ICT Clinic (Sunday Punch)

Using technology to improve healthcare services [ICT Clinic]

I love the fact that young people are working hard to add tremendous value in various ways.
I meet them every other day. Penultimate week, I received a mail from a young medical doctor who pitched his solution called casenote.ng, a secure digital medical records solution designed to enable health care providers easily access medical records through various devices.
I was quite impressed at this start-up’s attempt at solving a problem that seems almost impossible to solve. Most hospitals in the country today simply do not have a modern seamless way of managing medical records of patients.
Each time I visit a hospital and see patient cards flying around, I shake my head in disbelief because, in that type of situation, privacy is not guaranteed in anyway.
Well, today’s piece is not about medical records alone but about the entire health care industry as it has often been said that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
This is why I will gladly lend my voice to the clarion call of ramping up investments in our healthcare sector which is currently in shambles and clearly needs revival. We are in a country where a huge number of government-owned hospitals are not functioning properly with most services non-existent.
No doubt, the healthcare system in Nigeria needs a dose of overhauling in order to effectively take care of the citizens of the country. Year in, year out; medical doctors, nurses and the joint health sector union, etc. embark on strike for one reason or the other.
During those periods of strikes, patients experience ‘hell on earth’, especially in government hospitals. This is because patients are left at the mercy of self-medication and quackery which eventually lead to complications and sometimes, fatalities. When doctors, nurses and other health workers are even working, they lack many things to make them deliver effective healthcare to citizens.
For one, drugs are absent in most of our government hospitals with patients poorly treated. Many of the hospitals do not keep proper records and lack the much needed medical equipment to effectively provide quality medical services.
Some of the medical equipment available in some hospitals are not being put to use by the medical personnel because they are not trained to make use of them. They were offered to them by foreign donors. It is quite obvious that the healthcare sector in Nigeria is still very much behind in the use of ICT for effective service delivery.
It always baffles me when I see our leaders at various levels of — Finish Reading on the Punch 

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