Technology development: OMS launches first guide on digital health interventions

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It includes recommendations based on an evaluation of the evidence on emerging digital health interventions. The World Health Organization (OMS) published a guide on the use of digital health technology through cell phones, tablets and computers, with the aim of improving people’s health and essential services. The guide, as explained by the OMS, includes recommendations based on a critical evaluation of the evidence on emerging digital health interventions that contribute to improving health systems, based on an assessment of benefits, harms, acceptability, feasibility, resource use and equity considerations. In addition, the guide examines the extent to which digital health interventions available through mobile devices can address health system challenges and how it can contribute to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). For OMS, digital health interventions are not a substitute for functioning health systems and explains that there are significant limitations to what digital health can address. “Harnessing the power of digital technologies is essential to achieving universal health coverage,” OMS Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted in this regard. “Ultimately, digital technologies are not ends in themselves; they are vital tools to promote health, keep the world safe and care for the vulnerable,” he added. Over the past two years, OMS systematically reviewed the evidence on digital technologies and consulted with experts from around the world to produce recommendations on some key ways in which these tools can be used, with the aim of achieving maximum impact on health systems and people’s health. One digital intervention already having positive effects in some areas is sending reminders to pregnant women to attend prenatal care appointments and for children’s immunizations. Other digital approaches reviewed include decision support tools for health care workers as they provide care, as well as enabling individuals and health care workers to communicate and consult on health issues in different locations. “The use of digital technologies offers new opportunities to improve people’s health,” stressed OMS chief scientific officer, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan. “But the evidence also highlights challenges in the impact of some interventions,” she added, concluding, “For digital technologies to be sustainable and integrated into health systems, they must be able to demonstrate long-term improvements over traditional ways of delivering health services.” EXPOHOSPITAL 2022 In response to the need to promote the development of health in the country, the international health fair ExpoHospital 2022 will be held, a space designed for commercial exchange, the introduction of new technologies, and the debate on the advances and challenges that today are presented in medicine at a global level. In this new version of the international health exhibition and congress, which will be held between September 6 and 8 at the new Metropolitan Santiago convention center, the latest trends in the industry specialized in patient care will be analyzed, and solutions will be presented to face the challenges of today’s medical problems. The fair will be spread over 5,000 square meters and is expected to receive more than 5,000 visitors, including professionals and executives from the academic and public sectors. ExpoHospital will also present more than 500 brands from Chile and abroad. Currently, the Expo Hospital international fair and congress is the only event in the country for the health sector, where diverse industry exponents present advances, innovations and solutions to the main problems in the field, which has witnessed great challenges in facing the covid-19 pandemic. Source: El Diario de la Salud

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