcare management.
In 2015 we’ll be bringing you even more news, opinions and features from some of the country’s most reputable thought leaders and pioneering organisations. Contact us if you have a story you would like to share or for more information about how to showcase your solution to a target audience.