An investigation of a cloud-based service model for healthcare : a case study of the Caprivi strip

  • Matali Nicholas Puteho

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Cloud computing is making significant advances in the provision of services in most developed countries. This makes it significant for healthcare, to integration resource optimisation and accessibility of information. The objective and focus of the research was to investigate a Cloud-based service model for healthcare that responds to the needs of the Caprivi Strip, a remote region of Namibia Africa, in terms of its service needs in a responsive, effective and efficient manner. A survey of the relevant research and existing solutions was conducted, and the characteristics of the health services required for the Caprivi Strip were identified and a solution investigated. There is a great and immediate need to improve healthcare services for the Caprivi Strip. Once basic services are improved, a Cloud based system for the capture, storage and access of healthcare data will be vital to the safe keeping of data as well as the detection, monitoring and management of any outbreak and the spread of diseases such as malaria, polio and Ebola. The research found developing an ICT service model for healthcare for the Caprivi Strip is a technical challenge due to its geographic location the isolation of its distributed communities, and the lack of the most basic of healthcare resources in some remote villages. The proposed model called Caprivi Cloud Based Healthcare Model (C2BHM) aimed at changing the current traditional way of managing data to an innovative method that embraced the use of ICT and Cloud computing to enhance the quality of service. The healthcare practices in the Caprivi Strip are still using a manual paper based and physical filing system for managing patient records, making it disconnected to other remote clinics and the main hospital in Katima Mulilo. This research was motivated by the current healthcare practices in the Caprivi Strip, which need urgent improvement through modernisation. The proposed model is based on the current healthcare practices in Caprivi, and informed by Cloud-based healthcare models implemented in more advanced countries. Cloud computing is innovative and provides a rich environment for applications to address modern service demands. The adoption of Cloud computing would enable remote clinics to share information thus improving efficiency and the utilisation of resources that connects remote clinics to each other and the main hospital in Katima Mulilo. A Cloud computing integration model in remote clinics in Caprivi Strip will bring a significant benefit that will enhance operational efficiency thereby improving patient outcomes. The theory behind the proposed model is the need for the use of technology based information management in healthcare services. This research used engineering research methodology in explaining how the research was carried out by designing a proof-of-concept system based on the Cloud including its testing and evaluation. The developed proof-of-concept is implemented and hosted by Microsoft Azure using C# language (on Visual Studio) as a programming language for the implementation of the model. The proof-of-concept developed is evaluated against the expectations requested by the stakeholder users of the system and informed by modern practices. Further research gaps are identified for possible extensions of the current work.
    Date of Award2017
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDharmendra Sharma AM PhD (Supervisor) & Bala Balachandran (Supervisor)

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