Open wide and say ‘Skype’: SA medicine goes online
The digital world is already making a difference in health care
Video consultation with a doctor, an ATM that dispenses drugs, shareable electronic health records – doctors and pharmacists are increasingly using technology to reach patients.
They’re at the same time cutting costs and long queues.
Five years ago, Cape Town-based ophthalmologist William Mapham developed the “Vula” app after working in a remote area in Swaziland, connecting a patient’s medical information and GPs in rural areas to specialists in the cities. The app is now used by doctors in 23 specialities, with 7,719 registered health workers on the system and some specialists providing answers within 15 minutes...