Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria is on its way to becoming a Wi-Fi hotspot and is the first hospital in Africa to offer patients free Internet access.
The Steve Biko Academic Hospital is set to become a huge Wi-Fi hotspot with free Internet access for patients and staff. Image: University of Pretoria
Although Internet access is currently restricted to ten areas of the hospital, within two months the entire hospital will be covered.
Until now doctors have had to use their own data allocations to download test results from the National Health Laboratory Services but, thanks to the new service, they will be able to log on to the hospital's Wi-Fi.
"In time the hospital will become one giant hotspot and patients will freely be able to access the Internet.This all contributes to the healing process," the hospital's Chief Executive Dr Ernest Kenoshi said.
The innovation was made possible through a public-private partnership between the provincial Department of Health and Nano Solutions and Technologies.
The R300,000 system comes at no cost to the hospital. Nano intends to get revenue from advertising.
Sharon Tshabalala, the company's Managing Director, said: "For every 13 minutes a user stays online an advertisement will pop up. That's how we're going to make our money."
Tshabalala said Nano want to connect up to 40 public hospitals by next year.
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