Micro Clinic Tech co-founder, Dr Moka Lantum talks us through the advances technology is making in the medical field
Are there specific devices /apps you use in your field often?
I have two, one GlucoMe for diabetes management and our CheckUps Medical electronic medical, which helps in record schedules, patient record management, visit reminders, alerts for missed appointments, and also benefits management. The electronic medical record system also notifies patients when lab tests are ready and when the drugs have been dispatched for delivery in case the patient could not wait for the test and prescriptions given their busy schedule.
Are there gadgets you would recommend people to have to help keep track of their health?
We recommend GlucoMe and Freescan. These are FDA and CE approved gadgets which have been proven to transform the lives of diabetics and hypertension patients.
How can everyday technology improve healthcare?
Technology has a huge role to play with lifestyle disease. Remote monitoring of measurements, remote monitoring of test results and remote prescription and billing are some of the key benefits. These reduce the cost of transport, the cost of tests, the cost of preventable admissions, and also makes the patient feel like they have a trusted partner at all times.
Efficiency and convenience are also some of the benefits. Once we train the patient to use the devices, they immediately feel on top of the game and take control of their disease. That’s the first step to reversing their diabetes.
How effective are fitness bands and health tracking apps?
Knowing how many calories you burn, how many steps you take, how mobile you are during the course of the day are all very important bio-feedback mechanisms. We all need to be motivated to keep moving. Hence these gadgets are good human “speedometers”.
Why should people google their symptoms?
Because there is a lot of information on the web and reading about your disease and symptoms is a very good thing. I see very little downside to only searching for symptoms and what it means. This empowers patients to know what questions to ask their doctor. It helps people know what other symptoms to be aware of.
We can’t have society rely only on the work of their provider to be informed in this day and age. That will be a travesty. We need empowered patients who are willing and ready to have informative conversations with their providers. Information is power. Obviously, people should not believe everything they read online.
What are the pros and cons of using health-monitoring apps?
Health monitoring is the future of health. Hence, everyone should get used to it and demand remote monitoring for chronic diseases in any situation where the technology exists. Remote monitoring for fever can help a mother better connect with a doctor when the child has a fever. Remote monitoring ear infections can help parents get early treatment.
Are you excited about any new types of medical technology?
Very excited. I serve as the African Ambassador for Mobile Technology under the Future For Health initiative. I get to see a lot of technologies at trade shows.
I am excited about the future of medical technology. Ultrasounds are going mobile. Blood diagnostics are going mobile and miniaturized. Even x-rays are becoming more potent as they shrink in size. This should make diagnostics more affordable and accessible and will be an essential arm of any universal health care agenda.
Are you excited about telemedicine and medical nanobots?
Telemedicines is one of those areas where consumer behaviour remains a bottleneck. People want a place where they can talk to someone and be touched by the doctor. Hence, the future of telemedicine remains unknown.
What’s been your most disappointing tech purchase?
I am late adopter of medical technology hence not been disappointed. However, I can say that because of the regulatory requirements for medical devices, many technologies are well vetted before the reach the consumer.