Portable healthcare is changing the way that health professionals take primary care to the vulnerable people that need it most. This is primarily achieved by making it possible to extend screening and diagnostic assessment that was previously limited to those in out-of-town locations that need them most.
“Portable healthcare technology makes it possible to take primary healthcare to low-income populations, who frequently have a disproportionate burden of ill health,” says Dr Dirk Koekemoer, founder and CEO of eMoyo, a medical technology innovator.
“Screening for common health issues like loss of hearing or vision helps to avoid a heavier cost burden on constrained healthcare resources once the diagnosed conditions worsen. We’re committed to helping healthcare practitioners respond to early warning signals and symptoms, to help them diagnose more quickly,” he says.
Portable tech extends reach
Advancements in mobile medical technology mean that appropriately trained technicians can use testing and diagnostic equipment like the KUDUwave to conduct primary hearing assessments. The data gathered from these assessments can then be shared with off-site specialists for further advice and action plans, should they be required.
Portable tech ensures accessibility
Portable technology allows mobile clinics and screening days to take healthcare services to schools and local communities that would ordinarily not have access. Instead of expecting patients to travel to static clinics, they can be screened and diagnosed on the spot and receive preventive healthcare where they are, rather than incurring travel costs or having to take time off work.
Portability improves patient care and worker efficiency
Doctors, nurses and mobile health care workers can record patient data digitally and access any additional information needed to supplement their own knowledge online. This means that any questions or knowledge gaps can be addressed on the spot, and appropriate action taken to help the patient, avoiding delays in care.
Portable tech saves money for businesses
Workers who need a hearing test, cholesterol test or blood sugar analysis, would need to be absent from work. Between transport logistics and waiting for a health care professional to be available valuable time is lost for both the worker and employer. Regular screening with the aid of mobile clinics at the workplace means that there’s less productive time wasted and more goodwill won by investing in the wellbeing of employees.
“The South African medical environment is still in the early stages of adopting mobile solutions to preventive screening and health care, but this approach, when effectively managed through a collaboration between appropriately trained technicians and specialists, can surely prevent challenges that negatively impact on daily lifestyles,” explains Koekemoer.
“For example, hearing loss impacts on a person’s ability to engage with the people around them, which in turn negatively impacts on their ability to earn a living. If hearing loss is identified in a screening – even if that screening is done under a tree in a remote village – it means that the patient can be referred for further care, which will improve their quality of life.”