II Digital Health Conference in Madrid
u-Care attends the II digital health conference ‘The challenge of chronicity’ held at the Ramón Areces Foundation and organized by ASD (Asociación Salud Digital).
At 9:30 am the opening of the day began with José Mª Lassalle Ruiz, Secretary of State for the Information Society and the Digital Agenda, Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda; Raimundo Pérez-Hernandez, Director of the Ramón Areces and Jaime del Barrio Seoane Foundation, President of the Asociación Salud Digital. Some fifteen minutes of introduction in which they made latent the need for all stakeholders to contribute to making the existing gap in the health system is less and less.
Attention to chronicity accounts for 80% of health expenditure and 70% of the attention of health personnel, which is why an approach to preventive medicine is urgent. The only way for the socio-sanitary system to be sustainable and viable is through the digital transformation of health-based, not so much on the use of new technologies, but on a cultural shift in population.
In Spain, the decentralization of healthcare competition is not an ally in this sense although it has been possible to extend the use of electronic prescription in almost all Autonomous Communities.
José Mª Lassalle Ruiz, Minister of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda spoke of the existence of fund programs, such as the ‘State Program of R&D+i Oriented to the Challenges of Society‘, to implement digital services in society. Public agencies are aware that there is a main need, such as guaranteeing the provision of health services anywhere, that is, that citizens can access services even if they are not in their autonomous community. In this sense, the use of new technologies plays a fundamental role.
At the Conference on ‘Innovation, data standards and national implementation of digital health solutions in Denmark’ presented by Joan Cornet Prat, Voice of the ASD and mobile health director Competence Center at the Mobile World Capital Barcelona and Katrine Vedel, special advisor on health innovation and the South of Denmark, we were informed of the great progress made in Denmark in health.
These advances have been based on attending hospitals only to patients who are in a serious state and in a large implementation of ‘Big Data’. This strategy began to be implemented in 2012 obtaining very positive results regarding productivity, quality, and improvement of health.
‘We have to emphasize the evaluation of technological projects’ said Marisa Merino Hernández, Member of the ASD and Managing Director OSI Tolosaldea Osakidetza.‘In Spain, we have been researching for 30 years and we have not been able to pass the pilot program’, said Francisca García Lizana, Medical Deputy Director of the Hospitalario de Toledo Complex. The heterogeneity of the studies and methodological evaluation problems represented a barrier to draw conclusions.
Hicieron latente su preocupación sobre el cambio cultural necesario para implementar la telemedicina. ‘¿Como podemos agilizar un cambio cultural? A cada stakeholder hay que motivarlo de forma diferente dejando claro que evitamos duplicidades y ahorramos tiempo. Un paso ha sido la prescripción electrónica. A veces solo hace falta poner al servicio de los ciudadanos la herramienta.’, Francisca García Lizana.
They expressed their concern about the cultural change necessary to implement telemedicine.‘How can we speed up a cultural change? Each stakeholder must be motivated differently, making it clear that we avoid duplication and save time. One step has been the electronic prescription. Sometimes we just need to put the tool in the service of citizens.’ , Francisca García Lizana.
The world of digital health is changing, and therefore the patients, and they are revolutionizing the health system by making it better. The professionals do not have as much time as before to dedicate it to each patient, there are long waiting lists and queues for the consultations to be attended. Although our health system works well it is necessary to adapt to the new times. In this situation, patients seek information through other means (eg, photos, internet, etc.) and share them with their doctor by email or phone. It is the patients themselves who are pushing the system to evolve.
We have one of the highest rates of aging and chronicity in Europe. 91% of mortality in Spain is due to chronic diseases and many of them can be prevented. A coordinated social-health platform is necessary.
Investment in health R&D in Spain represents 1%, half of that in the rest of Europe. What can we do about it? According to Belén Soto Bodi, IT General Manager at General Electric Healthcare,‘it is essential that we take advantage of existing structures (e.g. address of people, pharmacies, smartphones, computers, etc.)’.
José María Moyano, Director of Health of Fujitsu, refers to the need to control the health of the patient.‘Citizens do not demand that the best doctor attends them; A point has been reached that assumes the good quality of the system, they demand information. The population wants to have access to all their health data, wants to be able to manage it, that care is quick and that the health service is proactive’, says José María.
According to the OECD, there are currently 1.5 million Spaniards over 65, in 2033 that figure is estimated at 8.5 million. How to maintain the welfare state? This is where there is a need to implement digital health. It is necessary to prevent the diseases of the population so that in the future they do not imply costs that sink the system. To carry out this process, the most important thing is to think about the people and not about the system as a whole, making each individual the owner of their health.
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