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Exploring telemedicine for Africa

This year brings a whole new range of relevant topics to the Conference. With the advent of the Fibre Optic cable in Kenya we thought it appropriate to address the opportunities for Telemedicine in the healthcare industry.

Such questions as the following are being asked:
•    Is Telemedicine a cost effective tool for Africa?
•    What really is Telemedicine all about?
•    How effective has telemedicine been in Europe or America?
•    What is the commonest form of Telemedicine application in other countries?
•    How common is Telemedicine in South African Hospitals?

Telemedicine takes various forms. At one end of the scale we have the simplest form of sending an X-Ray image via Internet or Wireless network to an acknowledged authority in another hospital for assessment. More sophisticated telemedicine involves real-time camera images in the operating theatre being relayed to another country.

At our first conference two years ago we interacted through video conference with Maryland University and saw how operations in Iraq were assisted by robotics controlled from the university. Amazing stuff!

This year’s conference will be graced by two well respected authorities on the subject of Telemedicine.

Dr Moretlo Molefi, an acknowledged authority on Telemedicine in South Africa, will address the issue of how appropriate Telemedicine is for Africa. Dr Molefi is a director of the International Society for Telemedicine and e-Health. She has presented at numerous conferences and was recently part of a select group of medical and ICT personnel which was invited to Cape Town to strategise on the application of Telemedicine in Southern Africa.

Dr Frank Lievens is the Secretary and Treasurer of the International Society for Telemedicine and e-Health and is based in Switzerland. He will provide an update of Telemedicine/e-Health development worldwide. His paper reveals various national strategies on how to develop and implement Telemedicine and e-Health solutions for the wellbeing of citizens.

This is a presentation not to be missed given Dr Lieven’s broad based experience in the field.

In addition to their presentations in the plenary session, the two speakers will hold a workshop on the third day to provide hospital administrators, doctors and medical IT personnel the chance to interact on a one to one basis and explore the applications for Telemedicine in their respective fields.

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