Cisco joined forces with the Free State Department of Health recently to trial Cisco’s HealthPresence Solution in the province.

The solution is aimed at improving rural healthcare and providing patients in the region with the best possible remote access to medical treatment. The solution was successfully trialed at the Free State Department of Health Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein during the latter few months of last year and proved to be a very popular demonstration of how technology can be used to deliver health care over distance. This solution was first demonstrated in South Africa at the GovTech conference held in Durban during September 2009.
During the trial period, the Cisco HealthPresence proof of concept allowed medical staff based at Universitas to interact remotely with patients serviced by the Batho Clinic. The solution combined video, audio, and medical information over an Internet Protocol (IP) broadband connection, to create a virtual environment similar to that of a clinic or hospital.
The HealthPresence proof of concept was available at HCS (Head Clinical Services) Boardroom, First Floor, Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein. Batho clinic patients were remotely treated by specialists from all disciplines at Universitas Hospital.
Cisco’s HealthPresence Solution eliminates the need for an on-site, face-to-face consultation, allowing healthcare providers to leverage technology to manage resources more efficiently and improve service delivery.
Cisco Connected Healthcare facilitates collaboration among staff and clinicians and efficient communication with patients and family members to improve the quality of care across Africa.
MF Mofokeng, GM: Infrastructure and Engineering Services Chief Directorate for Free State Department of Health, comments: “This proof of concept showed that Department of Health is continually looking at technology as one of the enablers to improve the delivery of healthcare services to all communities throughout South Africa. Cisco’s HealthPresence solution offers an alternative healthcare delivery model that will provide convenience, better access, lower cost, quick deployment and creates a net new market for healthcare providers.”
Aggrey Rantloane, regional public sector sales manager for Cisco in South Africa, adds: “As demands on public healthcare facilities increase in South Africa, connected healthcare is the way forward. It is therefore crucial to develop innovative and efficient technology solutions to manage escalating costs, accelerate field learning and maximise the use of skilled resources. Cisco’s HealthPresence solution improves collaboration among health workers thereby allowing a greater facility for self-treatment, and patient involvement in primary care to optimise the performance of healthcare services. The result will be a healthier and economically stronger nation.”