Digital intervention can be instrumental in both lowering the cost of healthcare and addressing accessibility issues.So says Valter Adão, leader of Deloitte Digital in Africa and firm-wide healthcare and life sciences industry leader for Deloitte in Southern Africa.
Digital intervention in the form of wearable monitoring devices could drastically reduce treatment costs by helping detect health conditions early, or providing more instantaneous evaluation of the efficacy of prescribed treatments for existing conditions, says Adão.
There is definite room for improvement in the treatment monitoring of common health conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, he adds.
Digital data collection and analytics tools could greatly improve resource management, says Adão.
While connectivity has traditionally been a barrier to access for digital solutions in Africa, “connectivity is improving rapidly,” he says, and digital solutions do not necessarily have to be rolled out to all patients or even at patient level to make a substantial impact in under-resourced areas, he goes on.
Digital communication technologies could help doctors and nurses overcome staffing or skills shortages through solutions such as remote training or remote guidance in specific procedures, Adão says. Access to digital resources and information could assist them in upskilling, he adds.
South Africa is the largest healthcare market in sub-Saharan Africa, and has the highest level of mHealth deployment, according to Deloitte’s 2014 report, “The Health opportunity in sub-Sahara Africa.”
Adão presented at the inaugural Deloitte Digital Health Captains of Industry event in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
This article was published by iTweb on the 12th August 2015