Africa Telemedicine Outlook and Opportunities” provides a comprehensive analysis of e-Health scenario in Africa covering market challenges and success case studies by countries and at multinational levels. The report discusses about the current health scenario of different countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana, Cameroon and Ethiopia. The report also provides current e-health scenario and future government plans for development of e-Health space in all countries. The report also includes trends & developments, growth drivers and major restraints, and challenges within the industry to understand current market dynamics in the industry. The report also serves as a benchmark for existing players and for new players who wish to capitalize on the market potential and investors who are looking forward to venture into the e-Health space in Africa by providing information on success and failure case studies and optimal business model in the region.
Albeit recent improvements in the country’s health care services, the health of large proportion of Africans is still not at par. Sub-Saharan Africa has ~ % of the global population; however, it carries ~% of the world’s disease burden. The continent is deprived of the healthcare conditions which could be justified by the basic indicators of health with high child and maternal mortality rates, low birth weights of the children, and poor sanitation and healthcare access. Moreover, Africa has only ~ physicians per 1000 people with widespread communicable diseases which is low as compared to other countries.
It has been observed that the Government has been playing supportive in implementing the e-health policies. The same could be advocated from the fact that a number of National e-Health policies such as RAFT, m4RH and others have been initiated by the government. Rising level of mobile and internet penetration and increasing number of awareness programs run by the government and NGOs is further assisting in improving the healthcare scenario in Africa with the help of telemedicine. However, this has not helped much in providing a positive impetus to the growth of eHealth sector in the country. The main reasons for the same could be listed as lack of proper infrastructure pertaining to ICT, problem of collating data through several platforms due to lack of uniformity of the data, incomplete health records from the lowest level of health facilities, lack of technical staff for supporting the eHealth initiatives.
With foreign players entering into the Kenya telemedicine market coupled with efforts of the government of country, telemedicine market in Kenya is expected to grow at rapid pace during the future. The government plan to establish eHealth in five hospitals all across the country, which would improve the healthcare system of Kenya by increasing the probability of accurate diagnosis and providing information and accessibility to available treatment options.
Inspite of the slow start, telemedicine in South Africa still holds opportunity as a tool to support the delivery of healthcare especially in rural regions of the country. Though the regulations don’t allow people to doctor conversation through telemedicine platform, but conversation between doctors in rural hospital with specialist doctor in specialized hospital would also help in better diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, telemedicine had attracted considerable interest in innovation among academics, researchers, private enterprises and health professionals, which could be advocated by the noteworthy achievements made by public health domain in South Africa.
mHealth could be considered as most successful telemedicine type in South Africa which has revolutionized healthcare in the country. With the mobile penetration rate of ~% in the country, the telemedicine market is expected to record high growth in South Africa in future also.
It has been observed in various cases that a successful effort would require the indulgence of both public and private sector. For instance, current investment in the telemedicine space such as the setting up of teleconsultation centers (TCCs) has been sponsored by the Novartis Foundation. However, government investment is the key to develop this across the country. Moreover, Government support is also required for the regular payments of the staff and the maintenance of the equipment.
All the eHealth projects implemented were initiated as small scale pilot projects in the country. On the gloomy side, none of the programs were able to successfully correspond to other health systems or share information across geographies or technologies. Most of these projects were discontinued or not running sustainably on the back of poor enabling environment, lack of involvement of the stakeholders in all the stages, low funding and deficiency of a common system to integrate multiple systems in the country among other reasons.
Uganda is one of the least developed countries in the world. The country has around ~ pathologists which work in key regional referral hospitals. For improving the healthcare situations in the country, government is continually making efforts towards improvisation of telemedicine. mTrac has been one successful project in telemedicine industry in Uganda which is a scalable solution to the challenge with health service delivery. mTrac would work on any mobile platform, broadening the process of data collection by leveraging SMS to simplify the process of reporting through a series of keyword codes and fields.
Key Topics Covered in the Report:
Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications