Telesurgery’s potential role in improving surgical access in Africa

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Telesurgery’s potential role in improving surgical access in Africa


JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Article typeJournal research article – Clinical research
Publication date – Sep – 2022
Authors – Aashna Mehta, Wireko Andrew Awuah, Abdullahi Tunde Aborode, Jyi Cheng Ng, Katherine Candelario, Ines Margarida Pinto Vieira, Halil Ibrahim Bulut, Abdul-Rahman Toufik, Mohammad Mehedi Hasan, Vladyslav Sikora
Keywordshealth policy, surgery, telemedicine
Open access – Yes
SpecialityDigital health
World region Central Africa, Eastern Africa, Middle Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Western Africa

Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on September 17, 2022 at 8:55 pm
Abstract:

An estimated five billion people worldwide lack access to surgical care, while LMICs including African nations require an additional 143 million life-saving surgical procedures each year.African hospitals are under-resourced and understaffed, causing global attention to be focused on improving surgical access in the continent. The African continent saw its first telesurgery application when the United States Army Special Operations Forces in Somalia used augmented reality to stabilize lifethreatening injuries.Various studies have been conducted since the first telesurgery implementation in 2001 to further optimize its application.In context of a relative shortage of healthcare resources and personnel telesurgery can considerably improve quality and access to surgical services in Africa.telesurgery can provide remote African regions with access to knowledge and tools that were previously unavailable, driving innovative research and professional growth of surgeons in the region.At the same time, telesurgery allows less trained surgeons in remote areas with lower social determinants of health, such as access, to achieve better health outcomes. However, lack of stable internet access, expensive equipment costs combined with low expenditure on healthcare limits expansive utilization of telesurgery in Africa. Regional and international policies aimed at overcoming these obstacles can improve access, optimize surgical care and thereby reduce disease burden associated with surgical conditions in Africa.

OSI Number – 21759

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