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What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the delivery of healthcare services remotely using information and communication technologies. This allows individuals to obtain health information and services from a distance. Under the umbrella of telehealth are many services, including tele-medicine. 

What Are The Benefits Of Telehealth?

Telehealth serves as a convenient avenue for patients to receive quality medical care in real-time without taking trips to hospitals. It also serves as a viable solution for non-emergent medical care. For example, an individual suffering from an allergic reaction may contact a doctor, who can consult with and diagnose him or her as well as prescribe the appropriate medication efficiently through mobile devices and computers. Not only is this form of care efficient and therefore convenient, but it is also cost-effective. 

How Is Telehealth Impacting Africa?

The short answer is that it is not. At least, not yet. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth solutions were extensively used in countries across the globe to minimize the spread of the virus by reducing contact between individuals. As we move to an age where the management of infectious diseases becomes a top health priority, telehealth will continue to be significant to health-care providers and other individuals. 

A few obstacles to telehealth’s impact in Africa include: 

  • Mobile Phone Penetration:  Broadband services in some parts of the continent are poor and expensive.
  • Inexperienced Staff: The continent needs more experienced and knowledgeable medical professionals, namely, those who are well-versed or amenable to technology solutions.
  • Lack of Awareness: Many people fear that virtual visits do not provide the same standards of care as in-person visits. 
  • Inadequate ICT Infrastructure: Lack of ICT infrastructures such as steady electrical power, cellular network coverage, and broadband internet service prevent telehealth services from functioning properly and limit access to the services.
  • Poor Record Keeping: Lack of readily identifiable patient records and quick accessibility of them prevents effective virtual diagnosis and treatment of patients.
  • Lack of Support: Government officials, healthcare providers, hospitals, and the public at large have not yet granted their complete support for telehealth programs and software. Support is necessary to encourage patients to engage in telehealth and therefore, allow vast adoption of the programs. 

How is ParallelScore Engaging in TeleHealth?

Healthcare is at the core of our work at ParallelScore. ParallelScore’s telehealth platform will provide efficient, cost-effective and easily adopted services for healthcare providers and their patients.

The telehealth platform is designed to securely collect the medical information of patients which will be integrated into their electronic health records for easier accessibility. It will also enable healthcare providers to diagnose and treat their patients at a distance.

ParallelScore will continue to provide more information about telehealth and its benefits. We will also work closely with key players to address health workforce shortages and discuss ways to improve services in the target communities. Notwithstanding, the platform will be able to work well under unfavourable network conditions. 

Utilizing its years of expertise in the health system, ParallelScore already has a clear vision of the quality of care that should be delivered. Thus, the telehealth platform will be user-friendly and patient-centred.

 

Amaka Odozi

Author Amaka Odozi

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