Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

In the age of technology, the digitization of healthcare it has become a necessity. public investment in digital health, telemedicine and humanization with technology is constantly growing. In fact, the strategy of Digital Health of the Ministry of Health will have an investment of 400 million euros by 2023. This investment will be distributed through different projects, such as the Personalized Digital Care Plan, which will receive 130 million euros. In addition, 65 million euros will be allocated to driving projects for Digital Health Services, 160 million euros to the digital transformation of Primary Care in 2023 and 65 million euros to the National Health Data Space. However, most of this investment will go into infrastructure and telemedicine services. Despite the fact that telemedicine has become a very popular topic today, many specialists believe that it has not yet been fully adopted. According to Dr. Luis Cabeza, an internist at the Hospital del Henares in Madrid, and the general director of Comitas e-health, Aquilino Antuña, telemedicine is essential for the future of healthcare: “We cannot continue to saturate hospitals and health centers.” Although Dr. Cabeza acknowledges that we are not yet ready to carry out telemedicine immediately, he does believe that we are moving in the right direction to get the telemedicine is becoming more common. Among the forms of decentralization that are being explored are outpatient follow-up programs for chronic patients and home hospitalization units.

The use of telemedicine increasingly common

An example of how progress is being made in the use of telemedicine is the agreement between Asisa and mediQuo, which will allow its telemedicine platformto be used by the medical staff of 40,000 professionals. Among the functions that they offer to health workers are conducting medical chat and video consultations, generating prescriptions, prescribing complementary tests, automatic billing or completing the online appointment for these services through any platform. Although telemedicine has been widely adopted in specialties such as teledermatology for the screening of the first Primary Care consultations, there are still limitations. In short, much work remains to be done when it comes to “change management”. But the Digitization of healthcare does not stop at telemedicine. Robotics, big data and artificial intelligence are transforming medicine and may wipe out healthcare professionals as we know them today. Manuel Seco, a retired internist from the Ourense University Hospital Complex (CHUO), reflects on the possible disappearance of the health professional in the future due to the advances in robotics, big data and AI. According to him, in the not too distant future, patients will be able to be received by robots at the hospital that will perform tests and ultrasounds, while the artificial intelligence it would learn by itself from millions of pieces of data.

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