First launched in 2013, the trucks are fitted with ultrasound devices and IVD analytical equipment to allow healthcare workers to access accurate test results in minutes. In November 2014, Samsung announced a digital x-ray unit to be installed and piloted in the trucks to take chest x-rays in 90 seconds, and facilitate TB testing.
The trucks use three solar panels mounted on its roof as an energy source which can expand to five panels. In addition, the trucks house an unleaded fuel generator and an external plug is available where there is a power point close by.
Each mobile clinic comprises of four consulting rooms installed with medical equipment and nurses on the trucks use a Samsung tablet preloaded with a specially designed application to guide them through the process of collecting and storing patient data.
The centres are also fitted with video conference facilities where patients have access to consultation with specialists and through the use of Wi-Fi and a smartphone, the blood analyser allows practitioners to review test results off-site and in real time.
The Divisional Head of the Enterprise Business Division at Samsung Electronics SA, Mike van Lier, said: “This is an incredible feature as the doctor can do a virtual consultation with the assistance of the nurse, reducing the diagnostic period to mere hours and symptoms and ailments can be diagnosed quickly and correct treatment can be prescribed.”
Patients can be screened for HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay, cataracts, malaria and other conditions from the trucks and the results are produced immediately. A prescription can be printed for patients who can collect the administered medication from the nearest government clinic or hospital.
Furthermore, the Head of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung, Kea Modimoeng, said: “Each vehicle costs Samsung R2.25-million (US$250 000), with equipment and medicines paid for by the company, in consultation with the departments of Health and Social Development, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies and universities to help funding.”
Samsung aims to reach 300 patients per day with a short term goal to reach 1 million people with their solar health trucks by early 2015 before aiming to reach their broader target of impacting 5 million African lives by 2015.