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Naples, 14 March 2022 – “Telemedicine is remote support to provide health services, for consultancy activities between specialists and for contacts with patients”.
With these words Walter Locatelli, Collegio Probiviri FIASO, opened the session “Telemedicine in hospitals: glue for a new DM 70” of the day dedicated to “Telemedicine as a tool for change in the NHS: towards a new medicine”, of the Winter School 2022 of Naples, entitled “Change Health. Reinventing Processes, Roles and Skills “, organized by Healthcare Enginepromoted and disseminated by World health And Inside Health and made with the unconditional contribution of Gilead, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, AlmavivA, Daiichi Sankyo, GSK, IBM, Sanofi, Angelini Pharma, Kyowa Kirin, Siemens Healthineers and Teva.
Walter Locatelli explained: “There are various services supported by ‘telemedicine’: television, teleassistance, telemonitoring, teleconsultation, etc …. particularly usable in the context of taking charge of ‘chronic conditions’ with the aim of supporting the patients. in the home pathway, overcoming the need for access to specialized areas (hospitals, clinics, etc.) in favor of a de-hospitalization process. Surely it is not possible to completely overcome the usual assistance acts, but in many cases they can facilitate coordinated care even in rural or disadvantaged inland areas as well as monitoring that favors taking care in case of exacerbations or emerging needs “.
A recent example of application of “telemedicine” is home care during the Covid pandemic: in many situations it was based on the use of telemedicine applications both for the detection of vital parameters and for television activities and for sharing and teleconsultation between treating doctors and hospital specialists with positive results.
Lastly, Locatelli underlined a particular aspect, in the face of an ever greater diffusion and application of “Home care” for the care and taking charge of the patients. “Telemedicine is destined to be the necessary tool for health personnel, from specialists to family doctors to operators in the health professions to pharmacists and for this it is necessary to program common training courses for a shared use, which is effective, of the technology also makes available by reinventing Paths, Roles and Skills “.
“The experience of implementing telemedicine is closely linked to the progress of the Covid pandemic – explained Maria Beatrice Stasi, General Director of ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII Bergamo -. Telemedicine has been talked about for some time but the massive applications are recent as well as the identification of tariff and reporting systems that constitute the necessary corollary to get out of merely ‘experimental’ experiences. In Bergamo, already from the first Covid wave, the need to use technologies to keep patients close emerged strongly. Since April 2020 we have activated a platform that currently covers 12 medical specialties and we have provided 1,300 consultations. The system is heavily implemented considering the infinite possibilities of extension towards forms of telemonitoring, teleconsultation and telecooperation between professionals and hospitals “.
Costantino Troise, National President ANAAO ASSOMED explained: “The enhancement of home care, the declared objective of the PNRR, and the management of chronic diseases, requires extensive use of digital tools for remote patient management. Telemedicine, for the development of which the PNRR allocates 1 billion, therefore represents the future, also with a view to reducing costs and eliminating waiting lists more quickly ”.
Data in hand, Costantino Troise provided the numbers of spending for digital health: it grew in 2020 by 5% to 1.5 billion and forecasts speak of 4 billion in 2024, but to have the best return on these investments some critical issues need to be overcome.
“Starting – underlined Troise – from the lack of doctors and nurses, both in terms of quantity and training, to manage in an ordinary way innovative tools in new organizational models. Today the Digital Economy and Society Index places Italy in 20th place out of 27 EU member states with regard to digital performance, the electronic health record is still little known and little used, the same access to broadband is, like experience of the DAD proved to be far below the European average, risking increasing social and cultural inequalities between the Regions ”.
“The development of telemedicine is one of the cornerstones of the PNRR in its declination of the Proximity Networks – explained Francesco Locati, General Manager ASST Bergamo Est -. With regard to this, the investment in platforms that allow the activation of television, teleconsultation, telemonitoring and health telecooperation, is linked to the qualification and training of personnel, doctors and health professionals, who will be present in the Community Homes and Community Hospitals. This is a significant challenge that poses the unity of the therapeutic diagnostic process as the gold standard of welfare, in all its most salient aspects “.
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