The emergence of new technologies will decrease healthcare inequality, thus enabling quality medical services to be provided to more people at reduced costs.
Chief Executive Officer of Avon Healthcare Limited (Avon HMO), Adesimbo Ukiri stated this at the 2019 edition of the Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication Exhibition (ICTEL EXPO) organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking on the implications of the fourth industrial revolution on healthcare, Ukiri said that lower healthcare costs would be an outcome of the widespread application of technological solutions to solve the myriad of health challenges in Nigeria. Ukiri noted that in other parts of the world, technology has already led to the emergence of new areas in healthcare such as telemedicine, electronic medical records, biometric technology, real-time patient monitoring and even predictive medicine.
“All these lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment which helps to reduce the cost of in-patient treatments, especially chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. It’s only a matter of time before Nigeria catches on,” she said.
She added: “One of our core pillars at Avon HMO is maternal and infant health and we’re eager to see how health tech companies can tackle this issue. Currently, Nigeria has an infant mortality rate of 68.7 per 1000 births, 107.5 under five mortality rate per 1,000 infants and a life expectancy of 53.6% at birth.
Nigeria also has a maternal mortality rate of 814 per 100,000 live births. These are statistics that really need to change.” The event featured panel discussion where leading health-tech start-ups offered unique solutions to various healthcare challenges in the country.
The panellists consisted of Founder TIC Africa, Tochukwu Egesi; CEO, Medsaf, Vivian Nwakah and Cofounder of Ubenwa, Innocent Udeogu. Ubenwa is an artificial intelligence system that analyses a baby’s cry to check for signs of baby asphyxia, the third leading killer of infants worldwide.