NetOne launches pilot e-health facility

21 Apr, 2015 - 00:04 0 Views
NetOne launches pilot e-health facility

The Chronicle

netoneLeonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
STATE-owned mobile operator NetOne has launched a pilot e-health facility programme aimed at enhancing access to health services for all Zimbabweans, especially those in remote areas.

NetOne managing director Reward Kangai said the Information Communication Technology (ICT) driven initiative was in line with the Zim-Asset goals on increasing social services to citizens without travelling long distances.

He said NetOne was already working with unnamed medical professionals on a trial run.

Under the facility, patients would visit a clinic anywhere where there is network coverage and a nurse would direct a camera on the patient whose details and medical problem would immediately appear to a doctor at a major referral centre.

The doctor would diagnose and prescribe medication online, said Kangai.

“Our belief is that mobile communication can be a catalyst that can accelerate Zim-Asset. All clusters such as health, education and agriculture in the economic blueprint can be positively influenced by mobile technology.

“We’re working on a pilot project which would enable people to go to a clinic where a nurse would direct a camera at the patient and a doctor would immediately see the problem from an urban hospital.

“There’ll be no need to travel to urban areas to visit specialist doctors,” said Kangai.

Once successful, the facility would help improve health service delivery by making it accessible to people.

Patients from rural communities would not have the hassle of looking for transport and consultations fees to go to a hospital.

Kangai said the project was part of the mobile operator’s plans of unleashing 4G technology services, which would promote high speed communication and a variety of services.

“The e-health facility will be a pilot test. At the moment we’re using satellite geo-systems and we want to replace that with 4G using frequency bands that used to be allocated to TV. We’re doing a pilot project with a medical doctor who is passionate about health and we’ll disclose details soon,” he said.

“All plans are in place and the full facility will soon be rolled out. We’ve already purchased equipment as part of our mobile broadband project.”

Kangai said under the e-health facility, those on special treatment such as diabetes patients would have devices such as wristbands that would be programmed to remind them on the time to take medication so that no one would succumb to the disease because of failure to observe prescription or time.

He said the programme would benefit the 3.3 million NetOne subscribers but would not explain how the parastatal would recoup its investments from clients.

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