• Leadership
  • eHealth: potential or pipedream over the next 50 years

    “Harnessing technology and creating effective e-Health and m-Health services will be one way to increase access to healthcare across the continent.” So says the African Development Bank in their recently released report on Health in Africa over the next 50 years. The report examines the overall health progress on the continent over a half century, highlights health challenges and discusses a way forward for the next 50 years.

    The report suggests that leveraging eHealth opportunities will enable countries to overcome the “triple challenge” of inadequate access, finance, and human resources and contribute to greater transparency, accountability, diagnostics accuracy, access, improve quality of care and treatment of patients in Africa.

    eHealth is by no means new to Africa. Most African countries claim to use some form of eHealth, telemedicine or mHealth. Many of these projects and initiatives have been developed and implemented in isolation and are not sustainable. This may be because most African countries do not have eHealth strategies and policies in place and lack eHealth regulations.

    While few would argue that eHealth has the potential to transform the way we approach healthcare, much needs to be done before eHealth can help improve the outlook for health care in African.

    Click here to access the full report.

  • First African Centre for eHealth Excellence

    Acfee’s proposed partnership with UCT is not going ahead as originally planned. Read a more recent update here.

    A new eHealth initiative is now underway, based in South Africa. The University of Cape Town (UCT) and tinTree International eHealth have agreed to set up a Centre for eHealth Excellence. It’s prime goal is training, leadership and development in Africa to provide a steady stream of eHealth experts to support Africa’s growing eHealth investment. It’s the first in Africa.

    It’ll be linked to UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences. In a press release today, Prof Wim de Villers, the Faculty’s Dean said that “The Centre will be driven by academic excellence and help to expand the pool of advanced eHealth skills, knowledge and solutions on the African continent.” This is the start, and discussions are continuing with several key partners before the official planned launch date in 2015.

    The academic Centre will:

    Deal with eHealth innovation responsively and offer value to a wide range of partners Contribute new and relevant knowledge to the global eHealth domain through credible research and publications Prepare medical graduates to practice in an environment that is already experiencing technologically driven transformation Produce more informatics, analytics and implementation graduates and leaders for eHealth Provide countries with analysis and tools to make informed, constructive choices between competing eHealth priorities Be guided by an Advisory Board of eminent African health and technology leaders.

    tinTree chairman, Dr Sean Broomhead, believes that the Centre’s role is vital to eHealth, and its value for better health. He said, “Good eHealth improves our experience of health, whether we receive care, provide care, or simply want to remain healthy. Getting eHealth right needs special skills. The Centre, together with its African partners, will build the capacity needed to expand eHealth’s positive impact for Africa.”

    UCT was set up in 1829. Its Faculty of Health Sciences, set up in 1912, has the oldest medical school in Southern Africa. Its core business is research in medical and allied fields and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students across a wide range of healthcare-related disciplines.

    tinTree is based in South Africa. It’s an international network of global eHealth professionals. It uses leadership and development skills and strategies to support African countries, Regional Economic Communities, companies and NGOs to move eHealth forward.tinTree analyses eHealth developments in Africa and globally, building models, tools, handbooks and other information assets to find lessons that help health organisations and ministries of health move ahead. tinTree operates eHealth News Africa (eHNA).

    eHNA will post news and commentaries on the Centre as it happens.