A cell phone application enabling healthcare workers to co-ordinate patient care and jointly monitor an individual’s progress and solve treatment challenges is drastically reducing doctors and nurses’ exposure to the Covid-19 virus.
South Africa has a proud global record of innovation in the healthcare field, perhaps exactly because our researchers, scientists and physicians face such a daily mountain of disease and trauma. Instead of buckling under, they make a plan, and respond as best they can – within limited resources. The tech boffins soon realised they could collaborate, and today we have solutions, several of which are the envy of the First World, never mind our peer countries. This story describes one such, a sophisticated, but easy-to-use cell phone application that will render medics safer from the coronavirus by enhancing communication between care-givers. When communication between caregivers goes awry, it causes a disproportionate amount of suffering and often, death. A full 70% of hospital mishaps and adverse events are precipitated by poor communication, surveys show. These guys are onto something; it’s estimated that the smart hospital market will grow from $7.46 billion in 2017 to $62.28 billion by 2023. Echoes of what our former Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said some years ago; we’ll never train enough medics to keep up with our population growth and disease burden – we have to turn to technology to cope. – Chris Bateman