Microsoft brings first telemedicine service to Botswana

Brad Stephenson

Microsoft lending a hand with 4Afrika initiative

A collaboration between Microsoft, The Botswana Innovation Hub, and several other organizations has been announced called Project Kgolagano. Living up to its name (Kgolagano means “to be connected or networked”), the project will use broadcast frequencies usually used for television broadcasts to provide internet access and telemedicine services to local hospitals and clinics.

Director of the Botswana Innovation Hub Marketing, ICT and Registration, Dr. Geoffery Seleka explains, “Through Project Kgolagano, we will be using TVWS technology to provide access to specialized telemedicine applications, where hospitals can send high-resolution patient photographs back to Gaborone and Philadelphia for a more accurate diagnosis and care”.

Interestingly, an aim of Project Kgolagano is to improve the quality of life for women in small towns and rural areas by providing specialized maternal medicine.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has been involved in such a progressive program in Africa. The company has also launched similar projects in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania and Ghana though its 4Afrika initiative and in 2014 used the same broadcast technology to provide internet access to universities in Ghana and also released affordable mobile phones in Africa with the aim of getting more people connected to help grow their business and advance their education.