Acute shortage of doctors, paucity of skilled manpower combined with huge disease burden in Africa will spur teleradiology services in the region, according to Dr. Arjun Kalyanpur, CEO and co-founder, Teleradiology Services.
The limited access to healthcare resources provides the biggest opportunity to provide quality and seamless healthcare services in Africa. Use of teleradiology in Africa helps to build scalable low cost solutions and enables easy access to medical assistance, he said.
Quoting the recent report from the World Health Organization, Dr. Kalyanpur pointed out that while Africa has 20 per cent of the world’s sick people, it has only 4 per cent of healthcare workers. According to a KPMG report, the number of physicians per 1,000 people in 2010 in Africa was 2.3 whereas it is 14 for the world. As per another report by WHO 2010, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 14 countries do not have a single radiologist in public service.
“Remote health care monitoring is in the early stages of evolution in Africa, given the logistic challenges. Our proprietary technology RadSpa allows us to receive radiology images and revert with diagnostic reverts from hospitals in areas that have low internet bandwidth. The extensive experience garnered by us in the far flung areas of Asia has helped us to implement the same in Africa. We also offer continuing medical education programs for radiologist and doctors in Africa to enhance their knowhow on the latest advances in the medical field, Dr. Kalyanpur told Pharmabiz in an email.
The Bengaluru-based Teleradiology Solutions company which is already present in nine African countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Zambia has already served 1.90 lakh cases. In both tele-cardiology and tele-neurology it provided assistance to 5,000 and 3,000 cases respectively. In tele-pathlogy it handled 600 cases and 500 tele-consultations. Besides it also handles over 500 e-classes via the e-learning platform.
“Going by positive impact of these remote monitoring medical services, we have now envisaged an expansion here”, he added.
“In 2011, the company was ranked No. 1 teleradiology company in the US and awarded the title of Best in KLAS. There are several teleradiology companies as our direct competitors in the US. In India there are competitors from Columbia Asia, Narayana Health and other hospitals which offer teleradiology for their own hospital network and extend to outside groups as well as private radiology groups. We see that in India too, there is a need for teleradiology services and therefore more companies should enter this space”, noted Dr. Kalyanpur.