Thanks to innovative ICT-based solutions from Swisscom, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies can save valuable time and money. Patients gain an insight into their data and profit from efficient collaboration between their service providers.
Yes, telemedicine, digital hospitals and robotic doctors are good for our health.
Nobody likes being ill. As the famous saying goes, it’s better to be rich and healthy than poor and ill. And nobody would care to contradict this. However, thanks to major advances in medicine, guaranteeing optimal health care is becoming ever more challenging and, unfortu-nately, also increasingly expensive. Will we soon be heading towards class-tiered health care, providing top quality for some and only basic care for others? No. Digital e-health technology will help us gain con-trol of the dilemma between escalating costs and medical quality. Here are three examples.
Telemedicine – the digital GP:Medgate, which has its headquarters in Basel, runs the largest tele-medicine centre in Europe. Patients contact the attending physician by phone, Internet or the video system at more than 200 Swiss pharmacies with their symptoms. Photos – for example of skin or eye changes – are submitted in advance by e-mail or with the help of the Medgate app. One of the one hundred Medgate doctors then pre-pares a diagnosis and discusses therapy suggestions with the patient. Telemedicine services provide real relief in particular for older pa-tients in rural areas who find it difficult to get to the doctor. Medgate now provides up to 4,900 telephone consultations per day.
The digitalised hospital:Cardiance in Pfäffikon is the first fully digitalised cardiac clinic in Swit-zerland. Catheter procedures are performed ambulantly. Many pa-tients prefer to be able to go home after the procedure and recupe-rate in familiar surroundings. The hospital, in turn, can treat more patients as a result. An example from Germany: The Charité hospital in Berlin uses fast analysis technology for cancer treatment. Software compares thousands of patient histories to find the most promising treatment for an individual patient. The Charité has thus successfully squared the circle, as it were. Cancer treatments are becoming both cheaper and more successful.
Are we heading towards class-tiered health care, providing top quali-ty for some and only basic care for others? No. Digital e-health tech-nologies will prevent this.
Robotic doctors:Will we all soon be treated by fully automated, robotic doctors? Many patients respond to this with profound fear. Definitely not – I’m not letting any tin can touch me. However, experts admit that robots often operate with greater precision than humans. For example, the medical robot Da Vinci performs kidney surgery as well as colorectal and prostate cancer operations. However, it is controlled by a human. Medical professionals differentiate between robot-assisted surgery and fully automated systems. Robots that perform operations auto-nomously have – so far – failed to catch on.