BLOEMFONTEIN – Today, Vodacom in partnership with the Free State Department of Health, launched two cutting-edge digital health solutions that are aimed at providing patients excellent medical care in public hospitals across the Free State province.
By reducing the risk associated with medical malpractice lawsuits and improving efficiencies, this is a move that is going to provide scores of people in the Free State Province, who depend on public health with excellent medical care in line with government’s ideals of “Batho Pele,” putting people first in all public service touchpoints through the use of technology.
Evah Mthimunye, Managing Executive for Vodacom Central Region commented: “Vodacom is a Purpose-led organisation and our mission is to ensure that the potential offered by digital connectivity is fully harnessed by all people, irrespective of their background and social standing. In this regard, we are using our technological capabilities to provide government, our long-standing partner, digital solutions that are geared towards solving real challenges they face in their pursuit to service members of the public better. Therefore, the solutions that we are launching today will go a long way in ensuring that government owned hospitals in Free State provide ordinary citizens with improved medical care.”
“We have embarked on a journey to modernise and transform service delivery through technology. This launch marks an important milestone as we officially implemented strategic digital projects that will propel our province to the forefront of the digital future. The combined effect of all digital health solutions will greatly strengthen service delivery in the Free State. These solutions are aligned to our e-Health Strategy and the vision of rolling out universal healthcare through the NHI,” said Free State Premier, Mxolisi Dukwana.
The Free State MEC for Health, Mathabo Leeto commented: “The solutions integrate into a wider digital ecosystem that our Digital Health Strategy envisions. Once fully constituted, this ecosystem will unite providers, specialists, laboratories, pharmacies, emergency services and administrators through shared data and insights. This is the backbone of the National Health Insurance. These digital innovations will help to systematically address the service backlogs, quality deficits and access barriers that our communities have grappled with for too long.”
The solutions include Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), an efficient dispatching system built on benchmarked standards. The CAD provides users the amazing ability to track ambulance requests from the moment a call is logged, to the final delivery of the patients at their destination. The solution provides a transparent platform that effectively tracks ambulance movements, patient records, departmental resources and equipment utilisation. The platform is also built to work with mobile devices that are fitted into vehicles, to allow for faster and accurate communication between agents, dispatchers and field responders. In addition, the solution includes the Patient Report Form which ensures electronic records of the procedures performed on the patient en-route to a medical facility. Critically, the CAD system includes two mobile response team applications which are fitted onto vehicles to allow the medical responders to promptly communicate with dispatchers.
The second solution is known as the Assisted Reality Medico-legal Surveillance System (ARMSS) provided through RealWear wearable tablets. The ARMSS empowers frontline medical workers with hands free voice enabled collaboration to conduct audio and visual recordings of the various procedures medical staffers conduct. In addition, the solution helps to safely store and forward the audio-visual recordings for reporting and investigative purposes. Examples of the recordings include medico-legal enquiries, tele-proctoring which allows for real time and asynchronous recording form the providers perspective to allow first-hand observations, remote expert guidance, visual assistance, IoT data, digital workflow capabilities and document navigation.
Critically, the solution leverages telecommunications offerings such as mobile devices, SIM connectivity and Mobile Device Management software solutions and other advanced technologies. The solution falls within the ambit of the RT-15 contract and is designed to practically respond to various pillars of the Presidential Health Compact and the commitments of the Free State Department of Health’s Medium Term Strategic Framework.