‘Growth in Mobile Phones Will Enhance Telemedicine, e-Health’

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By Emma Okonji

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said rapid growth in the use of mobile phones in Nigeria will support telemedicine and enhance e-Health delivery system in the country.

Lagos State Coordinator for WHO, Dr. Sam Yenyi, who gave the Information while delivering a keynote address during the launch of DoktorConnect and Lifepro in Lagos recently by Josmol Group, a health technology company, said information and communications technology (ICT) would have great potential in developing and providing quality healthcare services through telemedicine.

DoktorConnect is a digital application that provides a platform for anyone, anywhere, and at any time to access instant medical expertise that is accurate and trustworthy.

The latest statistics on mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria, as at November 2020, according to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), was 208 million, with active internet subscription of 154.9 million and broadband penetration was 45.07 per cent, with a target of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.

“Telemedicine is the future of quality health delivery system and a universally accepted technology tool to reach out to millions of patients.

“It is for this reason that WHO attaches importance to e-Health through remote monitoring of patience and giving quality health services even in remote environments,” Yenyi said.

Describing the two products of Josmol-DoktorConnect and Lifepro, the CEO of Josmol Group, Dr. Joseph Olowe, said the Lifepro has to do with the medical kits that patients could buy and use independently of the doctor to check for vital health information like blood pressure, sugar level among others, while the DoktorConnect is an online platform through which doctors can leverage to treat their patients remotely and through which patients could connect to registered doctors on the platform for all Kinds of health issues, without physical contact.

“It took us 13 months to put DoktorConnect together, with support from software developers and we are currently over 20 registered doctors on the platform and we are growing and we are also in collaboration with partners like the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

“The platform is up and running and people could connect to the it through our app which is available on Android operating system and will soon be available on iOS,” Olowe said.

Chairman, Board of Directors, Josmol Group, Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, said DoktorConnect would be using technology to bring quality and affordable healthcare services to Nigerians though telemedicine in order to give Nigerians unhindered access to health services.

Representatives of AGPMPN and NMA, Dr. Adesola Kayode and Dr. Adetunji Adenekan respectively, in their goodwill messages, spoke about the importance of telemedicine in e-Health delivery system and how DoktorConnect would further enhance the delivery of quality health care to Nigerians.

According to Kayode, “the objectives of AGPMPN are in line with DoktorConnect and the association will collaborate with DoktorConnect to offer Nigerians the best of healthcare delivery system without depending on government.”

He added that Nigeria was still far from attaining quality healthcare delivery service, but was optimistic that DoktorConnect would help bridge the gap.

Adenekan, who pledged the support of NMA for the growth of DoktorConnect across Nigeria, advised Nigerians to embrace telemedicine with open hands, because of its far-teaching advantages in driving healthcare delivery services. Giving the ratio of 1:6,000 for doctor-patient services, Adenekan said DoktorConnect would make it easier for doctors to attend to more patients despite their limited numbers as a result of brain drain in the medical profession.