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Innovation quietly transforms SA healthcare


Johannesburg, 30 Sep 2020
Read time 2min 40sec

Numerous innovators, underpinned by AWS, are at work transforming the face of South African healthcare.

This emerged during a recent AWS webinar on 'Innovation-enhanced service delivery in the health sector', hosted in partnership with ITWeb.

Highlighting the transformational potential of AWS cloud services, AWS introduced two innovative local companies already driving dramatic change in how healthcare is delivered and monitored.

One such innovator is A2D24, which focused on transforming inefficient manual processes and transforming them using digital technology. Among the company’s healthcare solutions are paperless hospitals, real-time ambulance dispatch, electronic processing and management of pharmaceutical orders and simplified data management for malaria spraying programmes.

Muhammad Simjee, co-founder and CEO of A2D24, said there had been a significant shift in mindset within the healthcare sector about using the cloud. For innovators like A2D24, the cloud has fast-tracked the ability to innovate, he said.

“What we see in our business is using the tools and services from providers like AWS allows us to completely change the way we operate and the products we can offer. It has dramatically cut the time it takes to get things done, and it allows us to be more agile.”

Another healthcare innovator, Signapps, is an app that allows doctors and patients to communicate and store patient records. The app has been deployed in state hospitals and recently won a contract with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.

Andrew Davies, CEO of Signapps, told the webinar that building on AWS offered his company multiple advantages: “With AWS, we don’t just have the ability to scale our infrastructure to deal with demand spikes – such as we saw during COVID-19, but we also benefit from the sheer range of services available within AWS that we are using to build new solutions. These are services we are never going to build and they only really exist in the cloud, but they give us the ability to innovate quickly at low cost.”

Shez Partovi, MD, Worldwide Lead: Healthcare, Life Sciences & Genomics at Amazon Web Services, said healthcare development was a priority for AWS, and the company invested heavily in supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and education in this space. “Our goal has been to help grow the next generation of entrepreneurs in Africa, our commitment to education, constantly investing in building the right set of brilliant minds to take technology and healthcare in South Africa forward,” he said.

AWS is hosting a series of webinars in South Africa to highlight the transformational power of its cloud technology. The next event, entitled: 'Opening engagement for a connected government and citizenry', will be staged on 22 October. For more information and to register for this event, go to https://www.itweb.co.za/webinar/opening-engagement-for-a-connected-government-and-citizenry/index.html.

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