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International trends

The Map of Trends complements the ICT and Health Survey in Catalonia with an interpretation of the main international trends that are changing traditional models of healthcare both from a technological approach and from the perspective of individual and organisational changes being made by ICT in the health sector.

Observed trends in ICT and world health

The methodology for determining international trends involves reviewing reference sources: websites, blogs, newsletters, reports regarding ICT in general and, in particular, its use in the field of health, as well as the monitoring of social networks and an online survey for industry experts.

International Trends 2013

In addition to studying the state of the question of health ICTs in Catalonia, the Fundació TicSalut aims to observe the principal levers of change in the traditional health models around the world in order to bring them into the strategy of the Health Plan. In 2013, five tendencies were identified that deal with the revolution of data and the new models focused on the patient. This year, Fundació TicSalut has received cooperation from five experts: Jaume Raventós (Telefónica), Javier Olaizola (IBM), Josep Palet (Deloitte), Vicent Yeves (Itteria) and Miguel Ángel Montero (Informática El Corte Inglés). 


“With the use of the Remote Patient Management services, we are opening up a new relationship between patients and professionals, something that has already happened several times in the healthcare relationship”, explained Jaume Raventós, director of eHealth for Telefónica España.

This kind of service is intended to improve the clinical results and at the same time seeks sustainability in the healthcare system based on following up on patients at all times in their natural surroundings, in their homes wherever they may be. However, “The healthcare work must cover the concept of ‘technological prescription’, in other words, depending on the type of patient, one or another ICT solution will have to be used”, Raventós insisted. 



“In 1998, the WHO already talked about health communication as a key strategy, and the British NHS has demonstrated that it has a holistic view of all of this,” said the director of Healthcare and Social Services of Informática El Corte Inglés. According to Miguel Ángel Montero, “We must reconsider how we are communicating in healthcare,” and not only with regard to clinical notifications, but also in raising the awareness of healthy habits, public health campaigns and communication of healthcare crisis.

In the current scenario in which the feasibility of the public healthcare services is questioned, the traditional means of communication (press, television, radio) are expensive and citizens have become used to getting immediate replies, communication has to be adapted to the new reality. A wager must be made on the social media and open government and essential components along this path will be active listening and Business Intelligence. “We now have the tools, but we have to be more proactive and transparent”, Montero claimed during his presentation at the Map of Tendencies 2013.


“What do we do with all of the data we have?” asked Vicent Yeves from Itteria at the TecnoCampus Mataró-Maresme auditorium. The answer is big data: “In the area of healthcare, analysis will help us to take measures and draw conclusions for the treatment and prevention of disease”. 

The impact of big data will reach all of the players in the health sector and the technological tools needed for it are already available, all that is missing is the political will to bring all of the main players into agreement: the health authorities, service providers and the sector companies. 




“We believe that we are at a sufficiently important time for public-private collaboration considerations to become relevant and for us to analyse them carefully, in this case within the area of technologies”, according to Josep Palet, Public Sector partner of Deloitte.

“These kinds of agreement allow us to share risks and responsibility, but also opportunity and knowledge between both sectors”, assured Palet. At the roundtable on international tendencies, the project of the new model of the Government of Catalonia’s Telecommunications and Information Technology Centre (CTTI) was presented, which has been awarded as a best practice in the regional category of the European Institute of Public Administration EPSA Awards 2013


“Those responsible in the governments foresee a large increase in social and digital interaction along with a broader opening of information in public sector health,” assured Javier Olaizola, Spain Healthcare Industry Leader for IBM, referring to a study made by the Institute for Business Value, in which more than 4,000 organisations from around the world took part in order to analyse tendencies for the coming five years. 

In the new era of connectivity, the management teams are preparing for the future by opening to the influence of citizens and patients, seeking to be pioneers in physical and digital innovation and developing experiences related to the citizens. “We are now at the gates to physical and digital convergence, to considering data as a strategic asset, to co-creating with citizens and to the mobile revolution,” says the manager from IBM. 

International Trends 2012

In the study of international tendencies 2012 in ICT and Health, the most important fact is the growing importance of collaborative intelligence in health. In other words, collaborative work in health is seen to be more and more essential in order to achieve the right result, one that stimulates the delocation of knowledge, technological innovation and collaboration between healthcare centres and levels.

Intelligent health also appears in the tendencies as an element transforming health systems and placing citizens at the centre. Applications such as remote patient monitoring in real-time or robot assisted surgery are seen as an international tendency which is likely to increase exponentially in the coming years.

We must also highlight the consolidation of the tendency to integrate health and social services in order to be able to offer better and more co-ordinated attention in the face of the ageing population and the increase in chronic disease. This integration requires suitable technology to make it sustainable and truly effective. Systems such as Health 2.0, eHealth and health over the mobile are firmly installed in health systems in order to facilitate the inclusion of certain groups, monitoring of the sick, improvement of communication between assistance levels, prevention and promotion of health. This is a tendency which is consolidated more and more every year and, through the rapid development of technological applications, is likely to evolve as an essential tool in future health.

International Trends 2011

The analysis conducted to identify the major international trends in information and communication technologies (ICT) in the health sector for 2011 has led to the choice of 8 major trends that have been structured around 4 main pillars:

  • Governance/regulation: trends in organising the development of ICT, in its planning and regulation, and in the mechanisms put in place to ensure its governance.
  • Provision of health services: trends in the use and impact of ICT in the provision of health services.
  • Technology/software: trends in the software available to health managers and professionals to develop their duties.
  • Technology/hardware: trends in the hardware required for the development of ICT projects and services.

The presentation of the Map of Trends 2011 included the international experience of Mr. Madis Tiik, CEO of the Estonian eHealth Foundation, who presented the experience in Estonia of electronic data sharing, a system which has improved the transparency, efficiency and quality of their health services.

International Trends 2010

Highlights among the international trends in 2010 are: funding to achieve results aimed at efficiency; the introduction of incentives and regulatory issues for telemedicine by the government; mobile technology as a key tool in the health sector; the consolidation of standards for the deployment of ICT infrastructure; and the creation of interoperable health communities involving citizens and health professionals.

International Trends 2009

The review of the trends in 2009 has been made, on the one hand, as a thorough review of national and international literature with more than 700 sources of information in addition to continuously monitoring activity on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, blogs) and, on the other, interviews have been conducted with industry experts to further determine the latest trends in ICT in health systems around the world.

International Trends 2008

Regarding trends in ICT in 2008 in the health field, first a review was made of the current status of the trends of 2007 to determine the degree of evolution. In addition, we were able to identify which of last year’s trends have taken on most relevance in the current context.

International Trends 2007

We have summarised the main facts and trends highlighted in the review of national and international literature on the application of ICT in the health sector.