September 2021

technology meets healthcare

With the coronavirus exorbitantly limiting in-person contact and physical appointments, healthcare providers have turned to a new tool that may change the healthcare industry in the long-term: Telehealth. Physicians can use an internet connection and smartphones, computers, or tablets to conduct virtual visits with their patients.

There are three major self-explanatory Telehealth encounters being offered currently: 1. Outpatient care during “Stay-at-Home” orders. 2. Inpatient COVID-19 related surge during various phases of the pandemic 3. Post pandemic recovery.

Telehealth programs overcome physical barriers to provide patients and caregivers access to convenient medical care. One more characteristic of telehealth that appeals to many is its ability to generate cost savings, as costs related to traveling to an in-person medical visit would not be incurred. An additional advantage of the telehealth visit is that it allows doctors to assess the patient’s home environment and whether it may be contributing to the patient’s health issue.

With these advantages of telehealth, there are also some negative sides of the concept such as cost of implementation in rural areas, cost structure, lack of internet infrastructure and so on.

In an overall sense, telehealth can be a major supplement to traditional health care by filling in gaps and making the whole process more efficient. Many health conditions are minor and do not actually require an in-person visit to diagnose and treat. For example, a person with the common cold or Flu may be inclined to visit their primary care physician when they get the sniffles, but a remote visit would take less of the doctor’s (and the patient’s) time that could be directed toward other patients. In a sense, telehealth holds the promise of triaging patients and prioritizing the immediacy of care needed.

Reference: An Article from Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy – written by Scott Boisvert, JD, Sravya Durbha, MBA and Elaine Nguyen

Artificial intelligence of things

Image by Jefferb – Pixabay

Imagine waking up, not by an alarm blaring from your phone, but to the smell of coffee, light coming in your window from a curtain being drawn back, and a gentle stirring massage or vibration from your mattress. This is not a fairy tale. This is happening in Kenya and around the world. That is AIOT for you.
A lot more is changed this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak making technology professionals realize that their role is changing in this evolving contactless world.
AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things), a relatively new hot term that is the perfect amalgamation of the Internet of Things (IoT) with Artificial Intelligence (AI), is all geared up to give consumers the best of both worlds. IoT consists of interconnected objects that can collect and transfer data over wireless network without human intervention. The data can then be utilized and analyzed with AI for decision making or problem solving.
Too much geek to handle. Basically, in this connected world, we use one or the other IOT device in our daily routine. For example, wearable fitness and trackers (like Fitbits) and IoT healthcare applications, voice assistants (Siri and Alexa), Smart Homes, Smart Cities Smart TVs and so on. While the IoT connects “dumb” devices to the internet, artificial intelligence gives them a “brain” improving human-machine interactions and enhance data management and analytics.
Our own enterprises such as Safaricom, Liquid Telecom etc in Kenya has built IoT platforms and networks respectively for companies to build applications and solve consumers’ day to day challenges that are more local – From monitoring air pollution to protecting endangered wildlife to trace COVID patients in your surroundings. Our local kenyan companies such as BRCK, M-Gas, Upepo and many others have used AIOT to solve consumers’ challenges in the areas like utility, internet connectivity, farming and so on. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that the Internet can positively impact how we work, live, parent, school and worship during times of uncertainty, AIoT will play a critical role in Kenya’s digital future.