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Current developments in Telemedicine Initiatives in Africa – Success and Failure Case Studies

The report titled “Africa Telemedicine Outlook and Opportunities” provides detailed overview on the e-Health Space in Africa and helps readers to identify the ongoing trends in the industry and anticipated growth in future depending upon changing industry dynamics in coming years. The report is useful for investors, health institutions, health management organizations, startups, and other stakeholders to align their market centric strategies according to ongoing and expected trends in the future.

The Government has been playing supportive in implementing the e-health policies in all the countries across Africa. The same could be advocated from the fact that large number of National e-Health Policies such as RAFT, m4RH and others has 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 are lack of proper infrastructure pertaining to ICT, problem of collating data through several platforms due to lack of uniformity , incomplete health records from the lowest level of health facilities, lack of technical staff for supporting the eHealth initiatives, lack of training centers dedicated for eHealth, shortage of reliable power supply, lack of proper governance structure in most of the countries and lack of interoperability of eHealth standards and systems.
Albeit the challenges, the continent had witnessed number of success case studies in the region, for an instance in Uganda, the use of mTrac has been a motivation for growth of e-health space in the country.

Uganda is one of the least developed countries in the world. The country has around 20 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.

One of the innovative aspects of the mTrac platform is its dashboard which can effectively and efficiently collate and analyze all the data and help the district health workers to provide output optimally according to the needs of various stakeholders.
According to an industry veteran “the project had an engagement of national level stakeholders which has improved training and supervision, increased use of data for program monitoring and clarified data sources for indicators. It has also refined procedures for data validation, quality and reporting compliance, technical and steering committee activities, discussion and consensus building on methodologies, data requirements and interpretation, and engagement of telecommunication service providers.”

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