Digitally Transforming the Patient Journey in Africa and Europe

Africa continues to face a growing burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases due to inadequate and deficient health infrastructure, regional disparities of medical and paramedical resources, and a lack of information communicated to patients. A fact that has been accentuated by the current pandemic. On the other hand, Europe continues to have a robust healthcare ecosystem although showing signs of overloading due to the prevailing pandemic. One key aspect that emerges from the prevalent healthcare status in both continents, is that policy makers realize the increasing importance of efficient and adequate digital health solutions.

Digital solutions based on cutting edge technology such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, to name few, will ultimately reduce the burden on the current health care ecosystems by complementing existing health mechanisms.

Research shows that health startups in Africa are closing gaps within the continent’s health value chain with the help and support from European institutions. Some of these gaps include shortage of healthcare professionals to cater to an ever-growing number of patients, high cost of healthcare, lack of robust disease prevention strategies, and inadequate health infrastructure to name a few. Fortunately, African health startups understand the needs of the health systems and are moving fast to fill these gaps by improving the patient journey process, though this is only limited to a few countries. Going forward, Europe and Africa will have to form strategic partnerships around e-governance, data protection, ethical guidelines, computing capacity and interoperability of systems if these startups are to be scaled up and replicated across both continents.

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