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More than half of Southern African countries are experiencing a technical-economic recession. Despite this, competitiveness still exists in the Private Healthcare sector with regards to IoT and Healthcare Technology and the rest of the world. If left to Southern African governments, SA would never have been able to join the rest of the world with technological advancements in Healthcare. Mismanagement, corruption, open borders, and other factors hinder technological progress, hence the need for private sector healthcare to step in.

Europe, the US, and the UK are current leaders in Healthcare Technology with advancements in Medical Robotics, Monitoring Equipment, Infusion Pumps, Ventilators, Theatre equipment, Radiology and Diagnostic equipment, and many more.

These three countries have taken it a step further whereby patient documentation is no longer captured on paper, but rather on WiFi or SIM card Tablets. For as long as one can remember, nursing and doctors’ notes were captured on paper, however, the switch to electronic record-keeping from these nations was already in progress since a couple of decades ago.

South Africa has 5 major private healthcare groups. The margin between the smallest and largest group is somewhat extensive, however, they all perform equally well financially. The fact that the Public Healthcare system is almost non-existing has led to the success of these healthcare Groups. The Financial successes of these groups enabled them to become digitally more advanced. Healthcare Software and Hardware were purchased from Germany, The US, and the UK.

Most of these Private Healthcare providers are running the SAP SE software system as their core application. SAP in itself is a highly advanced CRM. The reason for SAP’s popularity in Healthcare is because it is customized to cater to specific customers in the Healthcare Industry Solution. SAP also touches 77% of all business activities globally. It is also able to integrate effortlessly with other software applications. This is vital in Healthcare and this is where the IoT comes to play.

For more information on SAP SE, visit www.SAP.com 

What does the future landscape look like for SA Private Healthcare?

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), it might become possible for all of the diagnostic, monitoring, and medication pumps data to integrate to a single platform on a patient electronic record (as mentioned, electronic patient records are already in use in Europe, Us, and the UK).

Third-party laboratory and radiology data may also be electronically integrated into this single patient platform.

Private Hospitals use many different Software Applications currently for things like ordering medication from Vendors. Same with Nursing ordering medication from a pharmacy. They also bill surgical and non-ethical materials electronically on different applications.

What if, thanks to the IoT, all of these functions may be done on a single application from a patient’s digital file?

From Pathology orders to the lab, to Magnetic Resonance Imaging orders to Radiology, all on a single application. The Lab results may then be viewed on this single electronic patient platform. Healthcare Professionals may do prescriptions from the comfort of their practice or even from home.

The potential to accurately diagnose patients because of The Internet of things, technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks, are endless.

In the future, Nearly every industry will be affected by the IoT If not already.

Author – H. Kies

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