A framework for IoT implementation in the public healthcare system in Zimbabwe.
Motsi, Kudakwashe Antony.
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The study’s main objective was to ascertain the viability of implementing a “best practices” implementation of an Internet of Things (IoT) intervention in the public healthcare system in Zimbabwe. The motivation for conducting this study is that currently, Zimbabwe is faced with a huge challenge to meet the healthcare requirements of its citizens. A major source of the problem lies in a lack of coordination between the various healthcare professionals and health management systems that are meant to ensure the optimum availability of expertise and infrastructure so that health related challenges are effectively countered. An efficient healthcare system will enhance the affordability and access to medical healthcare for many Africans who are in dire need of such services. This can only be achieved if there is an identification of critical areas of healthcare delivery where a technological intervention would provide a new enhanced dimension for the delivery of a quality healthcare service for the citizens of Zimbabwe. Currently, the technological systems are being used in an ad hoc manner with no structured mechanisms for ensuring a coherent, systemic approach to healthcare delivery. The current study was designed to obtain knowledge of the effectiveness of the current IoT setup that is used in the Zimbabwean healthcare sector. The empirical evidence obtained in the current study was used to initiate the synthesis of a framework based on IoT technology to enhance healthcare service delivery in the public healthcare system in Zimbabwe. The empirical phase of the studyconsisted of a qualitative phase where phenomenology was used to obtain insights from medical healthcare professionals into the healthcare system in Zimbabwe. The qualitative phase was followed up by a quantitative phase where the “best practices” framework was presented to a cohort of healthcare professionals for validation by ascertaining the behavioural intention to use the framework. The outcome of the validation phase indicated that 81% of the respondents indicated a high level of acceptance of the proposed framework. Minor changes to the framework were suggested by the study’s respondents and these were incorporated into a refined version of the “best practices” framework for IoT implementation in Zimbabwe.