Liquid Telecom Kenya has provided fibre network connectivity to ensure the Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa can link up to seven of its outreach clinics and roll out services to remote areas.
The connectivity project started in August 2018 and the objective is to improve access to medical services, including online consultations and diagnostic services.
According to a statement released by the networking firm, the hospital has invested in a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation laboratory that is first in the coastal province for diagnosis of heart conditions and a 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine and runs a digital HMIS - managing inpatient and outpatient records, lab results and diagnosis – that is now accessible across all of its clinics and main hospitals.
The telemedicine services focus on family medicine, obstetrician- gynaecologist, ear, nose and throat as well as dermatology for Ukunda, Kilifi and Voi clinics, benefitting up to 200 patients a day.
The other outreach clinics are Nyali, Changamwe, Mtwapa, and Bamburi Mwisho.
James Siku, Head of ICT at Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa, said: "When a patient at a clinic requires specialised attention, the clinician logs a video request with the specialist and run a video conference with both specialist and patient. They also use our newly installed digital medical equipment to make a diagnosis, with everything about the patient recorded in the hospital records system."
Sultana Shermana, Interim CEO of Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa, added, "We have installed digital stethoscopes and multi-purpose scope equipment for examining a patients' vitals. With these, specialists will be able to see in real time, say, the condition of the skin, and other vital readings, then offer consultancy and diagnostics."
According to the media release, the hospital's initiative comes at a time when Kenya is facing a shortage of healthcare specialists especially in dermatology (skin diseases and complications) and Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) diseases.
Adil Youssefi, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya, said, "As healthcare providers strive to make specialists more accessible to patients in an affordable way through telemedicine, Liquid Telecom Kenya has been able to offer both the high-speed internet connectivity and software to enable uninterrupted two-way audio-visual and data communication in a delivery that aligns exactly with our vision of driving digital transformation across Africa."
Liquid Telecom's internet network has also enabled the hospital to run e-learning courses covering Continuous Medical Education (CME) and Continuous Nursing Education (CNE) between the main hospital and outreach clinics.
It also includes public hospitals such as Rabai, Tsangansini and Mariakani, 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.