Lior Yafe
Economic Counselor
Embassy of Israel in Mexico
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Expert Contributor

Innovation and Development for Telemedicine

By Lior Yafe | Tue, 04/19/2022 - 13:00

Telemedicine is a remote medical practice that uses information and communication technologies to make medical care much more accessible and efficient. The promises of telemedicine are numerous and can bring many benefits to the health sector. In particular, it can help fight physician overload, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic; improve the monitoring and quality of life of patients and participate in better management of health crises.

Far from replacing traditional medical practices, telemedicine can facilitate the population's access to faster and more direct medical care. At the same time, it can respond to the lack of medical personnel and provide access to quality medical services to communities that do not have easy access to health facilities and infrastructure.

National telemedicine strategies in Latin America have increased in number since 2000. These strategies are aimed at reducing inequities in access to healthcare, complementing primary care and expanding the scope of specialized care. Telemedicine has an impact in marginalized, dispersed or remote geographical areas since, as mentioned above, it is capable of bringing quality medical specialists within the reach of more people. Experiences in telehealth are closely related to the strategies of digitization and strengthening of care networks promoted by institutions such as the World Health Organization or the Inter-American Development Bank.

A successful case of the implementation of digital health and telemedicine technologies in Mexico is the telehealth program of the state of Oaxaca, which was carried out with the aim of creating a telemedicine network in the state, providing quality services to the marginalized population through the use of technology. All of this has resulted in reducing the cost of transporting patients, the waiting time to receive care from a specialist and the saturation of the demand for doctors.

It then becomes necessary to analyze the different proposals that exist around the world in terms of technology and innovation in digital health. One of the leading countries in this regard is Israel.

In March 2018, Israel announced a national priority focusing on digital health as a growth engine. This initiative has been carried out hand in hand with six public ministries in the country, with an investment amounting to US$250 million. Within the objectives of this initiative, it seeks to make the Israeli Health System a leader in solutions focused on telemedicine and digital health, promoting academic and scientific research that is transforming the health industry.

In Israel, digital health solutions are focused on technologies for remote treatment and information collection, big data, AI, robotics and genetic information. Today, more than 500 digital medicine companies operate in Israel, along with around 500 medical device companies that have digital applications for home use. All of them offer solutions related to the early detection of diseases; robots for treating patients remotely, without putting hospital staff at risk; as well as the use of medical devices and apps capable of analyzing hundreds of ailments from home.

All this innovation and development can be of great value in promoting the telehealth projects that have been developed in Mexico, offering solutions that can remotely bring medical services to thousands of people. If you are interested in knowing more about this sector and other events, remember that you can go to the Commercial Office of the Embassy of Israel.

Photo by:   Lior Yafe