TechInAfrica – Moving high-end healthcare solutions from the urban hospitals to rural areas is challenging but very much needed to ensure that the same level of care reaches every region in South Africa.
During the Philips Live Innovation Experience organized in October 2017, numerous advanced technology solutions aimed at achieving better healthcare in low-resources areas were made known.
The innovations connect both people; data and technology seamlessly, thus tackling the rise of cardiovascular disease through early detection and intervention.
Also, products which ensure that rural communities with low-resources and lacks access to quality healthcare as the bigger healthcare centers have the privilege of enjoying affordable, accessible and quality healthcare.
Access to healthcare
The new Mini-Community Life Centre (CLC) launched 18 August 2017 has started treating over 1200 people on a monthly basis. It was the first of its kind in South Africa, established in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. The newly launched health-care facility places priority on child and mother health care. The CLC in Diepsloot will make it the third of such facility in Africa as the rest were established in Mandera and Kiambu counties in Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya respectively.
The Outreach Kit is very vital to the CLC. It supports midwives and other community health workers who diagnose and direct patients to the center for further treatment.
Some of the innovations that enable healthcare workers to perform their tasks include an ultrasound machine that is very portable and lightweight. The ultrasound weighs 2.5 kg. Another is a hand-held machine for blood analysis which delivers results that are almost immediate. It reduces the waiting time and gives health workers opportunity to spot high-risk patients that require immediate medical attention. A battery-powered monitor is the last on this list of healthcare products and measures breathing rates. It helps to diagnose patients with pneumonia.
Using the battery-powered monitor, healthcare workers can diagnose pneumonia by observing the child and counting how fast the chest rise and fall. However, achieving accurate counts is not easy with this battery-powered monitor but handy in rural areas where the Chest X-rays and lab tests cannot be accessed.
Ultrasound systems make examination easier to perform. It boasts automatic anatomy recognitions and makes examinations more reproducible thus delivering new levels of information that is very useful for treatment.
The provision of quality healthcare in South Africa and the rest of the African continent are faced with a lot of challenges, but the innovations recently launched paves the way for affordable and high-quality healthcare across all areas of the society.