As healthcare matures in Southern Africa, eHealth is no longer a novelty or separate administrative function within delivering healthcare. eHealth is a toolset that helps us navigate the complexity of health and informs both clinical and management decisions.

eHealthALIVE 2016 is an opportunity to understand eHealth in a practical, on-the-ground way and harness the collective experience built up over the last decade to accelerate the goal of transforming healthcare for the good of patients and the people who deliver health services.

For Healthy Africans

“There’s a misconception that the disease burden and complexity of healthcare in Africa means that Africans can’t be healthy. We disagree. Africans can be healthy and while we have some well-known healthcare challenges, eHealth is a powerful mechanism to achieve this fundamental goal. And that’s why we’re doing this,” said Chairman of Acfee, Dr Sean Broomhead.

We need to dispel the myths about eHealth. It isn’t a pseudo-battle for resources between people and technology; it’s not a silver bullet to solve everything overnight; it’s not a luxury; it’s not on the periphery of care, and it’s not impossible. eHealth is a practical and powerful enabler that is essential to quality care and supporting healthcare workers trying to improve the health of entire populations.

The goal of healthy Africans can be realised if technology is harnessed to re-engineer healthcare around the patient and leverage the information gathered at every engagement to improve outcomes and measure service delivery in a useful and meaningful way.

For Healthcare Transformation Beyond Systems Strengthening

The question of whether eHealth is useful or not is no longer what we’re grappling with. Instead, the question is how eHealth can be used to enable more efficient, affordable care and a better patient experience – and that’s what eHealthALIVE 2016 aims to answer.

“We talk a lot about strengthening health systems but eHealth will force us to rethink how we deliver care and which processes no longer serve us. We should recognise that we need to completely transform a system that currently can’t provide healthcare to every citizen – and eHealth is essential to that transformation,” said Broomhead.

eHealth has numerous roles to play in the transformation of healthcare. It is a practical tool for delivery or communication and a driver for necessary changes in policy, but it also has a crucial role to play in supporting healthcare workers to carry out their work and improving their job satisfaction.

For a Happier Workforce

Challenges to the healthcare workforce in Africa such as skills shortages and overburdened facilities have demonstrated that if we don’t enable more productivity and engage the people who are central to the transformation, we are going to have a problem caring for people and helping them get and stay healthy. eHealth can empower healthcare professionals and form an essential component to building a mature workforce and retaining essential skills.

“We believe that the organisations and individuals who join us at eHealthALIVE 2016 will share our vision of healthy Africans, a happy and productive workforce, and a transformed health system,” said Editor at eHealthNews, Taryn Springhall. “We don’t want to deliver just another informative set of talks; we are aiming to align stakeholders to these three meaningful objectives and harness the momentum that comes from an industry-wide shared purpose that will result in tangible, measurable activity.”

Stakeholders are invited to register early interest at www.ehealthalive.co.za to stay up to date with programme developments.

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