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Telemedicine In Africa: Opportunities & Challenges

Telemedicine app development

Africa is no exception when it comes to telemedicine, which is making a huge impact on healthcare worldwide. In spite of locational limitations, there are unlimited opportunities to provide much-needed healthcare services to an ever-increasing population. Travel and gathering restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic have further heightened the need for this innovation.

Telemedicine is a practice of providing medical services to patients remotely. The physical distance between the patient and the doctor doesn’t matter in this scenario. All we need is a telemedicine mobile application and an active internet connection. 

The image we have of Africa as an underdeveloped continent is changing. The poor infrastructure makes life in Africa difficult. The daily lives of African citizens are hampered by the lack of proper roads, electricity distribution, hospitals, and educational facilities. Here comes the scope of digital healthcare facilities among the people out there.

 

Opportunities 

Since Africa is a developing country and there is a lack of health care facilities, introducing telemedicine to the African people would be a great success. They are more likely to accept this innovative technology to level up rural health care. As this technology doesn’t need physical contact, it is easy for people from remote areas to consult the doctor and get prescriptions easily. Regular checkups will no longer be a hassle to them. 

When distance becomes a critical factor, Telemedicine will wipe off this challenge and anybody from any corner of the world can receive the doctor’s service with no effort. One of the greatest advantages is that if at least one of the residents in an area has a smartphone, it would greatly enhance the quality of life for everyone in that area. Each person has access to the service through that single phone. 

Though the image we have of Africa is that of a continent lacking even the simplest facilities for its citizens, there are some developed countries as well. This includes Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Libya, etc. Thus the introduction of telemedicine apps in any of these countries would certainly be a great success.

 

Challenges

Since telemedicine mobile apps have myriad opportunities in Africa, there are certain limitations too. Before stepping onto a project one should always be aware of the challenges involved as well. The biggest challenge one has to face while introducing a telemedicine mobile application in Africa is the lack of basic infrastructures such as poor internet services and unsteady electrical power in the remote areas of Africa. Most of the African countries have the slowest internet speeds and very poor cellular network coverage. These limitations act as a major obstacle to the successful implementation of telemedicine apps in Africa. The distribution of medicines is hard in Africa due to the remoteness of many areas. Also, it’s not economically feasible for them to develop the apps in some cases. 

 

Take a look at some of the telemedicine applications in Africa

Despite all the challenges, certain countries in Africa have some telemedicine apps in use. Here are some.

  • Hello Doctor – This is a mobile application used in South Africa which enables its users to speak with a doctor.
  • OMOMI – An application developed for child health care and for pregnant women.
  • Mom Connect – An SMS-based mobile app for pregnant women in South Africa.
  • M- Tiba – This is an app used in  Kenya to pay for healthcare services from a distance.

 

Wrapping Up,

It is obvious that telemedicine had a rough start in Africa, yet it is promising that it will support rural healthcare. Telemedicine allows people-to-doctor calls through online platforms and lets people access better diagnosis and treatment that would result from virtual consultation with healthcare specialists at specialized hospitals. By understanding the opportunities and challenges that you face, you can devise a clear-cut strategy to support your ideas. Hence, launching a Telemedicine mobile application in Africa will elevate your business. If you wish to develop a telemedicine mobile application, contact Sigosoft!

Written By

Parvathy Nair

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