e-Mutakalo: Smart toolkit’ could help ailing Gauteng healthcare industry

e-Mutakalo: Smart toolkit’ could help ailing Gauteng healthcare industry

A device, named e-mutakalo (Tshivenda word for ‘health’) has been   developed by University of Johannesburg’s Institute Intelligent Systems (IIS) . It is an intelligent, low-cost, smart toolkit that may assist healthcare practitioners monitor and diagnose patients the

e-mutakalo is able to do this remotely by collecting,
processing and analysing real-time vital signs data. It can therefore
automatically detect problems and alert medical staff in the event of an

“This technology allows for a more natural and unobtrusive
approach to continuous monitoring and observation of patients, as it works on
the principle of non-invasive monitoring,” he said.

“It uses wireless sensor nodes, ambient intelligence
techniques to monitor the patient’s comfort and condition and it is able to
detect and diagnose problems.”

The  e-mutakalo
technology is especially needed for patients seeking medical attention whilst
healthcare practitioners or care providers are on intervals between patients,
said Doorsamy.


In a statement, the university said a shortage of skilled
staff and budget shortfalls were a growing concern in the healthcare industry,
with an ever-increasing number of in-patients in hospitals and elderly-care
facilities. This was particularly the case in Gauteng province, owing to
migration patterns.

The device brings together technologies of the fourth
industrial revolution to make real impact in society, said Wesley Doorsamy, an
associate professor and researcher at IIS.

toolkit ‘cost effective’

The device could be deployed for home-care purposes,
allowing patients to stay at home rather than in expensive healthcare
facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, as it provides an efficient and
cost-effective alternative to on-site clinical monitoring.

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“Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a major role in the
delivery of health services. AI has already transformed some areas of health
and medicine towards clinical decision-making,” said Doorsamy.

“We trust that the rollout of the wearable sensing
technologies might serve as a foundation for value-based care approaches while
improving outcome and efficiency of healthcare delivery.”

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa