cocir
sustainable competence in advancing healthcare
European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry
cocir
sustainable competence in advancing healthcare
European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry
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Digital Health

A key support for the delivery of a more efficient and higher quality care

The benefits of Digital Health are widely recognised. The European Council Conclusions on ‘Safe and Efficient Healthcare through eHealth’ (December 2009) recognise ”the importance of eHealth as a tool to improve quality and patient safety, to modernise national healthcare systems, to increase their effectiveness and make them better adapted to meet the individual needs of patients, health professionals and the challenges of an ageing society”.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the recognised benefits of Digital Health.

 

1. FACILITATE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

Digital Health can help deliver care to people located in remote places and who do not have access to a hospital, for example through a tele-consultation.

 

2. IMPROVE QUALITY OF CARE

Digital Health can help improve the quality of care by providing easier, safer and faster access to patient data, thereby allowing the healthcare professional to access the right data at the right time and make an informed-based diagnosis.

 

3. IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE OF PATIENTS

Digital Health in general and telemedicine in particular can help improve the quality of life of patients by, for example, monitoring the condition of the patient at distance at home, rather than in a hospital. This is particularly relevant for elderly, chronically ill persons and people living in remote regions.

 

4. IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY

The availability of information on the patient – such as his medical history, past diseases and interventions, allergies, reaction to medications – in an electronic health record (EHR) allows healthcare professionals to deliver a treatment tailored to the needs of the patient and thereby reduce risks of complications, adverse drug reactions etc.

 

5. SAVE TIME FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AND RESPOND TO THE SHORTAGE OF QUALIFIED STAFF

Adequate Digital Health tools such as electronic health records allow healthcare professionals to access information on the patient faster and thereby avoid losing time compiling information from different location/sources. By allowing healthcare professionals to save time, Digital Health tools also address the issue of shortage of healthcare professionals. With the increase of chronic diseases and the ageing population, healthcare professionals will be required to monitor more patients. Digital Health tools can help them work more efficiently, by storing patient information in a single location, taking medical decisions better and faster with the support of decision support systems.

 

6. SAVE COSTS

Digital Health can help reduce costs (clinical and administrative costs) by, for example, avoiding the duplication of medical examinations and unnecessary visits to the general practitioners / hospitals.