South Africa: IoT Can Revive Exhausted SA Health Sector


Cape Town — THE internet of things (IoT) could be the solution to South Africa's health problems, marked by ageing infrastructure and a growing population.

An expert said as health facilities were straining under the pressure, traditional cost-cutting techniques - such as reducing staff or services - do not work.

Instead, they place patient and employee health and safety at risk.

"The answer is the IoT because its major premise is founded on communication, as the world becomes more connected every day," explained James Shirley, Segment Leader Healthcare and Hospitality at Schneider Electric South Africa.

According to Schneider Electric, one of the key issues in South Africa is aging facilities that are not equipped with the right infrastructure to support energy and business efficiency.

Some can neither barely keep up with their backlog of maintenance nor comply with new stringent sustainability regulations.

Experts believe there should be a plan to make all health infrastructure work together seamlessly.

IoT technology is credited for helping these facilities keep legacy systems, while identifying new opportunities for cost reduction.

For example, using cloud-based, automated building analytics and diagnostics software, hospitals can identify energy savings opportunities and prioritise those with the greatest impact for the least investment.

With an asset performance management solution in place, hospitals can expect to reduce maintenance costs by 25-30 percent, eliminate equipment breakdown by 70-75 percent and reduce equipment downtime due to failure by 35-45 percent.

The impact of technology on health was a major theme at the just-ended conference of the South African Federation of Hospital Engineering and Clinical Engineering Association of South Africa in Cape Town.

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