Focus shifts to tech to cut diagnosis errors

Kenya still lags behind in terms of trained
Kenya still lags behind in terms of trained pathologists, equipped with advanced technological skills. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Last month saw three prominent Kenyan personalities passing on as a result of cancer. This was a trying time not only for their families but for Kenyans in general.

The tragedies underscored the seriousness of cancer. With too many people losing their lives to the scourge, strident calls have been made for something to be done urgently to remedy the situation.

One thing that has emerged from the many cases of cancer is that most of them could have been better managed if they had been detected at an early stage.

Medical laboratories form the cornerstone for evidence-based medicine and it’s the reason medical laboratory scientists must be trained en masse in detecting cytological variations and changes every day with the help of pathologists. This means applying cutting-edge technologies.

Truth be told Kenya still lags behind in terms of trained pathologists, equipped with advanced technological skills.


A recent conference themed, Quality Laboratory Diagnosis for Improved Patient Outcomes brought together a host of laboratory medicine practitioners from various health institutions locally and internationally to discuss how to use technology more to improve diagnosis.

“There is need to review the existing policies and infrastructure in order to improve the quality management systems tenets such as external quality assessment (eqa), calibration verification, risk management and adopt new innovative approaches that will go a long way to guarantee quality across the various testing facilities,” said Keton Consulting Managing Director Anthony Jaccodul.

Keton leverages technology to ensure error-free transmission of data from laboratories to clients.

External quality assessment softwares enable labs to input data and compare them with laboratories worldwide, enhancing error correction thereby improving test outcomes.

An article published by AT&T titled Healthcare Connectivity highlights how high-speed digital networks are changing how healthcare is delivered, and how healthcare organisations operate.

This digital disruption, which will impact every corner of the healthcare continuum, promises to transform how, when and where care is provided, as well as usher in new experiences for patients. It also promises new revenue opportunities for healthcare organisations.

Mr Nyabera is a technology writer and video expert with Protel Studios.