South Africa:Healthcare to go mobile?

By Rusana Philander:

Deputy Minister of Health Gwen Ramokgopa said yesterday that South Africa was committed to the use of technology to improve the delivery of health services.Addressing the Mobile Summit in Cape Town, Ramokgopa said that health required an integrated approach. “South Africa has a very high penetration of mobile phones, which are the greatest point of interactive contact and potentially have the greatest impact. Studies reflect that 93 out of 100 South Africans directly access cellphones,” she said.

According to GSMA, who hosted the summit, healthcare costs were increasing. The purpose of the conference was to discuss latest developments in health and the role of mobile phones in achieving priority health outcomes.

Craig Friderichs, GSMA’s head of health, said that through cellphone technology, clinics and doctors can communicate with patients in the most remote rural areas without travelling to them.

“They can get information about any illness or diseases and it takes the burden off hospitals and clinics,” he said.

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