Disruptive Technologies and African Health Care Crisis - A path to Sustainability

Authors: Joseph Oppong*, University of North Texas
Topics: Africa, Medical and Health Geography, Cyberinfrastructure
Keywords: disruptive technologies, innovation, health care, health policy, geographic access, Africa
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 7, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Disruptive technologies such as e-health, Immunotherapy and Next-Gen Genomics have been touted as an important answer to Africa’s health care crisis but their potential contribution has not been critically examined. Facing excessively high and worsening physician to population ratios, innovations that allow medical procedures to be completed in more convenient and less expensive settings by technicians and nurses instead of physicians and specialists could expand the reach of health care services to the millions currently without access. Yet considerable challenges abound. This paper examines the promise and challenge of disruptive technologies in health care in Africa. It argues that notwithstanding the potential, without a supportive environment and infrastructure including secure but accessible personal health data systems, the potential benefit is not achievable or sustainable. The paper concludes by outlining policy options for expanding geographic access to health through disruptive technologies across Africa.

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