South Africa was ranked last among 19 nations in a global survey that measured healthcare system efficiency, according to a Fin24 report.
The private sector spent 4.4% of GDP on health for treating a lower percentage of people while the public sector spent 4.1% treating a higher percentage of people. With slow economic growth and the possibility of further cuts in the public healthcare sector, it becomes more important to find a way to use resources and implement systems that will help boost this sector with minimal costs. When you introduce information technology to this industry, it results in more scalability and efficiency with tangible benefits that we will discuss later.
Increased accessibility to healthcare services
One of the biggest information technology healthcare trends is telemedicine. This technology allows patients with an Internet connection and a cellphone to receive quality care. Healthcare professionals can conduct consultations with patients, even in the most remote areas, through a voice call or by uploading images to the cloud to make a diagnosis. In-person doctor visits are still required, but using telemedicine for minor conditions such as check-ups for an infection will save the patient, the doctor and the healthcare system time and money.
Faster access to information
The cloud will help make healthcare professionals forget a time when they had to open up a patient's file. Using the cloud will make it easier to store and access medical records. This also means that patients can access their information online from anywhere. Big data can also be stored. There is a greater emphasis on delivering curative and preventive care. Big data can be used to predict epidemics, help find a cure for diseases and improve the overall quality of living. Apps and devices can be used to help patients take control of their healthcare. Recommendations and scheduled medicine consumption will remind users to take their medicine, which is perfect for patients with time-sensitive illnesses such as diabetes.
Technology as a teaching tool
Virtual reality could also be used to improve the healthcare sector. In a VR interaction, doctors could track body movements during therapy exercises. VR can be used as a teaching tool to learn the anatomy and practise operations for training healthcare professionals. Think about employing the Internet of Things in the pharmaceutical industry to use sensors to monitor medicine stock.
Keep medical records safe
Cybercrime is a prevalent threat to the healthcare industry. Medical records contain sensitive data, making it very tempting for cybercriminals because it means it will fetch a good price on the black market. People assume they are safe in Africa, but this is not the case. PandaLabs’ 2017 annual report shows that African countries are also a target of significant cybercrime.
The answer to this problem is simple:
- Change your strategy to achieve the highest levels of security
- Security update protocols must become a priority
- Possess an in-depth knowledge of attacks and appropriate defence strategy
How IS can help you
IS has the latest technology, cross-functional cybersecurity and risk advisory skills to thwart off attacks, with a long track record of expertise in cloud data protection.
We deliver regular monitoring, updates and a comprehensive strategy with pre-emptive strikes and an advanced recovery plan. We identify and ward off breach attempts before they can cause any damage to systems. IS employes an end-to-end approach to cybersecurity; “detect, protect and respond”.
Let us provide the infrastructure to help you get started on improving your healthcare facilities using our state-of-the-art IT solutions. Read our e-book: Why government needs to invest in ICTs for more insight.
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