For COVID-19 updates, visit the official government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za for free.
What if we could make good quality healthcare available to all South Africans? This is the vision of Vuyani Jarana, the Chief Officer of Vodacom Business, when he talks about the potential of technology to disrupt the healthcare sector.
In terms of national priorities, healthcare is at the top of the list. It affects our society on all levels: from the livelihoods of individuals and families, to the profitability and sustainability of companies. As most South Africans rely on public healthcare, it’s important that the system functions well, and that it is accessible to people in rural and urban areas. Here are three ways that technology can revolutionise healthcare in our country.
1. Stock visibility
'Even something as simple as stock control can be improved by having a centralised electronic system that tracks deliveries and shortages. This would make it much easier to ensure that clinics across the country have the right medicine at the right time, by simply improving overall stock visibility,' Jarana says. And in terms of what digitisation can do in a healthcare setting, this is an easy win.
2. Patient records
With a centralised system, patient records could be available to all clinics nationwide. When a patient shows up at a clinic for the first time, his complete record will be available, including chronic conditions, patient history and current prescribed medications. Doctors and nurses will save time, which means more people can receive healthcare every day.
3. Remote consultations
As technologies such as VR and video conferencing penetrate the market, the opportunities in healthcare grow exponentially. Doctors would be able to consult with patients remotely or check in on patients who are at risk.
How can Vodacom Business help?
Vodacom Business is at the leading edge of developing infrastructure and solutions. According to Jarana, 'we want to have a central database connecting rural clinics and metropolitan hospitals, and to do this we need good connectivity. This is why it’s important for Vodacom to continue bringing mobile connectivity to rural areas. As a mobile service provider, we’re ideally positioned to take mobile – which is really the only effective infrastructure for these regions – to underdeveloped areas, where it can serve as a catalyst for change and development.'
With a range of partners already innovating and solving problems in healthcare, Vodacom is ideally positioned to serve. Add to that the company’s world-class cloud solutions and communication networks, and affordable and accessible healthcare appears to be an achievable dream.