Telemedicine is the healthcare service delivery system where health assessments, consultations are done over the telecommunications infrastructure like phones, computers and videos. Telemedicine relating to postnatal care allows midwives; nurses to assess, diagnose, evaluate the health status of mothers and their babies particularly those in location far from the health centres/hospitals without the need for an in-person visit.
In Uganda today, there is high maternal and neonatal mortality and this is because the health facilities are far, less/not equipped with drugs and medical personnel. Therefore it’s on this basis that Teheca seeks to bridge the gap through telemedicine where a midwife can carry out mother-baby assessments, diagnosis, and health status evaluation through phone calls and automated sms. Depending on the feedback, the midwives will be able to recommend treatment, encourage good mother-baby best care practices and even make referrals to the nearest and best hospitals if necessary.
Teheca believes that telemedicine will be particularly helpful in peri-urban and rural areas, where the shortage of healthcare providers has led to a lack of accessibility to both basic maternal healthcare and specialty care and because at least in each Ugandan family, there’s a simple mobile phone which mothers can use to seek for maternal health information. Mothers can get access to postnatal care services faster, which is a leading factor in improved maternal engagement, better outcomes, fewer hospital readmissions, faster recovery.
Telemedicine allows hospitals to create hub-and-spoke networks to provide each other with support. By easily sharing their expertise outside their own institutions, doctors, gynecologists, nurses and midwives can offer incredible value to their medical colleagues and those colleagues’ patients.