“Patient-first Era” – the sobering reality defining our digital strategy

August 30 2019

The future of healthcare is here – the modern way of delivering healthcare is redefining the meaning and role of every level of healthcare provision. 

“Advancements in technology have essentially led to a shift in almost every point of healthcare, this ranges from the healthcare provider’s role and their knowledge base right up to healthcare data and the ownership thereof – it is all mind blowing,” says Douglas Mamba (Executive Manager: Digitisation).

Mamba says the modern medicine is being radically overhauled and there a clear shift on patient centricity. “Looking at point of care as an example, traditionally treatment needed to take place in physical buildings such as hospitals, clinics, etc. However, thanks to technological advancements – treatment and therapies can take place where the patient is and portable diagnostics and wearable devices,” explains Mamba.

In the context of trials the historical reference point for clinical studies, medical trials and treatments were are based on large data set from a large population. “Technology is placing the individual in the centre of care, where therapies and precision medicine can be targeted to the individual,” adds Mamba.

Consequently, there is also a change in the power relations where instead of the physician being the ultimate decision maker – empowered patients have a say in their treatments. “The role of the physician has also reduced from taking responsibility for all processes from diagnosis to treatment, to simply being guides and allowing patients to share in the responsibility of the health outcomes,” continues Mamba. This extends to questions of who owns the medical data and the knowledge base as information collectively shared. 

The challenge for AfroCentric Technology, as a business that provides technology to a health market, is how to ensure that the Group and its clients are aligning with the developments and remaining relevant in a fast changing industry. “Technology fuses with processes across the healthcare value chain, the main challenge becomes finding a balance between speeds of digital health and health-IT. Digital-Health is what the customer experiences when using Afrocentric processes and systems,” explains Mamba.

Mamba says AfroCentric needs to appreciate that significant shift digital-health space symbolise a techno-cultural transformation that is happening across the healthcare value chain. This transformation involves multiple stakeholders, but primarily the patients.

It is a shift that fundamentally changes the relationship between caregivers and patients,

promoting collaborations across the healthcare value chain. Digital-Health places its emphasis on delightful caregiver and patient experiences. “For AfroCentric, we must ensure that we are on the cutting edge of this technology revolution and we must ensure that it is a central part of our efforts to delight our customers,” adds Mamba.

Mamba argues that the technological transformation also open internal conversations, wherein internal stakeholders are a key part of the process. “Health-IT when it comes to AfroCentric staff is about ‘what insiders experience’ when using Afrocentric systems, therefore the feedback and advancements from operator perspective also becomes a vital measure during the digitization era,” he adds.

Our technology approach is known as the Health-IT strategy and it encapsulates the organisation’s technology infrastructure, platforms, services as well as the data supply chain process. Health-IT provides the foundation for Digital-Health, enabling health and corporate business processes to execute effectively and efficiently in a predictable, consistent and resilient manner. Health-IT emphasises efficiency, cost optimisation and enhanced user experiences.

Afrocentric needed to define a relevant and impactful digital strategy that aligns a clear

digital business vision with the technology enablers, governance and technological efficiency that will enable the Group to thrive in the digital age.

The main question that this process will have to answer is: How does AfroCentric shift from being a healthcare services business that runs technology – to being a digital business that runs healthcare services?”

Back to top