We often feel it quite an inconvenience to wait for hours to visit a doctor in the UK – however, it pales in comparison to Sub-Saharan Africa. When we feel irked to have to wait an hour or so, those in the African continent may have to travel a day to see a practitioner.
And that’s not just it, in the UK we have a ratio of 280:1 people to doctors, the USA has around 330: 1, however in countries like Kenya it can be upwards of 50,000:1. Ideally, cutting this figure is paramount. However, doctors take time, money and infrastructure to train and in the short and even medium term this is not a reality.
However, there is a solution that we’ve seen increasingly introduced – the health kiosk. Health kiosks are relatively low in cost when compared to the cost of a doctor, can be situated closer to people’s homes and allow them better access to health care. So, let’s take a look at the benefits kiosks can offer.
Link to Doctors
Kiosks are connected to medical professionals in a centralised location. Upon receiving the vitals in question, such as blood pressure, temperature, lung capacity, and a whole range of other information, this can be sent via 3G connections for analysis. Health professionals can then send back a recommendation to the patient in a short period of time, in many cases this reply is the same as that of a doctor.
Knowledge is power, especially in the case of health and if the know-how is on hand people will want to access it. Statistics from a kiosk in Mashavu in Kenya show that around a third of people came to the health kiosk looking to learn about their health – something that showcases the demand for prevention rather than cure.
One solution that showcases the power of these Kiosks is the medi vend. This kiosk provides a point where not only information is dispensed, but also medical items. Medi Vend can be used to dispense everything from information, to testing kits, to condoms. Like many of the other kiosks it is 3G connected and can manage, collate and return data. This allows users to manage reporting, target and assist health care needs.
Of course, kiosks can also be used for a variety of other uses in the medical industry. From self-service check in, registration and for bookings to health care promotion; kiosks are used throughout the world.
However, it seems that they are becoming increasingly sought after in countries with high doctor to individual ratios and understandably so.
John Seed is a strong believer in automated systems in aiding health care. He has written in the area for a number of blogs and sites and writes this article for Cammax.