Today, several countries are embaquing in structural changes or updating on to how to better use the opportunities provided by the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in order to be able to offer more coverage and quality services to more citizens. One of these examples is Mexico with the inclusion of five secondary targets objectives to achieve the required modernization within the goals of the National Plan of Development:
- Incorporate the use of ICT to facilitate the convergence of health systems and increase the coverage of health services
- Establish the unique health personality through the general standard of health
- Implement the Electronic Medical Record (EMR or ECE), the electronic birth certificate (CeN) and the electronic vaccination card (CeV).
- Implement Electronic Health Record systems
- Implement mechanisms of telehealth and telemedicine
Now, these goals require certain enablers that are indispensable for the proper functioning of these goals. One of these crucial enablers, connectivity, plays a fundamental role to connect basic health centers, clinics and hospitals of all levels together and to provide basic services for telemedicine and telehealth in a region or an entire country. This is not an easy task but it is essential. Another key aspect is the interoperability where you can exchange and validate patients’ information in a transparent manner.
Health professionals: the inclusion in these processes of the health workers (doctors, nurses, etc.) to adopt and adapt more rapidly changes, a no less important issue. Anyway, recently graduates in the profession plus those who are coming, are closer and familiar with the use of ICT to which this transition will be easily and quickly adopted by them. But hey are not a majority (at least not yet).
Other countries are on a similar quest, like the Telemedicine and Telehealth initiative from the University of Sao Paulo, or the Brazil’s Teleheatlh Program, Colombia and their Telemedicine advances and Peru’s Telehealth National Plan with national initiatives to reach to more people with specialized care medical, just to mention a few examples.