Samsung is investing in effective medical solutions tailored for South Africa
Samsung Electronics South Africa has invested significantly into the medical sector, with the aim of using the latest in technological innovation to assist in delivering transformational change in the health sector in Africa.Through its Health and Medical Equipment portfolio, Samsung has developed market-leading solutions in areas including Digital Radiology, Ultrasound and IVD (in-vitro diagnostics), to help address some of the significant health challenges that face the medical industry.The constitution of the World Health Organisation states that: “The right to health includes access to timely, acceptable and affordable healthcare of appropriate quality.” Yet Africa faces some of the most challenging health scenarios in the world. In South Africa alone, infant mortality is high, life expectancy short and the limitations of healthcare under scrutiny.
The World Bank also reports that more than 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa are residing in rural areas, while in South Africa only 20% of the population has access to private medical insurance schemes, leaving 80% reliant on public healthcare facilities**. With a vast rural population that may have to travel more than 200km to receive medical attention, mobile solutions developed by Samsung present a viable way to bring quality healthcare to those who do not have access.Samsung’s goal is to deliver the highest quality of personalised care to patients and that means faster assessments, improved experiences and minimised patient movement. For the medical practitioner, these advancements offer them the flexibility and functionality they need to perform to the highest standards and collaborate effectively. For the healthcare provider, increased mobility also ensures convenience in patient care, both inside and outside their facilities.
“Samsung is committed to finding solutions that change lives and shift expectations and this is reflected in our diverse and rich medical product range,” says Mike van Lier, Divisional Head of the Enterprise Business Division (EBD) at Samsung Electronics SA. “We enhance patient experiences and the environment for healthcare providers through the provision of integrated mobile healthcare solutions, specialist analytic devices and impactful medical displays such as Samsung SMART Signage.”Advancements in technology provide a unique opportunity to address current gaps in South Africa’s existing healthcare infrastructure. The Samsung range of products has been designed by leading experts within their fields of expertise to ensure that a comprehensive and transformative range of solutions are available to the South African medical market.
The medical range of products is an invaluable resource for the healthcare sector when operating in remote areas, with limited access to resources and facilities, due to the wireless and digital feature sets that are built into the products.“The Samsung product range in Digital Radiology, Ultrasound and IVD are capable of digital and wireless features to instantly transmit patient results anywhere in the world,” says van Lier. “For those who live in rural communities, the technology ensures that they get their results analysed by trained professionals within reasonable waiting times. These capabilities also allow practitioners in the field to obtain a second opinion from other specialists, as well as ensuring that valuable data can be transmitted offsite for storage and safe-keeping.”
Samsung’s expertise and efficiency in the chip, video imaging and mobile device markets has been utilised to great effect with this latest in medical product innovation. “Our digital radiology products deliver superb image quality, intuitive user interfaces and the S-Detector, which can manage low dose management and with the soft touch feature is light enough to be moved by only one hand during patient assessment,” says Van Lier.
Further to this, the ultrasound range of products from Samsung can be used across obstetrics, gynaecology, cardiology and general surgery practises and the in-vitro clinical chemistry blood analysers can provide accurate test results in just seven minutes. The units are designed to cope with the steady, busy flow of patients in rural clinics and the speed at which results are developed help reduce practitioner pressure as they can dispense results and solutions swiftly. For example, the LABGEO Mobile blood analyser connects via WiFi to a mobile application on a smartphone to check results in real time, and these can then be sent on to the relevant medical person or place to ensure the patient is given the appropriate treatment.
Samsung’s medical solution includes a solar powered health centre, which is mounted on a truck and capable of reaching truly remote areas across South Africa. These health centres use Samsung’s technology to provide a number of medical services to patients, including eye, ear, blood and dental care. “Medical treatment is needed across the continent and this requirement has inspired us to develop innovative solutions that are catered to the local market. We are currently busy with a pilot project installing Digital X-Ray in a truck to take chest X-Rays every 90 seconds for Tuberculosis (TB) test. We continually look to partner with new investors to ensure that these solutions can be expanded to meet the needs of South Africans and the rest of the continent.”
“Samsung’s passion for creating products that improve people’s lives is what drives its Health and Medical Equipment business. Through converging its world-class technology in smartphones and displays, as well as its design capabilities with the field of medical devices, Samsung provides doctors with imaging solutions and diagnostics equipment that enables them to make accurate diagnoses with clearer images combined with a faster, more secure exchange of patient data. In the end our innovations are focused on making it possible for healthcare to become more patient-centric, bolstering trust between care givers and patients, whilst delivering higher quality treatment and saving money by simplifying workflows,” concludes van Lier.