eHealth has the Potential to Change how Healthcare is Delivered*

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In the current stage of healthcare, 70-80% of activity and cost base is spent in chronic diseases and are due to too little prevention or patient involvement in illness management.

eHealth has therefore the potential to change how healthcare is delivered in many ways by allowing:

-          Big data for prevention,

-          Remote/asynchronous patient/doctor interaction,

-          Access for patient to information and decision support system,

-          Patients to be in charge of their own health and consumerization,

-          Health processes standardization and tracking.

Jose Perdomo, Global eHealth Business Director, Telefonica, comments on his crucial role in transforming the healthcare system. Telefonica launched its e-health division in 2010 with the aim of creating a 'standard-bearer' for e-health challenges in the healthcare sector.  There is no doubt for him that NTICs, in facilitating connections with patients will bring tremendous changes in behavioral patterns. Information technology is just the tool behind this communication goal he's focusing on, especially concerning chronic disease management, considering the ageing population's demographic impacts.

According to Jose Perdomo:  “Patients will need to be managed at their homes remotely, not in the health care systems, and remote patient-management is the topic! ”

Indeed, it is the topic for a transformation model, focusing on ‘chronic disease management, prevention and self-care and additional evidence are coming from massive trials throughout the world. Jose Perdomo also stressed out that social care is becoming more relevant across geographies encouraging independent living preferring mobile rather than fixed telecare and where user experience is absolutely key.

Telefonica’s e-health divisions are comprised of 3 entities:

-          TeleCare, for services such as panic buttons and family trackers embedded in MiFamilia platform ,

-          Health ICT, providing CRM tool for health care providers, mobile productivity solutions and appointment management solutions as well as cloud based services such as medical image storage and software as a service products,

-          TeleHealth, the most innovative one, allows patient-doctor interactions and helps physicians to improve their day-to-day practice by offering chronic disease managememt solutions through connected tablet devices and bio-medical measurement devices…..These tools facilitate the flow of information from patient to physician performed via voice or web chats.

Hindrances

The main hindrance often observed when it comes to healthcare industry, concerns regulatory practices.  Experience confirms that the implementation of health IT systems (and especially electronic health records – EHRs) is considered among the highest priorities of modern healthcare systems but it is proceeding very slowly.  Telefonica is certainly facing these hindrances along with the balance between public and private sector provision, and the impressive variety of services from market to market.

*I was invited to attend Mobile World Congress 2012 by Orange Group to join their Social Media Team

 

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