Although the technology may exist, there are still a number of barriers that still contribute towards inequity – all of which may be unique at a community level. Claudia Costa highlights that in order for healthcare to success, other areas of society must be improved as well: “If we aim to prevent illness and tackle inequalities we cannot just look at the areas of healthcare. Education, Employment, Built & Physical Environment, Security & Health behavior are also, or even more, important.”
She does, however, highlight the power of mobile technology, stating “The connected market will expand, no doubt. Looking at the growth on Social Media / Smartphones etc. in South Africa”, which was followed by an article going deeper into South Africa’s readiness for future health.
Putting a different lens on the sentiment, Dr. Gitahi speculated that having more phones was not a strong indication of better connected care potential, pointing out that “We must not take smartphone penetration at face value in Africa. High cost and low quality of data means the smartphones are often just handheld cameras”. For him, governments need “to achieve Universal Health Coverage and with it quality access and affordability otherwise they remain donor funded or for only those who can afford.
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