Dr Busisiwe Vilakazi



Vilakazi is a senior researcher in the field of medical device development at the CSIR. She completed an MSc in engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2007. This was followed with a DPhil in biomedical engineering in 2012 as a Nelson Mandela Scholar from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Vilakazi’s current research interests include development of signal processing techniques and their application to diagnostic systems, especially in the context of medical problems.

About her talk:

South Africa’s medical device market is worth about R12,1 billion, comprising 4,2% of all health expenditure. Yet, 94% of products are imported with only a few local manufacturers employing a small number of people. Barriers to entry in the medical device industry include a lack of incentives, too few skilled and semi-skilled workers, as well as the prohibitive cost of raw materials. In addition, the regulatory environment is uncertain with the cost of regulatory compliance including the setting up of quality management systems, certification and regular compliance testing. The CSIR has developed a number of medical devices and sensors to improve test turnaround time, quality of care and health information for primary health care facilities. The organisation has also proposed a solution to optimise medical device lifecycle management.