Disruptive Health Technologies in Africa Unintended Consequences and Costs

Authors: Leigh Messenger*, , Joseph Oppong, UNT Professor, Geography; Associate Dean, Toulouse Graduate School
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Africa, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Disruptive technologies, health, Africa, Environment, Human Security
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


While disruptive technologies such as telemedicine, the Internet of Things (IoT), and medical drones may be an important answer to Africa’s health care crisis, they have unintended consequences that are rarely examined. To identify and review examples of these unintended consequences Internet searches on key words and combinations of key words along with evaluating security incident reports, and a review of the literature review was conducted. From Internet searches additional related terms were searched. These unintended consequences are tied to political, individual, environmental, and technological factors that often intertwine resulting in negative and costly impacts. This paper briefly reviews examples of the potential unintended consequences in five broad areas related to political and human security, worsened environmental conditions that could impact chronic disease burden, access, security, and privacy issues, and medical care. This paper shows areas and broad implications that policy makers and adopters of the technology should consider and address before relying on certain disruptive technologies.

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