The Pains and Gains of e-Health in Nigeria

There are a whole lot of impacts e-health applications can make in the Nigerian Health Sector. In this era of digital revolution, computer software and ICT are disrupting different industries in most economies and the healthcare sector is one of the nascent and emerging opportunities for technologies advancement and innovation.

The Northwestern University, USA in collaboration with Medifix Nigeria Limited, a digital health solutions company and iDEA-Hub, a technology incubator in Yaba, Lagos hosted an event in Lagos Nigeria which buttressed so much on the use of e-Health in Nigeria.

The theme of the e-Health symposium was tagged: The Pains and Gains of e-Health in Nigeria-a User Centric Assessment.

The event was focused on key topics such as; realities and challenges of making e-health work in Nigeria, consumer data insight, current realities and future perspectives, organising, tracking and coordinating e-health in Nigeria and how to carry out qualitative research in Nigeria when planning a new or innovative health product.

The session also featured round table talks and presentations with key stakeholders in the Nigeria Health and Technology ecosystem.

The special guest speakers and panelists that graced the event were: Dr Dayo Sobamowo (MD, MBA Founder and Managing Director Hermes Consulting), Mr Lanre Adeloye (CEO Safermom), Mr Muyiwa Matuluko (Techpoint.ng), Mr Fedinand Ademefe (Imaginarium Group), Ms Helen Anatogwu (CEO iDea Nigeria), Dr Adeyinka Onikan (Global Fund Malaria Project), Dr Yetunde Fatogun (Health Strategies Consulting), Dr Jonah Musa (Associate Professor O&G, University of Jos, Nigeria/Health Services and Outcomes Research PhD Candidate, Northwestern University USA), Dr Ibukun (MBChB, MSGH Candidate Northwestern University USA), Ms Bola Afuye (Head, Digital Media Etisalat), Dr Tokunbo Alli (Medical Operations AxaMansard), Mr Seyi Oyesainu (Samsung), Mr Olusegun Ogundairo (Directorate of ICT, FMoH Nigeria), and Dr Tolu Ajomale (Special Project Unit, Office of the Commissioner of Health, LSMoH)

The event featured questions and answer sessions on “Where is the data? What is the data saying? What needs to be done? How well are we moving towards the achievement of goal 2020 for Health ICT? And how can we pitch into making these goals a reality?

Dr Tokunbo Alli, (Medical Operations, AxaMansard) talked with grit and passion about Organizing, tracking and coordinating e-health in Nigeria.

However, power supply & healthcare delivery are big challenges in the Nigerian Healthcare sector & economy. As the the e-health service is a goldmine with untapped resources in Nigeria.

To successful pitch the 2020 Health ICT goals; there is the need to set up systems that delivers long term sustainable products & services in the Nigerian Healthcare Systems.

Dr. Ibukun Fowe, candidate of the Northwestern University USA, said, “The purpose of e-health is to make the general public have complete access to the healthcare services at all levels in Nigeria”

Dr. Ibukun Fowe, Northwestern University, USA

“What is the quality of health information being passed? Who is validating? Can we find accurate and credible information?”

In Nigeria we don’t have enough systematic and literature reviews to analyse and extract information to survey data and all.

Qualitative research is an approach to understand what the problem is, how do we carry out qualitative research in Nigeria?

Ms Bola Afuye, Head, Digital Meia Etisalat said “If we can get insight from experts and consumers, we will have better understanding of how to plan an innovative health product. However, there is no effective timely access, and record to health services and information, this is alarming, as Nigerian health system needs to awakened.”

“Some parts of Nigeria, most people don’t have phones to recognize their location, mobility, and get the right information. Many of the healthcare providers have this health care information, data, facilities, site, but people don’t know they exist.”

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