The digitization of the health sector, which is progressing day by day, is showing itself as a necessary path in crisis situations such as the one we are now experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecommunications allow us innumerable advances in the management and solution of health crises, as explained in this article by Vicente Traver, Director of the Health and Wellbeing Area (SABIEN) of the ITACA Institute of the UPV and head of the Working Group on Digital Health of the Official College of Telecommunication Engineers (COIT), published on its official website.
It was known that it could happen, despite previous crises like SARS or bird flu, despite the fact that 5 years ago Bill Gates anticipated a pandemic crisis like this and that, even years before, it was predicted that its most likely source would be China. There was nothing prepared because prevention is expensive, requires high investment and on an ongoing basis, and other priorities arise day by day.
Being aware that crises like this require the use of ICT in different areas, how can digitization of health help in situations of global pandemics? The answer is clear, digital health can help in different ways and in the different phases of a pandemic: early detection of the pandemic, primary and secondary prevention activities, help decision-making at the point of care, for care health, monitoring platforms after discharge, and as information and training channels for both citizens and professionals. Some of those opportunities are:
On the other hand, we can also invert the phrase and affirm that the coronavirus is helping the digital transformation, being a disruptive element for a full adoption of digital health, which will reach its full realization when we remove the digital surname from health and all the ICT component is inherent to health per se.
We end with a set of recommendations and reflections that may seem obvious:
Source: UPV’s Information Office
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