Digital transformation has come to power and the use of technology continues to make strides in this area. The innovations in the different segments are so many that it was necessary to create a specific term to group them: it is the eHealth or “digital health,” a world-wide concept that addresses digital tools and solutions that help improve people’s quality of life.
Medicine of the future , pharmacology, neuroscience, robotics etc: everything that encompasses the evolution of the knowledge of the professionals of the area allied to the development and mastery of digital technologies and solutions “cutting edge” is inserted in this new world of health.
In this article, we’ll go into more detail on the eHealth concept and show how digital health is developing in different countries.
The concept of eHealth and innovations for health
According to HIMSS – Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society , eHealth is any application of the Internet, used in conjunction with other information technologies, focused on improving the conditions of the clinical processes, the treatment of patients, and giving better conditions for costing to the Health System. In other words, improving the flow of information , through electronic means to improve service delivery and coordination of health systems .
The concept includes many dimensions, ranging from the delivery of information from hospital clinics to partners in the chain of care, through the facilities of interaction among all its members, arriving at the availability of the same information in the most difficult and remote places.
Within the model, we find a set of tools and services capable of sustaining care and improving treatment in an integrated way through the Web. Among them we can mention some:
“Digital health” has been a priority for the World Health Organization (WHO) eHealth should encompass the secure use of information-communication technologies in support of health, including services, surveillance, literature, education, knowledge and 109 member countries .
The WHO unit for digital health works with global, regional and national partners to promote and strengthen the use of information technology and innovative tools for health development, from practical applications for people’s daily lives to the public policy.
Some WHO data for eHealth:
- 58% of countries members have an eHealth strategy;
- 55% of countries have legislation to protect the patient’s electronic data;
- 87% of countries reported having one or more national mHealth initiatives;
- 75% of countries have institutions that offer training, pre-service or continuous training in health information communication technologies for professionals in the field.
Some countries already have government portals to make public and accessible all information about eHealth for the population – Ireland , India , Australia , Hong Kong (region of China). Others, like Canada and Portugal , also hold conferences on the topic to discuss best practices and establish guidelines. Latin American countries can find data on the website eHealth Latin America Reporter .
Brazil is still at an early stage in the scaling-up of health technologies – largely due to the barriers to legislation – but there is already a change in attitude, especially since these digital tools are ideal for reducing health costs. And there is support from the population: research released by Cisco technology company , 84% of respondents said they were more concerned about the quality of medical care than personal contact. The study also revealed that 76% of users of the Brazilian health system say they are open to virtual medical care.
The BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development) also has a study on the impact of IoT (internet of things) in the national economy, revealing that in 2025, IoT can generate revenues of up to US $ 200 billion per year in Brazil. The idea in the coming years is to move the innovation ecosystem through financing for companies and startups, in addition to creating a network for those involved in the area. Short, medium and long term goals related to IoT will also be established, gathered in the National Internet of Things Plan.
It is worth noting that the most important thing is that eHealth not only lowers operating costs and avoids wasted resources, but extends care by facilitating patient access to the health sector. With this, doctors also gain new technological tools capable of empowering their performance in the performance of increasingly accurate and agile diagnoses.
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