Hack-a-thons, incubation spaces, design competitions and other initiatives have resulted in many innovations taking on problems in areas such as data management and disease surveillance. However, despite the many phones, apps, and other electronic medical devices available, the lingering question remains: why are these technologies not yet offering maximum impact to the patient, the doctor and the health system as a whole?
For many women in South Africa like Lerato, a pregnant woman in Mabopane Township in Pretoria, pregnancy brought questions with answers that weren't always easy to come by. In a country with roughly five nurses and midwives for every 1000 people, help during pregnancy for Lerato and others often came from friends or family, if at all.
But ensuring a safe delivery is not only a question about seeking care; it is also a question of delivering the right quality of care. All over sub-Saharan Africa, health workers with low levels of education are often appointed alone to health posts in hard-to-reach areas. The consequences for the women giving birth and for their newborns are often fatal.
It's time to demand more of the relationship between technology and health. It should be interactive and personalized, and it should leave you feeling empowered, not anxious. As we learn more about the deleterious effects of stress on our health, ensuring peace of mind - across all facets of health care delivery -- should be of paramount concern.