Smart implants continue to evolve, posing tremendous opportunities to move towards personalized and pervasive healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, the adoption of smart implants is still nascent in SSA despite their tremendous benefits and the increasing demand to provide pervasive and personalized healthcare. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a comprehensive analysis of opportunities and potential challenges associated with the adoption of smart implants in SSA health systems as well as policy recommendations. The study adopted the PRISMA model to search and synthesize published literature about general implants and smart implants in SSA. The study revealed that smart implants present tremendous benefits including remote monitoring of patients, data management, disease diagnosis and treatment, monitoring of drug adherence, and effective family planning methods to reduce unplanned pregnancies. However, the adoption of smart implants faces implementation challenges such as poor technological infrastructure, cultural and religious barriers, health consequences and clinical challenges, legal and policy barriers, lack of manufacturing manpower, potential resistance by regulatory authorities and users, lack of political will and funding, data privacy and security concerns. Nonetheless, there is a need for SSA countries to develop strategies that will strengthen current implant services to stimulate the manufacturing of smart implants. This can be achieved through funding, public-private partnerships, training of healthcare professionals, sensitizing communities, increasing community engagement and most importantly the development of strategies and policies that will regulate the use of smart implants in healthcare settings. There is a need to investigate the privacy and security implications of smart implants in the provision of pervasive healthcare services.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Chemical Health and Safety
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering