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ICT and Health survey in Catalonia 2013

The survey, with 220 questions and more than 600 items of information, reached its seventh edition in 2013 with a 100% reply rate.

The result of the survey showed that the percentage of mobile devices in healthcare entities now accounts for 11% of all work devices and that 70% of the hospitals and primary attention teams have mobility tools (laptop computers, tablets, etc.) that allow them to consult the information in real-time and incorporate it in the electronic medical record. Also noteworthy is the consolidation of the unattended healthcare model, which focuses on telemedicine and has doubled its use since the year 2011. More than half of the hospitals say that they perform telediagnosis, 44% use teleconsultation and 13% telemonitoring.

In 2014, on commission by the Catalan Health Department and with the support of the Mobile World Capital, the Fundació TicSalut will develop the Mobility Master Plan in order to encourage the unattended model and the development and use of social and healthcare apps. A Marketplace or shop window of social and healthcare apps will be created to become a reference place for professionals and patients. Today in the world there are more than 40,000 apps dedicated to health and their use creates a new paradigm in patients’ healthcare processes and their environment. “We will work to prepare a system for confirming ‘good practices’ of social and healthcare apps (safety, quality, contents, approval, interoperability, etc.) so that professionals and citizens have mobile applications that meet suitable guarantees of quality and safety,” explains Dr. Francesc García-Cuyàs, director of Fundació TicSalut.

mHealth solutions give indubitable advantages in monitoring chronic patients, in improving patients’ adherence to pharmacological therapy, remote treatments or telerehabilitation. However, it also has a socio-economic impact, and to talk about it, Fundació TicSalut invited Mr. Rana Mehta, mHealth global leader in PricewaterhouseCoopers and one of the main world experts in mobile health, to its meeting. “mHealth could help 185 million people to enjoy a healthier life and save the European Union 99 thousand million euros in health expenditure by 2017. Furthermore, if its use is encouraged, 93 thousand million euros could be added to the European GDP,” Dr. Mehta explained.

During the event, it was revealed that a key goal for 2014 is to implement a new model of ICT governance based on consensus, joint responsibility and respect for health suppliers’ independence in managing ICTs. This will suppose the development of a platform of exchange based on world standards, available to the whole sector in order to facilitate healthcare continuity.

The result of the survey revealed that Catalan centres have been making an effort to update their facilities and adopt the new trends in ICTs, thus consolidating Catalonia year by year as one of the European benchmarks in the area of health ICTs. Today, with 85% of Catalan hospitals assessed using the EMRAM system, 8.7% of the hospitals are at level 6, that is, they work almost without papers and 65.2% at level 5. This is a very important figure, because in Europe, only 1.5% of hospitals are at level 6 and 16.2% at level 5.

100% of Catalan hospitals use the electronic medical record and its content continues to be digitalised, thus highlighting the effort being made in the social and mental healthcare area. 95% of the centres no longer print out x-rays and give copies on a CD or DVD if the patients should ask for them. This digitalisation has meant that now 93% of Catalan public hospitals and primary attention centres are already connected to the Catalan Shared Medical Record, and that of these, 97% publish there.

During the event, the ICT involvement was also presented in the different strategic lines of the Health Plan, the study of the unattended healthcare model and the main international tendencies with regard to the application of ICTs in the area of health.

The event was closed by Mr. Boi Ruiz, the Minister of Health, and the Rt Hon Mr. Joan Mora, Mayor of Mataró.

Additional documentation:

Presentations of the Map of Tendencies. 20 December 2013: