Virtual healthcare services and digital health technologies deployed during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa: a systematic review

Abstract:

Aims: To identify virtual healthcare services and digital health technologies deployed in South Africa during

coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the challenges associated with their use.

Methods: To determine the status of digital health utilization during COVID-19 in South Africa, the preferred

reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses model was used to perform a systematic and in-depth

critical analysis of previously published studies in well-known and trusted online electronic databases using

specific search keywords words that are relevant to this study. We selected published peer-reviewed articles

available from the onset of COVID-19 to July 2021.

Results: Total of 24 articles were included into this study. This study revealed that South Africa adopted digital

technologies such as SMS-based solutions, mobile health applications, telemedicine and telehealth, WhatsApp-

based systems, artificial intelligence and chatbots and robotics to provide healthcare services during COVID-19

pandemic. These innovative technologies have been used for various purposes including screening infectious

and non-infectious diseases, disease surveillance and monitoring, medication and treatment compliance, creating

awareness and communication. The study also revealed that teleconsultation and e-prescription, telelaboratory

and telepharmacy, teleeducation and teletraining, teledermatology, teleradiology, telecardiology, teleophthal-

mology, teleneurology, telerehabilitation, teleoncology and telepsychiatry are among virtual healthcare services

delivered through digital health technologies during COVID-19 in South Africa. However, these smart digital

health technologies face several impediments such as infrastructural and technological barriers, organization

and financial barriers, policy and regulatory barriers as well as cultural barriers.

Conclusion: Although COVID-19 has invigorated the use of digital health technologies, there are still some short-

comings. The outbreak of pandemics like COVID-19 in the future is not inevitable. Therefore, we recommend

increasing community networks in rural areas to bridge the digital divide and the modification of mHealth pol-

icy to advocate for the effective use of innovative technologies in healthcare and the development of sustainable

strategies for resources mobilization through private-public partnerships as well as joining available international

initiatives advocating for smart digital health

Subscribe to access this work and thousands more
Overall Rating

0

5 Star
(0)
4 Star
(0)
3 Star
(0)
2 Star
(0)
1 Star
(0)
APA

Mbunge, E (2024). Virtual healthcare services and digital health technologies deployed during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa: a systematic review. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/virtual-healthcare-services-and-digital-health-technologies-deployed-during-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-in-south-africa-a-systematic-review

MLA 8th

Mbunge, Elliot "Virtual healthcare services and digital health technologies deployed during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa: a systematic review" Afribary. Afribary, 30 Mar. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/virtual-healthcare-services-and-digital-health-technologies-deployed-during-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-in-south-africa-a-systematic-review. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

MLA7

Mbunge, Elliot . "Virtual healthcare services and digital health technologies deployed during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa: a systematic review". Afribary, Afribary, 30 Mar. 2024. Web. 30 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/virtual-healthcare-services-and-digital-health-technologies-deployed-during-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-in-south-africa-a-systematic-review >.

Chicago

Mbunge, Elliot . "Virtual healthcare services and digital health technologies deployed during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa: a systematic review" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 30, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/virtual-healthcare-services-and-digital-health-technologies-deployed-during-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-in-south-africa-a-systematic-review