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Digital Health

Insight into Digital Health


Dr Matshidiso Moeti - WHO Regional Director for Africa

"Digital solutions are the future of equitable, quality health care and resilient health systems and over the past years, great strides have been made in boosting telemedicine, eLearning, mHealth and social media in the African region.

Collaboration between the health, information and communication technology and other sectors is essential to improve access to health care, patient safety and the achievement of universal health coverage."

Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi - Honorable Minister of State, Public Health and Primary Health Care, Rwanda

“Digital health improves service delivery and clinical outcomes, and we know that cannot happen if we don’t look at the data.”

Dr Khama Rogo - Lead health section specialist at the World Bank and the head of the bank’s Health in Africa Initiative

“Mobile technology is disrupting every layer of society at an unprecedented pace. The biggest social equalizer now in this part of the world [Africa], I believe, is a cell phone."

John Sargent - Co-founder, BroadReach

“Without an established health care infrastructure and entrenched practices built up over many decades, developing countries can innovate more nimbly and consequently bring health care to some of the world’s most marginalized populations."

Krishna Yeshwant - M.D., M.B.A., partner, Google Ventures

“Even if you have a couple hundred engineers, and you get two of them interested [in improving health care delivery], that can be a really big deal, because engineering talent can scale so dramatically."

Doris Savron - Executive dean for the College of Health Professions

“The healthcare industry is shifting to a patient-centred model which harnesses technology to both open communication channels and creates a platform for patient engagement."

Hannu Nissinen - CEO of Klinik Healthcare Solutions

"First, the amount of money used on healthcare per capita [in Africa] is approximately five per cent of that of Western countries. On the other hand, there is a severe shortage of healthcare professionals. Therefore, there is a need to address the situation using lighter, digital solutions.

Nigeria has, for example, in banking moved directly into the world of mobile services. The advantage is that they have no old, large health data systems that need expensive integration, but they have skipped over one or more stages of development and jumped straight into the digital world."

Rob Heath - Principal at South African investment and advisory firm HAVAIC

“There are significant environmental and regional advantages for Africa in health-tech, but I think the bottleneck has been decent supply of technology experts – the quality is good, there are just not loads of them – and also lack of professional investors that can add real value."

Morten Illum - VP EMEA at Aruba

“The rise of digital health services is about improving patient experiences, and increasing accuracy and quality of care. Above all else, that is what we think healthcare providers and members of the public should be excited about. But data security risk is emerging as one big challenge here. That’s why these changes take time to deploy, and we expect to see healthcare companies partnering with technology providers to negotiate both technological and cultural change in the coming years. With the benefits that are on offer, it is certainly worth the effort."

Valter Adao - Deloitte’s Digital Africa leader

“Governments, and specifically the ministries of health, need to invest in initiatives that are customised, culturally sensitive solutions that will achieve the desired outcomes. In regions like Nigeria and South Africa, where healthcare spend is the highest on the continent, healthcare outcomes are still poor. Accepting that the African region needs continued attention to address either the lack of investment into healthcare infrastructure and services, or to improve on healthcare outcomes where the investment is either at or above global benchmarks, suggests the need for more sophisticated and innovative deployment of healthcare investments and that these solutions should be a critical focus area"

Dr David M. Levine - Primary care physician and researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

“Unfortunately it often takes the critical eye of a physician to judge whether there is a credible level of evidence for an app or whether it is just a bunch of hocus pocus.

It is very difficult for a PCP to know what is a good app and what is not, which ones are evidence-based and which one has been validated. I don't want to introduce a new intervention to one of my patients unless I know there is evidence that it works [...] it's the same as of medication."

Michael Blum - M.D., director, Center for Digital Health Innovation

“We see lots of companies that have technologies that say, ‘Hey, this is going to revolutionize health care.’ We say, ‘How do you know that means anything in maintaining wellness or in curing or managing chronic disease?’ Eventually they get around to understanding that building and testing things in their lab is very different than working in the health care system with human beings."

Jeff Ruby - Founder & CEO, Newtopia

“Simple answer is n=1. The future of healthcare will be hyper personalized. It’s all about moving away from one size fits all. We’re seeing it in the pharma industry with a move away from blockbuster drugs to personalized medicine. I would say hyper personalized care where n=1 is the future. I’d also say it’s preventative. For too long, we’ve been focused and buried under the cost of sick care. It’s far less expensive to identify issues early and prevent issues from beginning in the first place."

Mert Iseri - Founder & CEO, SwipeSense

“I see a connected hospital. To me, the future of healthcare is not going to be going to the hospital, receiving care, and going back home. I see an experience where the entire journey is connected, measured, and scrutinized. Every step along the way, there will be a data point that can be analyzed to optimize and personalize your care. I see an API for healthcare on the horizon that will make the ecosystem more connected and efficient. That is going to create the biggest impact that we have ever seen in healthcare – bigger than a new drug or bigger than a new medical device."



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