Care and distancing: during the Covid-19 pandemic, these two parallel concerns have allowed telemedicine to finally carve out its own space in the world of healthcare, and to take on a significant role in support and care processes.
In 2021, there is still a growing number of Telemedicine initiatives, many of which are not related to the pandemic emergency: in recent months, more than 200 projects have been launched, of which almost 75% concern initiatives dedicated to non-covid patients.*
However, these initiatives are often characterised by basic approaches both from an organisational and technological perspective and are not specifically geared to healthcare.
According to Antonio Delli Gatti, Healthcare Division Director of Engineering, "Today more than ever, the drivers that led to the need for Telemedicine to be strengthened, so that it is no longer considered a mere "novelty" but an integral part of our everyday lives. Certain organisational and regulatory interventions are therefore necessary, which—alongside the digitalisation of remote support and care processes through software solutions and services—will provide telemedicine with a stronger position, greater stability and space for action".
For 25 years Engineering has been working alongside doctors and citizens to develop new paths and solutions that can bring about innovation in every aspect of the health system, guaranteeing access to services, developing the capacity for diagnosis and treatment, and ensuring the continuity of care and prevention. Drawing on this experience, in the Instant Paper "Telemedicine" the Group's experts highlight how Telemedicine must be permanently embedded in the processes for maintaining and researching health care, thus becoming the founding cell of a profound regeneration of Proximity Medicine. By enhancing telemedicine, it will be possible to decentralise healthcare measures in order to reach people in the community and help them stay healthy as well as providing them with treatment.
In order to achieve these objectives, all those enabling technologies that favour the proximity of the person will have to be employed in Telemedicine: AI & Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning to generate knowledge from data and support healthcare decisions, the Internet of Things for advanced communication with devices, Intelligent Automation (RPA) to allow operators to focus on the activities with the highest value, and the Cloud and next-generation Cybersecurity to guarantee the security of data and processes.
As explained in the E-Health White Paper, Engineering is committed to supporting the total and specialised Digital Transformation of the Health System. This also includes its commitment to redefining the digital DNA of Telemedicine, not only through its technological expertise, but also its in-depth knowledge of healthcare processes, in order to create services capable of providing a quality experience for patients and healthcare professionals alike. Yet again, Engineering is tackling this challenge by working alongside those who work in and benefit from healthcare services. To achieve its specific Telemedicine solutions, Engineering has in fact built a Service Design process that has seen the direct involvement of all users in the field right from the early design stages: doctors, nurses, patients, etc.
Lastly, the Instant Paper underlines how Telemedicine cannot be separated from the corporate information system and how Engineering's approach involves the creation of solutions that are the natural and homogeneous extension of the corporate information system in much broader ecosystems.
The Instant Paper "Telemedicine" forms part of an editorial series in which Engineering explains the most important market-related and technological trends in Digital Transformation.
*"Instant Report Covid-19" by Alta Scuola di Economia e Management dei Sistemi Sanitari (High School of Economics and Management of Health Systems).