Nigerians should enter mobile health initiative now

Nigerians should enter mobile health initiative now
Nigerians should enter mobile health initiative now

Dr Simpa Dania, Chief Happiness Officer, APMIS Health Management Systems Ltd., says e-health and telemedicine will go a long way to solve Nigeria’s healthcare delivery challenges.

Dania made the assertion in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday.

He spoke on the sidelines of the 59th Annual Symposium of the Alexandra Brown Hall, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

Newsmen report that APMIS, a healthcare Information Communication Technology (ICT) platform, captures, stores, exchanges and utilises healthcare information easily in an affordable manner, especially through mobile phones.

“World Health Organisation defines e-health as the use of ICT to support healthcare; so, whatever tools or services of ICT used in healthcare, is e-health – which is electronic health,’’ he explains.

According to Dania, telemedicine is innovation in healthcare delivery in Nigeria which is the way forward for the country’s health sector as it is provides healthcare services over a distance to a population.

“This distance could be geographical or within a  hospital, where you need to have access to a senior healthcare provider for second opinion.

“Also, it could be for education; that is, it can be used to train health science students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, when distance separates them from where they work and where they obtain training,” the official said.

Dania said that e-health evolved in Nigeria with advancement in ICT, creating unprecedented opportunity to improve access to services and innovation in the health sector.

“What Nigerians should do now is to enter the mobile health initiative.

“Recently, stakeholders at a recent mobile health (mhealth) workshop, organised by MTN Nigeria, voted in favour of adoption of the mobile health system.

“mhealth encompasses the use of mobile telecommunications devices and multimedia technologies, as they are integrated within mobile and wireless healthcare delivery system.

“It should be the practice of medical and public healthcare supported by a mobile device, including the use of voice, data and SMS.

“By adopting mhealth in the healthcare delivery system, many more people will potentially be reached and health of people and communities will be greatly enhanced,” the consultant said.

Dania said that since every layman in Nigeria could use applications on their mobile phones, the platform will enable people to access healthcare services  at different locations.

“The mhealth is low, but its awareness is improving. We have come a long way, and the private sector should collaborate to move this business forward.

“Government should also create an enabling environment for the e-health business enterprises to thrive.

“Government is set to do its governance business, but it is the private sector that will implement and work out projects that make the health sector ICT- compliant.

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