Telehealth used in 87% of hospitals

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 06-06-2019 08:00:00 · 0 Comments
Telehealth used in 87% of hospitals

More than 80% of Portuguese National Health Service (SNS) hospitals resort to telehealth, but artificial intelligence projects have not yet reached half of the health institutions in the country.

Telehealth uses telecommunication technology to provide health-related services.

This data is part of a barometer on telehealth and artificial intelligence in the healthcare system and is to be presented at a conference in Lisbon.

In total, about 75% of health institutions have already applied telehealth projects, which includes primary health care. Regarding SNS hospitals, 87% of the units have already used these health tools, considered by the World Health Organization as the key to improving care access.

More than half of the hospitals use distance screening, particularly in the area of dermatology, and more than 50% have teleconsultations, according to the data that Lusa had access to.

For 96% of the institutions surveyed, telehealth has a "very important" role in the monitoring of chronic patients and to 75% it allows to reduce hospital readmissions.

Despite the importance, six out of ten institutions said that the technological infrastructure (such as Internet access or bandwidth) is the main barrier in the development of telehealth.

The technological infrastructure is one seen as another barrier to the adoption of artificial intelligence projects, alongside the lack of “data scientists.”

Alexandre Lourenço, the chairperson of Portugal’s association of hospital administrators (APAH) and one of the institutions involved in the barometer, said that the country’s healthcare system “has not adapted in a desirable way” to these technological issues, contrary to what happened in areas such as retail or banking sector, for example.

The other barrier is the lack of financial resources.

The barometer on telehealth and artificial intelligence in the health system is an initiative of the APAH, the National School of Public Health, the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health and the technology company and consulting Glintt.


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