In the "MOBIMED" project, research into the use of IT-based technologies for healthcare provision in rural areas and in mobile clinics is being carried out in South Africa.
The central objectives of the research project are the exchange of scientific views and experiences and bilateral cooperation between South African and German institutions and companies which are active in the still young segments of IT-based healthcare provision and biomedical technology. It is hoped that the new technologies will, in particular, help to improve healthcare provision in rural areas and facilitate deployment in mobile clinics. The project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research as part of the call for initiatives in the year of science.
The first theme-specific workshop in the research project will take place in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in November. It will be followed by a further innovation workshop for promising young scientists due to be held in Germany in February 2013. Each of these cooperative events will be rounded off by visits to local institutes in the respective countries. Particular attention will be paid to the active involvement of young scientists and the establishment of long-term scientific and economic cooperation.
The element connecting these two activities is an independent project for the development of innovations in the healthcare system which is being organised by the Hasso Plattner Institut's "School of Design Thinking" and will include events in Potsdam and South Africa.
In connection with the project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) has over the past few years developed a truck which can be deployed as a mobile diagnostic laboratory, for example for diagnosing tuberculosis and HIV. This will combine patient-side care with the reliability of a highly specialised lab. At the moment the truck is being used at the hospital in Caledon in the Western Cape Province, and a guided tour has been included in the plans for the conference in South Africa. The development of the truck itself, its involvement in local healthcare provision, and empirical reports from the people involved are serving as starting points for efforts to make further improvements in healthcare provision in the rural parts of South Africa.
Source: Fraunhofer IBMT