Although the healthcare sector continues to adopt a tentative approach to the investment and application of ICT infrastructure, technology and healthcare professionals share the view that the integration of a cost-effective, manageable solution to facilitate the centralisation and collaboration of patient data will add significant value.


These professionals stress that a differentiation must be made between public and private healthcare service providers when it comes to technology integration and application. While there are isolated cases of proactive technology investment and use in certain state hospitals, from a private point of view there is a vested interested in technology but this is conditional and still impacted by a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.


South African ICT managed services provider Integr8 has a long and successful track record of service to established operators within the local healthcare industry, including Medhold Medical.


Executive leadership at Integr8 have amassed a significant amount of information about the integration of technology to reinforce systems and strengthen relevant processes and procedures.


Together with insight gained from years of experience, Integr8 has sourced the opinion of medical services professionals about the role of technology and why its integration equates to measurable value.


One of the main reasons for the continued integration of next generation infrastructure is to source and house patient information from every point of contact in the health system. This model translates to improved communication, more efficient management of data and ultimately an improved level of patient care.


As an example, medical professionals mention the possibility of linking up ECG, X-ray and medical history in a single area.


Technology also supports and in many circumstances compensates for the potential shortage in required skills in the healthcare sector. In practice technology affords medical professionals the opportunity to experience first world technologies, particularly algorithms, failsafe mechanisms, warning signals and similar features included in medical devices.


In another example of how technology addresses the issue of skills development and application is in facilitating a network of forums and support structures to strengthen interaction between doctors and patients.


“We have witnessed an increase in interest in mobile solutions and flexible platform applications and integration to centralised systems to widen the communication network between medical professionals and patients,” explains Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8.


This supports the notion that the sector is in need of advanced infrastructure and compatible mobile integration provides users with the opportunity to access the knowledge and latest medical technologies without restriction.


“It has been a long time coming and, although we are not entirely there yet, there has been significant progress made…we are excited at the front running position healthcare has taken in terms of ICT managed service integration and application,” Sussman continues.