eHealth: life saver or just smoke and mirrors?

Today workshops organized by DIGITALEUROPE. We talked about the rising costs of health and social care. We wondered how e-health and information and communications will help in reducing the cost and improving the health and welfare of Europeans. #eHealth enables the transition from intervention to prevention.



What are the real challenges ?

E-Health: life saver or just smoke & mirrors?”


Five trends prove that digital is dramatically influencing the industry today and well into tomorrow:


  1. personalized healthcare – defined by convenient people health experiences

– What if we could request new meds directly from our smartwatch, or get real-time text alerts that our blood pressure is too high or acess personalised plan options? Given that 76% of patients say that the use of technology to manage their health has the potential to improve their health, expectation are high for smarter medical devices;…..How many of us Today in this room have mhealth wearable devices?


  1. healthy results – it’s more about than technology, it’s about delivering results

– The digital revolution is not about replacing people with machines but about making doctors and healthcare professionals more efficient, capable to take on increasingly complex tasks, and in the end, providing better care to patients


  1. The Platform *(R)evolution: Defining ecosystems, redefining healthcare, connected care.

– Importantly, the industry needs to develop the right platforms, able to connect all the data and to give immediate and comprehensive results to patients and healthcare professionals.


  1. A Data explosion – accompanied by advances in processing power health analytics. Medical devices and wearables can now recognize cases and respond accordingly. And the Data Centres can process the data very effectively, also with analysis of our genome patterns


  1. Collaboration – doctors and healthcare workers are now using machines to be more efficient,

provide better care and take on increasingly more complex tasks. Patient using wearable devices have real time access to data from monitoring equipment, so the doctors can make more informed decisions about patient during a procedure.


We can see those five trends – but how and what really do they mean ?

They emphasize the significance role of the completely new devices, wearables but not only known now – but all those which are under the research now. They will be able to measure the state of health in the convenient way and send the info in the real time to the doctors, to the new Monitoring Centres. It is important for the chronic diseases, it is important for elderly, vulnerable people at homes.

They emphasize the growing role of applications, which can support us to measure the state of health, but also to stimulate us – to monitor our health everyday, to practice for keeping the health, to create the healthy style of life, and finally – to take real responsibility for our health. We become the real partners to the doctors. In addition – they emphasize how important the medical, the telemedicine platforms are. For connection. For interaction.

But – the key is to improve the quality of the connection for those new devices and applications. In the coming future – 5 G will change totally the business by giving us some possibilities to react in milliseconds. For remote surgeries – it will be crucial. For emergency issues – significant: e.g.scanning the body, comprehensive analytical efforts, fast results of the data processing – can make the treatments after incidents much more effective. Those new solutions can give us 20% of efficiency growth.

They emphasize that now – there are drivers to shift the healthcare paradigm: to go from the model of intervention after diseases are starting – to the opportunity to prevent the development of some diseases. It is key – it is effective, it is productive. It saves the life and the health – due to the possibility to analyze more information and data: it is much more patient centered model, aimed at personalization of the medical services. It brings to us more convenient and effective model of medical services and it brings the huge cost- reduction in many areas of the healthcare area.

They emphasize, that – it requires the new digital medical literacy from both sides, both kinds of partners: physicians and patients. We need to understand the new rules and the functioning of the devices. It requires the safeguards related to the security and privacy protection of the data – not only in the sense of GDPR, but also in the new sense of the privacy and security safeguards described in the relation to the electronic communication, which is the subject of the new e-privacy regulation proposal.

So, the awareness of all mentioned problems is necessary for the business and for users. We need to start the campaign, especially addressed to the silver generation, to the elderly people – if we do not to exclude them from the participation in the benefits of the digital revolution in the healthcare.

They emphasize, that the data processing is the key for this new model of the healthcare area changes. We need to redefine all issues related to the health data: security of the collecting of the data and storing them, full respect for privacy protection and the openness for using anonymized data for research and comparisons, solving the problem of the ownership of the data and conditions for their flows etc. Of course – it requires the proper level of the Very High Capacity Networks in the healthcare system: for individuals – at least 100 mb/s, for hospitals over 1 Gb/s, probably for some clinics – with the possibility to connect with High Performance Computing Centres: more advanced solutions – 26/28 GHz frequencies…. and more in the future. It is especially important, when we consider how to use SuperComputers for the healthcare solutions.

They emphasize – how important standardization is and how crucial interoperability – is.

The fundamental question is – who, which institution should take the responsibility for the shape of this shift paradigm. The health issues are under the Member States competences, many decisions are under the local and regional responsibilities, the technological breakthroughs are in business hands and innovative cooperation between business and science, the guarantees for 5G are in MS hands, in business hands and under the EU institutions – needed legislative framework should be done by the European Parliament.

So, collaborative cooperation is key – but one message should be dominant: it is all for patients, for everybody.

Question to Open Health Care System

– How can we overcome the barriers that block the implementation of eHealth solutions?

– What will be the role of artificial intelligence in healthcare?

– Will supercomputers revolutionize diagnostics, therapy and the way in which clinical research is conducted?

– Does local eHealth initiatives better than central mega-projects?

– Should the market for health applications be subject to restrictive regulation that European Institutions works out?