Online nursing tutorial space in development

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AfroCentric Group, The Innovation Hub, mLab and AfriNurse, an online community for nurses, have joined forces to develop digital solutions to overcome challenges faced by nurses in hospitals.

The group recently hosted the AfriNurse hackathon in Pretoria, during which it challenged nine groups totalling 70 participants to develop innovative, game-changing ideas for modernising nursing.

In each group, nurses from the Tembisa Tertiary Hospital and Louis Pasteur Private Hospital teamed up with student developers from mLab Southern Africa to discuss some of “the most pressing challenges currently facing nurses, explore possible solutions and develop an actionable digital programme for overcoming the issue”.

The hackathon was organised to draw attention to nursing challenges in South African hospitals, and find actionable and financially-valid tech solutions for mitigating the problems.

During the hack, the Health Tech team provided a solution to digitise the “crucial knowledge that nurses need and use every day”.

Health Tech proposed an online space where standardised information on nursing can be digitised in the form of “easy-to-understand text posts or tutorial videos” created by industry professionals, which nurses can access at any point of the day.

The winning team’s online tutorial concept will commence its development in October once the mLab students have concluded their studies and begun their three-month internship with AfriNurse.

Health Tech hopes to have a working pilot program ready for testing at the Tembisa Tertiary and Louis Pasteur Private Hospitals by January 2023, with the goal of launching on a wide scale later that year.

AfriNurse founder Sylvester Msuthwana comments: “We didn’t give the nurses any specific assignment. Instead, we asked them to consider the many conveniences that technology provides them within their lives outside of work, and then asked how that same technology could be used to improve their jobs.

“The nurses present identified several issues that people outside the industry would not have thought of, and the student developers in turn were inspired to develop new ideas and to show them how these ideas could be implemented to their advantage.”

Commenting on the Health Tech solution, Msuthwana says: “Much like watching a quick YouTube video tutorial, you learn better when using more than one of your senses.

“The possibility also exists to employ augmented reality within this program to train nurses on new and old procedures. Imagine using virtual reality glasses to train nurses in operating complex pieces of hospital equipment without having to withdraw this equipment from hospital use for that period.”

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