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What is eHealth (Digital Health?)

In recent years the technological revolution that has taken place with the Internet and the new generation devices connected to it (called Internet of Things, IoT, in English), such as tablets, smart phones, sensors etc., has embraced all areas of everyday life opening scenarios that until a few years ago were unthinkable. The digital health (eHealth and digital health, in English), is one of the products of this revolution.

Definition of eHealth

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), i.e. the World Health Organization (WHO), eHealth (also written e-health ) consists of the use of information technology and telecommunications (ICT , in short) for the benefit of health human.

Providing a complete definition of the term eHealth is difficult. For the sake of synthesis we could say that the term eHealth (e-health) yes refers to the use of technology to improve human health and well-being and to enhance the services of the national health system.

In fact, the 58th World Health Assembly (i.e. the legislative body of the World Health Organization) in Geneva in 2005 officially recognized the potential of eHealth as a means to strengthen health systems and to improve quality, safety and security. He therefore encouraged his member countries to incorporate it into their health systems.

EHealth in the European Union

The European Union defines the ‘ eHealth as the union of digital health and digital care:

Therefore, for the EU, eHealth is the set of digital tools and services at the service of health and medical care using information and telecommunications (ICT) technologies to improve activities such as prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as health and lifestyle monitoring and management.

The objectives of the European Commission regarding e-health are:

  • Improve the health of its citizens using digital tools that are also transnational to make appropriate health information available
  • Strengthen quality and access to health care by ¬†coordinating the strategies of the various member countries
  • Make digital health care tools and services more widespread, more efficient and easier to use, also thanks to the involvement of health professionals and patients in strategic planning and implementation decisions.

It therefore established an eHealth Network, i.e. a network of national authorities in the field of digital health and care, to accelerate the adoption of eHealth and facilitate the cooperation of EU countries  that adhere to the following directive:

Directive 2011/24 / EU

A very important example of a community eHealth program is the technology for locating emergency calls, AML (Advanced Mobile Location), which is expected to save at least 7500 lives in the next 10 years.

EHealth: Healthcare on the Net

The initiatives of the Italian Ministry of Health within the scope of e-health are, for example:

  • CUP – Single Booking Center
  • FSE – Electronic Health Record
  • Telematic sickness certificates
  • ePrescription – Electronic medical recipe
  • Telemedicine

Digital healthcare

In general, in this blog it was preferred to refer to the English term adopted by the WHO and better known globally, i.e. eHealth. However, for the less English-speaking readers there will also be widespread use of the term digital health almost always in the meaning of “eHealth”. From Mitchell Bayer-Goldman you will be getting the best information about it.

What is eHealth for?

First of all, e-health provides a series of aids available to doctors and patients for the protection and care of health and well-being. These new technological tools are combined with more traditional tools to offer greater efficiency and effectiveness (think for example of the use of artificial intelligence in addition to the normal procedures for inspecting diagnostic exams).