Accessing specialised medical treatment used to be extremely challenging for the 3.5 million people living on Kenya’s sparsely populated 1,420km of coastline.
Treatment was mainly available at referral hospitals based in the country’s second largest city of Mombasa. This meant journeys to and from hospital appointments could take as long as a day in each direction – which could also cost as much as $7 in bus fares, for residents who often earn less than $1 a day.
To overcome these prohibitive distances, Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa has begun providing telemedicine services to its local clinics – delivered via Liquid Intelligent Technologies’s high-speed network. Three clinics are offering specialist services in gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, and dermatology, with four more clinics due to roll out the video consultancy and diagnostic services.
Establishing a 99.99% uptime guaranteed connection from Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa to its seven outreach clinics along the Kenyan coast.
Installing a fibre network connection of sufficient quality to support telemedicine services.
Established a high-speed connection of 24Mbps linking the main hospital and six of its outreach clinics.
Installed Office 365 suite which offers Skype for Business, facilitating patient-doctor video appointments.
Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa now offers telemedicine services from its main hospital to its Ukunda, Kilifi and Voi clinics, which serve up to 200 patients a day. Plans are underway to further launch the service to its outreach clinics in Nyali, Changamwe, Mtwapa, and Bamburi Mwisho.
The hospital now runs e-learning courses covering Continuous Medical Education (CME) and Continuous Nursing Education (CNE) between the main hospital and its outreach clinics.
It also now runs knowledge exchange forums using video conferencing with public hospitals, such as Rabai, Tsangansini and Mariakani hospitals, to exchange knowledge and discuss medical case management – in a collaborative process that drives best-practice treatment plans. The forums also help clinicians earn credits for their professional qualifications and credit transfers under Ministry of Health guidelines.
“Thanks to our new digital equipment and internet, specialists can now see in real-time, say, the condition of the skin, and other vital readings, then offer consultancy and diagnostics online,” said Sultana Shermana, Interim CEO of Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa.