A South African entrepreneur is preparing to launch an innovative new automated chronic medicine dispensing system in a pilot project for the national Department of Health.
“The Technovera Locker system, is a most deserving winner in the Samsung South Africa Launching People – Mixed Talents competition,” explains Michelle Potgieter, Director: Brand and Communications at Samsung South Africa. “This is the brainchild of Neo Hutiri, an electrical and industrial engineer businessman based in Johannesburg, who wowed judges with his simple and innovative, yet powerful idea.”
The Technovera system is designed to shorten the time chronic patients must spend waiting for their repeat prescriptions to be filled, as well as streamlining operations for state healthcare facilities, improving compliance and reducing the cost of chronic patient care.
Hutiri presented his solution and business plan in a Dragon’s Den-styled finale in the Samsung Launching People – Mixed Talents challenge to become one of three winners to receive R50 000 in start-up capital and access to over R 300 000 worth of business support tools from Samsung’s partners.
The Technovera solution includes a smart locker, an SMS notification system and chronic medication collection tracking. “Patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens, for example, who are stable chronic patients, typically have a six-month repeat prescription with an evaluation due every six months. For five of every six months, the process of collecting the repeat prescription need not involve the nurse – patients could simply be authenticated and collect their medication,” says Hutiri.
“By introducing this innovation, we can allow for pre-packed medication to be placed in smart locker cubicles and automatically notify the patients via SMS that their prescriptions are ready for collection. Each patient is validated by entering a one-time PIN and their cellphone number, which electronically unlocks their compartment.”
The solution has been developed in close consultation with the Innovation Hub, the Department of Health, the City of Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg, as well as with medical and pharmaceutical stakeholders and patients themselves. “Proving compliance, security and confidentiality, as well as ensuring that the system innovates within the constraints of a highly regulated environment, has been challenging,” says Hutiri. However, he believes that the digitised, smart system will deliver a broad range of benefits to healthcare service providers and patients alike, with the potential to integrate into other centralised health care and patient management systems for enhanced service delivery in future.
“Technovera’s win in the Launching People – Mixed Talents challenge has secured it funding to improve its systems, as well as valuable exposure that will raise awareness among patients and health stakeholders. Samsung is incredibly proud to be a supporter of such a revolutionary project that will truly improve lives in our communities – an endeavour which aligns strongly with Samsung brand ethos,” Potgieter concludes.
For more information on the campaign or to register, visit: www.launchingpeople.co.za and follow #MixedTalents.
Revealing the real cost of ‘free’ online services
A free service by Finnish cybersecurity provider F-Secure reveals the real cost of using “free” services by Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, among others.
What do Google, Facebook, and Amazon have in common? Privacy and identity scandals. From Cambridge Analytica to Google’s vulnerability in Google+, the amount of personal data sitting on these platforms is enormous.
Cybersecurity provider F-Secure has released a free online tool that helps expose the true cost of using some of the web’s most popular free services. And that cost is the abundance of data that has been collected about users by Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon Alexa, Twitter, and Snapchat. The good news is that you can take back your data “gold”.
F-Secure Data Discovery Portal sends users directly to the often hard-to-locate resources provided by each of these tech giants that allow users to review their data, securely and privately.
“What you do with the data collection is entirely between you and the service,” says Erka Koivunen, F-Secure Chief Information Security Officer. “We don’t see – and don’t want to see – your settings or your data. Our only goal is to help you find out how much of your information is out there.”
More than half of adult Facebook users, 54%, adjusted how they use the site in the wake of the scandal that revealed Cambridge Analytica had collected data without users’ permission.* But the biggest social network in the world continues to grow, reporting 2.3 billion monthly users at the end of 2018.**
“You often hear, ‘if you’re not paying, you’re the product.’ But your data is an asset to any company, whether you’re paying for a product or not,” says Koivunen. “Data enables tech companies to sell billions in ads and products, building some of the biggest businesses in the history of money.”
F-Secure is offering the tool as part of the company’s growing focus on identity protection that secures consumers before, during, and after data breaches. By spreading awareness of the potential costs of these “free” services, the Data Discovery Portal aims to make users aware that securing their data and identity is more important than ever.
A recent F-Secure survey found that 54% of internet users over 25 worry about someone hacking into their social media accounts.*** Data is only as secure as the networks of the companies that collect it, and the passwords and tactics used to protect our accounts. While the settings these sites offer are useful, they cannot eliminate the collection of data.
Koivunen says: “While consumers effectively volunteer this information, they should know the privacy and security implications of building accounts that hold more potential insight about our identities than we could possibly share with our family. All of that information could be available to a hacker through a breach or an account takeover.”
However, there is no silver bullet for users when it comes to permanently locking down security or hiding it from the services they choose to use.
“Default privacy settings are typically quite loose, whether you’re using a social network, apps, browsers or any service,” says Koivunen. “Review your settings now, if you haven’t already, and periodically afterwards. And no matter what you can do, nothing stops these companies from knowing what you’re doing when you’re logged into their services.”
***Source: F-Secure Identity Protection Consumer (B2C) Survey, May 2019, conducted in cooperation with survey partner Toluna, 9 countries (USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Finland, Sweden, and Japan), 400 respondents per country = 3600 respondents (+25years)
WhatsApp comes to KaiOS
By the end of September, WhatsApp will be pre-installed on all phones running the KaiOS operating system, which turns feature phones into smart phones. The announcement was made yesterday by KaiOS Technologies, maker of the KaiOS mobile operating system for smart feature phones, and Facebook. WhatsApp is also available for download in the KaiStore, on both 512MB and 256MB RAM devices.
“KaiOS has been a critical partner in helping us bring private messaging to smart feature phones around the world,” said Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp. “Providing WhatsApp on KaiOS helps bridge the digital gap to connect friends and family in a simple, reliable and secure way.”
WhatsApp is a messaging tool used by more than 1.5 billion people worldwide who need a simple, reliable and secure way to communicate with friends and family. Users can use calling and messaging capabilities with end-to-end encryption that keeps correspondence private and secure.
WhatsApp was first launched on the KaiOS-powered JioPhone in India in September of 2018. Now, with the broad release, the app is expected to reach millions of new users across Africa, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
“We’re thrilled to bring WhatsApp to the KaiOS platform and extend such an important means of communication to a brand new demographic,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “We strive to make the internet and digital services accessible for everyone and offering WhatsApp on affordable smart feature phones is a giant leap towards this goal. We can’t wait to see the next billion users connect in meaningful ways with their loved ones, communities, and others across the globe.”
KaiOS-powered smart feature phones are a new category of mobile devices that combine the affordability of a feature phone with the essential features of a smartphone. They meet a growing demand for affordable devices from people living across Africa – and other emerging markets – who are not currently online.
WhatsApp is now available for download from KaiStore, an app store specifically designed for KaiOS-powered devices and home to the world’s most popular apps, including the Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps and Twitter. Apps in the KaiStore are customised to minimise data usage and maximise user experience for smart feature phone users.
KaiOS currently powers more than 100 million devices shipped worldwide, in over 100 countries. The platform enables a new category of devices that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience.
* For more details, visit: Meet The Devices That Are Powered by KaiOS
* Also read Arthur Goldstuck’s story, Smart feature phones spell KaiOS