The Sunday Mail

E-Health takes shape

Emmanuel Kafe —
A local company has engaged TechMedic International from the Netherlands to come up with a tele-monitoring system called Dyna-Vision.

The device monitors a patient’s skin temperature, blood pressure, oxygen saturation (SPo2), respiration and pulse (heart rate) using built in Wifi and 3G connection. The small device is able to monitor one’s health condition and raise alarm in the event that it deteriorates.

This sends information to a cloud server which is then accessed by medical doctors and nurses via mobile phones, personal computers and tablets.

Using the cloud based hospital information system, patients can access their medical records anytime. Dyna-Vision also provides high-end telemedicine and tele-monitoring solutions to hospitals around the world.

Mr Rutger Brest Van Kempen, Techmedic Int. Founder, said the device works with software on smart phones and can be installed on multiple computers for monitoring at different locations, inside and outside the hospital.

“All installations monitor the same patients through the server,” said Mr Rutger.

The software features patient’s data management, near real time monitoring, alert detection and display, easy reporting of all recorded data and interfaces with electronic medical records.

This is a milestone in Zimbabwe’s health sector as the device provides early detection of a patient’s condition with less than a second delay.

A study by Techmedic Int shows that 24 percent of vital signs taken manually are not correct and 77 percent of adverse events indicate the vital signs were not taken correctly or were not available at all.

Dyna-Vison provides automated continuous monitoring. The device comes at a  time when Zimbabwe is adopting technology in the health sector.

However, the device comes at a whooping US $3 000 and cannot be afforded by many. Moreover, a great portion of the population does not have access to wifi services and therefore will not be able to use this device.

According to the 2012 census, 67 percent of Zimbabwe’s population live in rural areas. There is need for accessible internet connections in all parts of the country.

Government should come up with e-health policies that promote the development, access to and use of ICTs in the delivery of health services across the country.

Medical personnel should also be equipped with the necessary skills so as to make e-health more effective.

Chairman and founder of Gesa Medical, Mr George Mangondo said the Government should embrace technology and engage the private sector.

“The Government should engage the private sector to come up with a workable solution that helps to improve health service delivery,” said Mr Mangondo.

In May 2005, the 58th World Health Assembly adopted Resolution WHA58.28, establishing an e-Health strategy for World Health Organisation.

The resolution urged member States to plan for appropriate e-health services in their countries. That same year, WHO launched the Global Observatory for e-health (GOe), an initiative dedicated to the study of e-health’s evolution and impact.