In this interview with Nigerian NewsDirect, the Chief Executive Officer of Gention Global Resources Limited(GGR Ltd.), Mr Ebozoje Segun, speaks on sundry of issues bedeviling Nigeria’s health sector, where he hinted that telemedicine solutions lowers healthcare cost, provide patients with electronic treatments, better access to quality healthcare and the need for heavy Government’s investment.
By Ogaga Ariemu
Can you give an overview of yourself and your organisation?
I am the Chief Executive Officer of Gention Global Resources Ltd, a sterling Information technology and Innovation Company, founded in 2013. Gention Global is positioned to deliver cutting-edge innovative software products and services across industry niche. Under my leadership, and in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Gention Global is implementing an automated VAT Remittance system for real-time electronic processing in the ecommerce industry. I also lead the team of professionals in delivering the proof of concept on Enterprise Data Warehouse (Big Data), in the bid to transform the Central Bank of Nigeria to a Data Driven Regulator. I am a creative and adept campaigner of utilizing automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and self-learning computer systems as a value proposition in competing business environments and I have championed other revolutionary solutions in the education, retail and financial sectors of our nation. I hold a certification in Electronic Origination, Lithography with exceptional leadership qualities who rewrites the rules whenever I lead. I believe in God, great thinker, socialite and love to see people happy and wining.
How will you assess the Nigeria’s Health sector?
First and foremost, we must follow a development model that works for everybody, equality for all. There’s a need to invest heavily in healthcare, upgrade and equip all government hospitals. The Nigerian health care system is poorly developed and has suffered several backdrops, especially at the Local Government Levels. No adequate and functional surveillance systems are developed and hence no tracking system to monitor the outbreak of communicable diseases. I strongly believe that we have what it takes to transform our healthcare sector.
How will your Tele ICU solutions help the fight against Covid-19 Pandemic and other outbreaks in Nigeria?
We have seen high level of risks that some health workers are exposed to, in the course of attending to Covid-19 patients. Some of them have become cases themselves. The other day during the PTF briefing, the minister announced that over 113 healthcare workers got infected by the virus. One may be prompted to ask if it’s possible for health workers to diagnose or give treatment without physical interaction. This is where technology comes in, and recall that technology has reshaped and continues to reshape every sector of the economy. In such periods as we currently have, the ability to scale the healthcare force will be crucial to our health systems. For Example: How do we limit clinical work force’s exposure to infected patients (ICUs, Quarantine and Isolation rooms)? As increasing number of patients become infected by the disease and are hospitalized, Our novel eClinics Web app & Dr. ICU mobile app brings a provider into the hospital room of a patient virtually and allow them to examine a patient in real time and make routine visits and follow patient vitals while keeping that doctor or nurse a safe distance away from the infection. This is especially important during disease outbreaks when patients are to be isolated or quarantined.
The G-CEIBA allows you to: follow these patients anywhere outside of quarantine, isolation, ICU areas or even Hospitals, in real time (analyze progress, waveforms, vitals, labs, treatments), make virtual visits as if Clinicians are by the bedside, get actionable insights (real-time alarms, SEPSIS alerts) take actions (consultation notes-speech to text, speech to text – digital Dr transcription), collaborate between each other with minimum exposure to infection. We created a special Telehealth Mobile Carts that allows the physicians to remotely see their patients. Using these powerful carts the physician can manage up to twenty patients at a time without being present by the bed side
What are the salient benefits of the telemedicine technology to the health sector and Nigeria in general?
Telemedicine in general lowers healthcare costs, drives up efficiency and provides your patients better access to higher quality of care. Telemedicine will allow Nigeria to leverage their clinical work force. Telemedicine will enable Nigerian physician to reach out to multiple times the number patients you normally can handle. This will decrease the amount of money being used for PPEs and drugs especially during the Pandemic and it will save the lives of many Nigerians as the physician can intervene their patients timely. G-Ceiba Tele ICU system created smart alarms using AI to help physicians intervene their patients before any negative events occur.
Is the use of the Telemedicine solutions restricted to Covid-19 Pandemic or cut across all health outbreaks?
The solution is not limited to Covid 19. With the G-CEIBA Tele ICU, it allows you sets up command centers, get immediate access to G-CEIBA Platforms (eClinics and Dr ICU) and start connecting your Physicians and Clinicians from a central location to patients in remote locations and rural areas to do initial screening for virus, make virtual visits, follow their vitals and connect and collaborate with other clinicians, that is One Physician can give support of up to One hundred twenty five patients simultaneously.
What are the categories of patients the technology can be administered on, is it limited to certain cases, if yes, what are the type of patients?
Patients in isolation or quarantine rooms Intensive care unit patients Patients in rural areas
Has the G-CEIBA solution or any of your telemedicine solutions received any certification by Nigeria Government’s agency such as the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Protection (NOTAP)?
I’m a proud member of Nigeria Computer Society, we are working on the certification from NOTAP, that been said we are up to date with statutory requirement documents for tender; TCC, NSIT, PENCOM ITF, BPP etc.
Is the technology locally made?
It’s a Nigerian based product in collaboration with a Turkish firm on hardware production.
What is your advice on the solution(s) to the challenges in the Nigeria health Sector especially in respect to pandemic or health outbreaks?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning health care system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained health facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies. However there is a need to integrate adequate medical intelligence and surveillance systems. We need a system that provides event-based surveillance to rapidly identify potential public health threats using information from media reports. The presence of such a system will greatly improve the quality of healthcare delivery in Nigeria. It will give professionalized and deeper analysis of critical information regarding infectious disease outbreaks. Lastly, government has a huge role to play if the healthcare system in any country is to improve. The three tiers of government have to clearly define their lines of responsibility. The salaries of health personnel should not be delayed, the quality of infrastructure and health facilities should also be improved.
Is the country doing enough to help fight against outbreaks in the Nigeria, if no, are you seeing your Telemedicine solutions as a potent way out?
Well, so far so good. In my opinion, the government can do more and there is always room for improvement. The sooner we embrace technology the better for us as a nation, you will agree with me that that one of the major problem in health care in Africa as a whole, is accessibility to primary health care. Our solution can bring doctors to the patients as stated earlier.
Where do you see your organisation in the next five years in the Nigerian health sector in term of use and patronage of your solutions?
Man proposes God Disposes. Our goal basically is how many lives have been saved by using this solution. Our mission is to get and ensure that everybody irrespective of location can and will be able to have access to quality health care.
What are your last thoughts for Nigerians and Nigeria in regards to the many health challenges bedeviling the country?
Harmony in the health sector. The need for a symbiotic relationship among medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, nurses, radiographers and other health workers will fortify the health sector. No healthcare professional should feel superior to the other. The Nigeria health system should be based on team work. Regardless of their discipline, they should work together to provide the best possible healthcare services to every Nigerian. Another practical way to improve primary healthcare delivery in Nigeria is by disseminating vital information through health and awareness campaigns. When the public are properly and regularly informed about diseases, preventive tips and healthcare information the nation benefits. Lastly effort should be made to inform Nigerians about the national health insurance scheme, because of the rising cost of healthcare services in the country.