A silent changing of the guard is happening in the health sector across Africa. Slowly E-health solutions are taking over traditional health care. By definition e-health is Smart medical devices that that improve access to healthcare by connecting to other devices over a data network and create an interconnected communication through a platform, commonly known as the Internet of things (IOT).
It used to be that when you wanted to check your health status you had to make a doctor’s appointment, take time off work, drive there. Now that is a thing of the past as you can manage your health from the comfort of your own home on a medical device that allows remote monitoring of blood pressure and blood sugar status by a doctor, family or clinic in real-time. E-health has brought a new approach to the development of people centric (as opposed to process centric) health solutions. Cumii International, a leader in IoT in Africa is a pioneer in such digital technology. Through Econet Connected Health, they are not just leading a revolution in the private health sector, but also revolutionising the delivery of health care in the public health sector as well as in vulnerable communities.
Commerce is beginning to take note of how advantageous a platform that delivers early warnings is with particular emphasis on their human capital. Several large Corporations in Zimbabwe have shown support for this Connected Health service, signing up their employees to the digital health platform through Wellness Expos at the workplace initiated by Econet Connected Health. This move is seen by most as both a social responsibility effort and a business investment in human capital.
Cumii is in the IoT business of developing disruptive technology that improves lives through real-time connectivity. Through their partners Econet in Zimbabwe, and Strategis and Maddison Health Insurers in Zambia and Tanzania, Cumii is improving healthcare access across the continent.
The proliferation of mobile telephony in Africa alongside the drop in cost of data and mobile handsets has been an advantage in the uptake of e-health solutions. 557 million Africans today have access to a mobile phone – which is more than the number of Africans with access to clean drinking water. E-health has been useful in disaster management. It was crucial in reaching thousands when Ebola struck Africa in 2016, disseminating correct medical information to regions that had no immediate access to Television or press in parts of Nigeria.
The industry is going towards combining the various elements of e-health into one platform where physically taking medical records and history to a health practitioner will be a thing of the past. Cumii international insists that Africa is ready for the changes that disruptive digital technology is about to bring. Fragmented infrastructure has been a problem in Africa that current trends in e-health maybe be able to bridge. Giving correct medical information to rural communities or marginalised communities is one example.
More mature markets have the benefit of being able to avail connected solutions medical health insurance and pharmacies. On average only 20% of Africans have health insurance and E-health technology like the Cumii device bridge that gap by improving access to healthcare across Africa.