Digital Transformation in Healthcare – South Africa Context - Pages 1-5

Michael Mncedisi Willie* and Phakamile Nkomo

General Manager Research and Monitoring, Council for Medical Schemes, South Africa


Abstract: Digital transformation is growing at a slow rate in medical schemes or healthcare compared to other industries such as banking and insurance. The healthcare sector needs to embrace the digital transformation and adopt and optimize on use of technology, otherwise, the sector will be left behind. Other sectors have taken advantage of technology, for example in the retail sector, nowadays people shop online, bank, and do travel bookings online. The logistic business has also embraced digital transformation in that most activities are now done through devices at the convenience of one’s office or home. The recent HPCSA1 conference included topics such as Telemedicine’s where several digital transformation and innovations in the health sector were also presented. What was evident in the discussions was that progress in accelerating digital transformation is pounded by a slow pace of regulation and other relevant guidelines. The topics discussed clearly revealed that the health sector is still far behind compared to other countries. For example, there is a gap in the adoption of digitally enabled tools for diagnosing, providing treatment, and better management of chronic conditions and other conditions. Electronic medical records are still not a part of routine care both from the supply and the funders side except a handful of players.