Chamber of Deputies to Regulate Digital HealthcareBy Alfonso Núñez | Wed, 12/01/2021 - 17:50
An initiative over the regularization of digital healthcare was introduced to the Chamber of Deputies last Thursday and seems to have a likely chance of passing. The initiative prioritizes accessibility, quality of medical attention and confidentiality as well as scalability, interoperability, privacy, security of information and protection of data, replicability, transparency and universality.
“The initiative that reforms and adds diverse dispositions to the General Law of Health in the subject of digital health” was presented by 18 legislators members of the Health Commission and members of diverse parliamentarian groups from the LXV Legislature. The initiative received support from Emmanuel Reyes, President, Health Commission, and other members of the MORENA party such as Carlos Madrazo, Gabriel Quadri and past Minister of Health Salomón Chertorivski.
The initiative plans to regulate digital healthcare by establishing the conditions to its access and development. According to the initiative, medtech advances must be operated in a transparent manner and be accessible to everyone. The law would make great advances in the digital healthcare industry by allowing online prescriptions with digital signatures to be accepted in pharmacies.
Legislators have looked into the regulation of digital healthcare since 2015, when a NOM21 was proposed. However, the project was cancelled in 2018 and has remained in limbo. Currently, there are is no regulations in place for the provision of medical services through technological mediums, a rapidly growing industry across the world. Just last week, the Pan-American Health Organization (OPS) launched the first digital social worker in the world to help the region’s population fight alcoholism.
The Center of Technological Excellence in Health (CENETEC) is in charge of the systemic and objective diffusion of medtech, establishing national guidelines for technological infrastructure and processes for developing medtech services. The center is also responsible for establishing mechanisms for the diffusion and integration of technical information and standards.
The pandemic has heightened the digital revolution in many areas including in medical fields, leading many to seek certain medical services online during lockdowns, a practice that continued even after doctor’s offices reopened for in-person appointments.
The proposed regulation aims to speed up the timeliness for overseeing and allowing digital medicine to reach Mexican patients to better control the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislature also asks digital health developers and providers to position Mexican patients as their number one priority, empowering them and giving them control and access to their clinical history. For this, medical history as well as all digital healthcare services must be easily accessible.