By Charmaine Odendaal, healthcare practice lead at SAP Africa and Dr Gilbert Saggia, SAP Africa’s MD of East Africa The delivery of healthcare services in Africa is under pressure to change, and no-one can be certain how the industry will evolve. What can be certain is that future trends will be driven by access to Big Data, to shape new models of care in driving innovative, affordable and accessible services, across this diverse continent. With 1,2 billion people, many enjoying a longer life, and the rise of NCDs (non-communicable diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes, Respiratory, Cardiovascular) there is a growing recognition of the importance of digital innovation in delivering curative and preventive care. The transition to digital healthcare offers opportunities to aggregate patient data from multiple sources – for example, from external healthcare providers and specialists who consult to the patient – to give them a single, accurate patient profile. This allows healthcare professionals to quickly connect all the dots in a patient’s care, with a view to focusing on optimum outcomes for the patient. In fact, a study in the Journal of Neurology found that putting a digital core at the heart of a healthcare provider, can result in 40% faster checking of medical records during preparation and post-processing of ward rounds in hospital.