UGMC Launches Remote Digital Healthcare Service to Combat Non-Communicable Diseases
The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has launched a groundbreaking remote digital healthcare service called NCD Care to provide quality and timely care to diabetes and hypertension patients in the comfort of their homes.
Developed in partnership with PharmAccess Foundation and Luscii app, the innovative digital service offers individuals diagnosed with non-communicable diseases the tools to manage their conditions and enter daily measurements to be monitored and managed in real-time by UGMC medical officers.
The technology not only reduces consultancy frequency and daily hospital trips but also encourages self-monitoring, lowers the cost of care, eases the burden on healthcare staff, and promotes healthy living. NCDs like hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart problems cause about 100,000 deaths annually in Ghana, with hypertension and diabetes accounting for the second-highest cause of death among people aged 30-60 years.
The NCD Care service aims to reduce morbidity and mortality rates of these diseases, especially as research indicates that only 20 percent of people living with hypertension in Ghana are on treatment, with just six percent having their blood pressure controlled. By downloading the Luscii app on their smartphones, individuals with Android software 7.0 and above, or iOS 12 and above can access the service, which is open to the public.
Once a user downloads the app, a UGMC team contacts them to explain how to use the app and device, sends notifications on when to take measurements, and schedules consultations with a medical doctor. Over 50 percent of people on the NCD Care service have had their blood pressure controlled, which is twice the success rate of those who visit hospitals in person only.
The NCD Care service aligns with the future of health that combines in-person with digital care. It is an impressive initiative that leverages digital technology to address a national challenge and meet the growing burden of non-communicable diseases for UGMC clients. It also builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that digital healthcare services offer a safe and effective alternative to traditional hospital visits.
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